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Despite Legislation, Misleading RNC ‘Census’ Mailers Continue

The Republican National Committee continues to exploit a loophole in the law with fundraising mailers sent under the guise of the census. Congress has passed another bill to stop the practice, but President Obama hasn't signed it yet.

 The latest legislation intended to stop deceptive "census" mailers passed both chambers of Congress earlier this month, but President Barack Obama still hasn't signed it into law, and the Republican National Committee is still sending out mailers that the legislation is meant to stop.

Our inboxes continue to receive a deluge of e-mails from people across the country who are still getting fundraisers from the RNC labeled  "Census Document," a tactic that we've been following since February. In an attempt to stop the practice, Congress passed a bill in March requiring that any mailer with the word "census" on the envelope must also include a clearly labeled return address to prevent confusion about whether it's really from the 2010 Census.

But the RNC got around that requirement by moving the word "census" to a document inside the envelope -- yet it was still visible from the outside through the envelope's clear plastic window.

That move irritated even Republicans. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., proposed legislation to close the loophole. "I would say to people who raise money, whether it's the Republican National Committee or the Democratic National Committee or [anybody else], don't use the Census," he said at the time. "Because it's wrong."

The bill passed the House in April, and it breezed through the Senate unanimously on May 5.

But without Obama's signature, it's still not the law -- thus the RNC mailers continue.

We put in a call to the White House to see what the holdup is. We also sent a note to the RNC asking why, despite the negative signals from both sides of the aisle, the mailers are still going out.

We'll let you know if we hear back.

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