Last month when we first wrote about the faux "Census" mailers from the Republican National Committee, we reported that though deceptive, the mailings were likely legal.
That could change soon.
On Wednesday, the House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation that specifically bans misleading mailings that are designed to look like they're from the Census Bureau. The new bill requires that any mailing marked "census" include the sender's name and address, plus a disclaimer that the survey is "not affiliated with the federal government," reports the Associated Press.
At the time, the fake census mailings -- which were really fundraising surveys from the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee -- drew criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike. Though Politico reports that such mailings from Republicans have been around for several years, the practice was of particular concern this year because of the 2010 census. The U.S. Census Bureau itself has warned that the use of misleading forms could undermine response for the official census and increase the costs of follow-up.
The bill goes to the Senate next, where it is expected to move forward.