“Astro-turfing” Social Security and Medicare Must Stop
Washington D.C.—Congressman Tom Marino (PA-10) issued a statement regarding misleading direct mail campaigns sent by the National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare to his constituents in the 10th District of Pennsylvania. Recipients of the mail campaigns contacted Congressman Marino’s office inquiring about the group’s legitimacy and whether or not they were required to pay the organization in order to protect the federal programs they paid into, value and benefit from.
As a result of the inquiries to his district and Washington D.C. offices, Congressman Marino investigated the legitimacy of the mail tactics and issued the following statement:
“Groups like these may be compliant with the law. However, I take significant issue with the misleading tactics they use as a way to receive money by instilling fear in seniors across our district, commonwealth and country.
Let me be clear, this group is not the only one using these tactics. Liberal, conservative and many other special interest groups advocating any range of causes use them too. I believe these methods are only predatory but incredibly damaging to the very serious debates we have on these important issues.
I also take issue with the way in which they display their disclosure information. Mandated disclosures are printed on the envelope. This is the first thing thrown away when reading the mail. While the information is there, it is still written and organized in an alarming way. Furthermore, this group and many others like it bombard voters with ‘doomsday’ mail while leaving it to the recipient to engage in a fact-finding mission regarding the legitimacy and compliance of the organization’s campaign. That, to me, is ridiculous.
It would be one thing to engage citizens on policy issues in a transparent way but this kind of thing has gone too far and turned into a membership and fundraising drive to sustain their bloated salaries public scare tactics. I implore these groups to come clean with voters, engage in transparent debate, and stop scaring folks about illegitimate crises while taking their hard-earned money.”