Dems hit GOP after House votes to ban misleading campaign mailers

Democrats on Thursday called on Republican leaders to clarify that mailers that resembled Census letters were not, in fact, official Census documents.

The call from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) comes on the heels of a 416-0 House vote taken yesterday to ban misleading mailings.

The DCCC alleged that the letters, sent out by Republicans and signed by House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and RNC Chairman Michael Steele, could discourage people from filling out their actual Census forms.

"[Boehner and Steele] have a responsibility to tell every Republican who received their fundraising solicitation that it is not an official U.S. Census form and encourage them to fill out their census form," DCCC spokesman Ryan Rudominer said in a statement.

The Republican National Committee (RNC) issued a "census" letter earlier this year.

The DCCC's counterpart, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) also sent letters titled the "2010 Census of America's Republican Leadership" and asked recipients to fill out information regarding their political leanings. 

The NRCC and RNC have previously denied that the letters were misleading and repeated that stance Thursday.

"The NRCC remains opposed to misleading mailings, which is why we will continue to comply with the law," spokesman Paul Lindsay said in a e-mail.

"Just as the committee has done in the past, the RNC will continue to be in full compliance with the law," RNC spokesman Katie Wright said in an e-mail.

But one Republican staffer said that a Democratic National Committee mailer looks like a government document and called Democrats "pretty hypocritical" for criticizing the GOP.