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Roll Call exposes politicians on fake letters

The Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call caught legislators trying to pass off stacks of empty boxes as the "million letters" they supposedly received on behalf of the McCain-Kennedy Immigration bill. Ron Brynaert of Raw Story reports:

"At a pro-immigration rally Thursday, a group of politicians including Sens. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.), Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Rep. Joe Baca (D-Calif.) addressed reporters while picturesquely standing in front of an impressive tower of boxes they said contained letters from a million supporters of comprehensive immigration reform," Emily Heil reports for Roll Call's 'Heard on the Hill.'

According to a press release, the letters were part of the "Por la Reforma Migratoria con Piolín" campaign launched by Univision radio personality Eddie 'Piolín' Sotelo, and was touted as marking "the first time that a letter writing campaign has generated such a large number of letters in support of immigration reform."

"As the Members repeatedly referred to the letters and gestured toward the boxes allegedly containing them as evidence of the support for the immigration bill that is struggling in the Senate, a crack Roll Call photographer on hand at the event began to grow suspicious," Heil continues. "He could see light shining through the handles of the boxes, indicating that they weren't full."

The paper reveals, "Sure enough, a quick check revealed that the boxes were, indeed, completely empty."

Read the whole story at the link above. The blame is being laid upon an "overzealous volunteer," but that doesn't wash. A "volunteer" wouldn't undertake on his or her own to place a bunch of empty boxes at a press conference. Volunteers do what they are told to do. It's sort of what a "volunteer" IS, after all.

I can see how it happened, if not who directed it. Someone claimed a million supporting letters. Someone else said "We should let the media know that!" and suggested a press conference. Someone else thought it a powerful image to HAVE the "million letters" there, and things snowballed from there.

IF they did receive an aggregate of a million letters in favor, it could only been the result of an organized campaign with mass production capabilities, and NOT some grassroots effort inspired by a radio host - and most likely the work was off-shored to South Asian subcontractors who actually wrote or signed the letters. Of course, they might prove me wrong by actually producing the letters for all to see, but apparently they cannot.

A bonehead stunt, but they thought it worth the risk. Potemkin at least took precautions to prevent close inspections of his villages . . .


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Roll Call exposes politicians on fake letters:

» Mark's Views, Perhaps linked with Dealing With Ethics Lapses

» The Thunder Run linked with Web Reconnaissance for 06/22/2007

» Adam's Blog linked with The Gospel According to Barack

Comments (25)

Kinda like some of their ba... (Below threshold)

Kinda like some of their ballot boxes.

Wow, a million? I KN... (Below threshold)

Wow, a million?
I KNOW Kennedy got MY letter, he mailed me back thanking me for writing him on this important issue.

Too bad it was AGAINST this DISASTER of a bill.

So my letter couldn't be counted in the missing million. lol

Knightbrigade ~ "So my lett... (Below threshold)

Knightbrigade ~ "So my letter couldn't be counted in the missing million."

I wouldn't put money on that . . .


"I see dead people!"... (Below threshold)

"I see dead people!"

Marc: "I see dead people!"... (Below threshold)

Marc: "I see dead people!"

Doggone it, if they can vote, they can write a letter!


Mr. Smith goes to Worshingt... (Below threshold)

Mr. Smith goes to Worshington...

Doggone it, if they can... (Below threshold)

Doggone it, if they can vote, they can write a letter!

That could also mean they pay taxes and better keep a good watch on their purses and wallets as the [Dim]ocrats try to raid them.

First, no committee hearing... (Below threshold)

First, no committee hearings on the bill.
Second, no hearing on the immigration bill.
Third, no listening to the public about the bill.
Fourth, fake letter boxes at a set up news conference.

There is nothing about this bill that doesn't stink. ww

Wow. Waiting for positive s... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Wow. Waiting for positive spin from Lee...

The Dem suits in Congress, ... (Below threshold)

The Dem suits in Congress, and their souls, are as empty as those boxes.

No positive spin from me, i... (Below threshold)

No positive spin from me, it's pretty obvious that these were props. I found the rest of the linked article interesting...

The paper reveals, "Sure enough, a quick check revealed that the boxes were, indeed, completely empty."

However, as the above photo shows, at least some letters were present at the press conference.

In January of 2003, a speech by Bush elicited some controversy when it was discovered that "prop" boxes had been relabeled to provide visual cues for the president.

As CNN reported, "When the president delivered his remarks, he did so from the floor of a warehouse with American flags in the background along with the logo 'Strengthening America's Economy' on a backdrop of boxes. The boxes were stamped 'Made in U.S.A.' One problem: The boxes were made in China."

"And that was evident despite an effort to hide labels on boxes surrounding the stage," the CNN report continued. "The boxes placed on the side of the stage had 'Made in China' labels covered up with white pieces of paper."

A White House spokesman later blamed the incident on an "overzealous advance volunteer."

Maybe its the same overzealous volunteer; this was a bi-partisan event and the President did promise ot lend his weight to pushing this bill through -- maybe he lent them the same volunteer - lol

Once again, no good Democra... (Below threshold)

Once again, no good Democrat permits the facts from getting in the way of The Truth(TM).

This kind of thing is why t... (Below threshold)

This kind of thing is why the public's approval rating of Congress is at 14%.

Of course the President had... (Below threshold)

Of course the President had a high level meeting before the conference instucting his staff to label all the boxes made in America. Lee, I have no idea where you get your analogous thinking, but it is warped. ww

Martinez & Kennedy...... (Below threshold)

Martinez & Kennedy...

WTF is the chairman of the Republican National Committee palling around with Kennedy and posing with a faked backdrop?

Oh yea... he's driving what's left of the conservative base away, damn maroon.

wee wee lee lee wardie from... (Below threshold)

wee wee lee lee wardie from bluie is full of pooie. Reminds you of Alan "eyebrow" Combs and his excuses excuses. snicker snort

The difference being, of co... (Below threshold)

The difference being, of course, that America has an economy, and it does actually get strengthened from time to time - versus a "million letters" that don't really exist.

From the polls on the immigration bill, that would mean that something like one in ten voters who support the bill actually wrote letters to tell them so - does ANYONE actually believe that?

And any letter-writing campaign that would get that kind of results would have been noticeable, with lots of press coverage and people telling others to write in. A "massive" letter-writing campaign gets them 50,000 or so responses, not a million.

Did anyone see any signs of that sort of support in real life? Did you even hear about it at ALL, other than at this press conference?

Refer to the "one million letters for our troops" campaign, which had TV coverage, ads on some networks, and lots of local support around the country - and still took a while to generate that sort of support. The immigration bill folks claim to have done that through the efforts of one guy, touring the country, in about 1/10 the time.

Here's another one: Has there been any converage on how the post office that receives those letters had to deal with another couple of thousand letters to that location EVERY DAY?

Even letters about illegal ... (Below threshold)
Usful Ijit:

Even letters about illegal immigration are afraid to come out of the shadows.

What this really shows is t... (Below threshold)

What this really shows is the contempt and disregard our Congressional leaders have for us. They are so bankrupt of integrity they think nothing of staging one charade after another to try and convince us they're actually doing something constructive. Maybe it's time to throw them all out and start with a fresh bunch, hopefully less encumbered by and indebted to private financing.

Were the letters o... (Below threshold)

Were the letters of the 'fake plastic' variety?

Truthers want to know.

Were the boxes full before ... (Below threshold)

Were the boxes full before they were empty?

Personally, I think the emp... (Below threshold)

Personally, I think the empty boxes are a perfect metaphor for the immigration bill.

They tell us a lot of things are in both the boxes and the bill, but when you look closely, all you see is nothing.

Note that Lee's first respo... (Below threshold)

Note that Lee's first response to any critique of a Democrat, or a bad news story regarding a Democrat, is to immediately try to attack a Republican.

Classic liberal maneuver.

They were fake but true.</p... (Below threshold)

They were fake but true.

Or e-mails.For the... (Below threshold)

Or e-mails.

For the fake but true idea.

300 million people... it's not beyond the realm of possibility that 1 in 300 sent some sort of letter type of object or electrons. I would expect that counting of support and dissent was iffy. That seems a normal washington sort of thing.






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