Friday, January 12, 2007

Republican Scam - National Leadership Award

A few years ago, my sister suddenly announced she was switching from the Democratic party and henceforth would be voting Republican. A few days later, she showed me a page from the Wall Street Journal which had a list of names honoring small business leaders. Her name was on the list.

She proudly told me that she had been invited to Washington, to attend a dinner in honor of successful small business people, at which George W. Bush would be in attendance. She was to be part of a Small Business Alliance, where she would have the ear of the Republican party and would be awarded a plaque with her name on it, to display in her place of business. She was understandably proud. And, grateful that W was aware of her hard work, her success and recognized her for it.

By way of background, my sister and her husband have a family business and she works very, very hard, 7 days a week, to make it a success. Without her, I am not so confident it would be what it is today. However, around the same time she received her "award", they incorporated the business. Then, she got a phone call.

My daughter and her partner recently incorporated a business in New Jersey. For the last week, she has been receiving calls from the NRCC. In fact, as she is a registered Democrat (as was my sister), she was a little skeptical that they had the right person. They finally made contact with her and, lo and behold, she won the very same National Leadership Award that my sister won 4 or 5 years ago. However, my daughter has a "day" job, the new business is barely off the ground and she smelled something rotten.

She was told by a very enthuiastic caller that she would be listed in the Wall Street Journal, have dinner in DC with the Prez, would be receiving an engraved gavel at the dinner and would have influence concerning the needs of small businesses in her capacity as Honorary Chairman of the Business Advisory Council. All for $500.00. She declined. Well, then $250.00. She replied that as her business had yet to turn a profit, she wasn't interested. OK, then, just send us $100.00 bucks. Yeah, right.

At no time was she told that the money they were asking her for would be a donation to the Republican National Campaign Committee.

For the savvy readers and the lawyers among us, is this legal? Are campaign contribution laws so full of loopholes that people could be hoodwinked into donating to a campaign and have no idea that that is where their money is going? Have any of you heard of this program?

My sister's name appears on as a donor to the RNC. I don't think she is even aware, although we don't discuss politics much these days.

In case you haven't received your phone call, here's the link: Enroll on line

And, if you should decide to incorporate a business - beware.

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