Virginia: GOP candidate may have violated federal law by deceptive mailing
The Washington Post reports: Last week, Sen. Ken Cuccinelli II (R-Fairfax) sent voters a manila envelope that bore the warning: "Notice: Your new Fairfax County income tax payment is due."
The sender, identified in bold letters, was the "Fairfax County Income Tax Authority."
There is no such branch of the county government, nor is there a county income tax.
When voters opened up the envelope, they found a flier from Cuccinelli attacking his Democratic opponent, Janet S. Oleszek, on taxes.
Cuccinelli charged Oleszek, a member of the Fairfax County School Board, with supporting the creation of a state sales tax on Internet purchases. ...
"It's just an attention gimmick. Political campaigns are marketing campaigns," Cuccinelli said. "People who have some degree of consternation by suddenly thinking they have a local income tax bill will remember that piece. The fact people remember it means that piece will be a success."
But the Oleszek campaign wants to know whether Cuccinelli's mailing violates the federal Deceptive Mailings Prevention Act of 1990.
Cuccinelli said the literature is legal because his name is on the outside of the envelope. -- Campaign Tactics Producing Angry Voters in Record Time - washingtonpost.com
Note: The statute is 39 USC 3001(h). The disclosure required is:
such matter bears on its face, in conspicuous and legible type in contrast by typography, layout, or color with other printing on its face, in accordance with regulations which the Postal Service shall prescribe, the following notice: “THIS PRODUCT OR SERVICE HAS NOT BEEN APPROVED OR ENDORSED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, AND THIS OFFER IS NOT BEING MADE BY AN AGENCY OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.”, or a notice to the same effect in words which the Postal Service may prescribe...
I will be happy to post a copy of the envelope if the Cuccinelli campaign will send me one.