Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Voter Shaming in New Hampshire from “Public Policy Matters”

 

voter shaming public policy matters[Update at bottom of post] Today in New Hampshire voters, including my wife, are receiving a letter from “New Hampshire State Voting Program.” To the right is a scanned image of the letter. I can confirm that at least some of the other names on the list are those of our neighbors and other people in town. However, several of the addresses do not exist in our town, but are from other towns in New Hampshire, and not close towns, either. The voting record for my wife is accurate, although we were not New Hampshire residents in November, 2012.

The letter is topped with a seal that makes the letter look quasi-official. However, “Paid for by Public Policy Matters” is written at the bottom of the letter, making it clear this not an official document. There is no state-run “New Hampshire State Voter Program.”

In addition, “Public Policy Matters” does not appear to be a registered political action committee, according to searches at opensecrets.org and fec.gov. That could mean that Public Policy Matters is a recently formed PAC. The name is generic enough that a Google search is almost completely useless. The letter was sent from a post office box in Manchester, NH, and the envelope blared “IMPORTANT TAXPAYER INFORMATION ENCLOSED” in red letters.

The Ted Cruz campaign employed a similar tactic leading up to last week’s Iowa Caucuses, and other campaigns have also used voter shaming techniques in previous election cycles.

UPDATE: The Daily Caller links to this post in their investigative piece “New ‘Voter Shaming’ Mailers Show Up in New Hampshire,” which suggests possible connections between Public Policy Matters and the Rubio campaign, the Republican National Committee, Karl Rove’s super PAC American Crossroads, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

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  1. Sash Member

    So can these be tied to a campaign?

    • #1
    • February 8, 2016, at 4:01 PM PST
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  2. Arahant Member

    Pretty annoying.

    • #2
    • February 8, 2016, at 4:01 PM PST
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  3. Susan Quinn Contributor

    It seems to be I heard about this happening in CA, so that was over ten years ago.

    • #3
    • February 8, 2016, at 4:06 PM PST
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  4. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil FawltyJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Did the letter suggest for whom to vote?

    • #4
    • February 8, 2016, at 4:07 PM PST
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  5. A-Squared Inactive

    NY Times is reporting on this.

    The one in New Hampshire was sent by a group calling itself Public Policy Matters, using a post office box in Manchester, N.H. No political action committee by that name is registered either in New Hampshire or in Federal Election Commission files.

    Mr. Crawford, who is a registered Republican, said the neighborhood where his parent live was predominantly made up of Republican or independent voters.

    “My guess would be, it is someone who thinks they are doing well with registered Republicans, trying to get them out to vote,” Mr. Crawford said.

    The article cited this article

    • #5
    • February 8, 2016, at 4:08 PM PST
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  6. MarciN Member

    These political campaign workers need to read How to Win Friends and Influence People. :)

    • #6
    • February 8, 2016, at 4:16 PM PST
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  7. kelsurprise, drama queen Member
    kelsurprise, drama queenJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Could someone explain to me what any campaign could possibly hope to accomplish with this tactic?

    Is it truly nothing more than an attempt to “shame” people into voting? Because most people I know who don’t vote have no trouble at all admitting it.

    But let’s say they DO care that others know they don’t vote. Well, now that everyone’s already been outed in the initial letter, why would anyone really care about that “updated list to come”?

    I can only see three “most likely” effects of this odd missive:

      1. A handful of timid weasels who care more about their own reputations than any candidate’s might just go vote.
      2. There will be no change whatsoever in the behavior of anyone receiving the letter and/or on that list.
      3. The letter will offend (in degrees ranging from “mild” to “murderous”) any recipient who takes umbrage at threats (real or implied), false representation, sleazy campaign tactics, invasions of privacy, over-sharing, politicians, bad writing, bad layout, ugly charts, bulk mail, junk mail, blackmail, small print and narcs, and a small number of those most incensed by it just might form a posse that will not rest until the sender of this piece of oddly inflammatory (and yet, still, completely confusing) mailing is found out, hunted down and publicly shamed for this nonsense.

      So . . . what’s the point?

      • #7
      • February 8, 2016, at 4:22 PM PST
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    1. Randy Webster Member

      Please tell me the Cruz campaign didn’t step in it again.

      • #8
      • February 8, 2016, at 4:26 PM PST
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    2. Max Ledoux Admin
      Max Ledoux

      Basil Fawlty:Did the letter suggest for whom to vote?

      No.

      • #9
      • February 8, 2016, at 4:33 PM PST
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    3. Profile Photo Member

      One of these days, one of these people will go too far and someone far less ethical than I am will post publicly available information about the people behind this and publicly available information about the loved ones of the people behind this.

      I don’t endorse that kind of escalation. But I can imagine someone wanting to play “what goes around, comes around.”

      • #10
      • February 8, 2016, at 4:37 PM PST
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    4. RushBabe49 Thatcher

      Couldn’t work in WA, where we have all-mail voting.

      • #11
      • February 8, 2016, at 4:46 PM PST
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    5. Paul J. Croeber Inactive

      Guess they’ve written off the Seacoast because I haven’t gotten one.

      • #12
      • February 8, 2016, at 4:50 PM PST
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    6. Wineguy13 Thatcher

      This is tacky, deceptive, and creepy. However, if these are matters of public record, then it seems like it is above board. I think it would be funny to ask a random selection of folks whether they voted in the last election, and compare it to the public records. Maybe start in Chicago?

      • #13
      • February 8, 2016, at 4:58 PM PST
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    7. Basil Fawlty Member
      Basil FawltyJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

      Max Ledoux:

      Basil Fawlty:Did the letter suggest for whom to vote?

      No.

      Perhaps it was from the League of Women Voters. Encouraging people to vote is as American as apple pie.

      • #14
      • February 8, 2016, at 5:02 PM PST
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    8. Douglas Inactive

      Both parties do this crap, and I’m sick of it. They do it a lot in fundraising, too.

      • #15
      • February 8, 2016, at 5:14 PM PST
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    9. MJBubba Inactive

      Wineguy13:This is tacky, deceptive, and creepy. However, if these are matters of public record, then it seems like it is above board. …

      It seems to be legal, but it is very creepy.

      It may be one of the campaigns, trying to gin up turnout in neighborhoods they have identified as likely positives. It just seems to be so poorly done, in a creepy way, that I doubt if it works.

      It would be very good for the originators of this letter to be publicly identified.

      It would be very good for the GOP to find out if it worked.

      • #16
      • February 8, 2016, at 5:22 PM PST
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    10. Max Ledoux Admin
      Max Ledoux

      Basil Fawlty:

      Max Ledoux:

      Basil Fawlty:Did the letter suggest for whom to vote?

      No.

      Perhaps it was from the League of Women Voters. Encouraging people to vote is as American as apple pie.

      I think a better tactic would be: “Don’t forget to vote. Here’s your voting location: 123 Main St, etc.”

      • #17
      • February 8, 2016, at 5:26 PM PST
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    11. Valiuth Member
      ValiuthJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

      Wouldn’t this just make people less inclined to vote? You know, out of contempt for who ever these people are.

      • #18
      • February 8, 2016, at 5:36 PM PST
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    12. Arahant Member

      Valiuth:Wouldn’t this just make people less inclined to vote? You know, out of contempt for who ever these people are.

      Without knowing who is doing it, we don’t know what their goal is. It might be the Hillary Campaign.

      • #19
      • February 8, 2016, at 5:43 PM PST
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    13. Max Ledoux Admin
      Max Ledoux

      MJBubba: It would be very good for the GOP to find out if it worked.

      My wife was going to vote anyway…

      She didn’t vote in the September, 2014, primary because we were still living in New York at the time.

      She did vote in the 2012 presidential election, but in New York. So I don’t know how “Public Policy Matters” accurately reported that in the letter. Maybe if they got it right by accident.

      • #20
      • February 8, 2016, at 5:56 PM PST
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    14. Done Contributor

      Has to be a campaign that believes high turnout in these areas favors them.

      • #21
      • February 8, 2016, at 6:01 PM PST
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    15. namlliT noD Member
      namlliT noDJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

      This tactic has been used for a while.

      Four years ago, noted Wisconsin law professor and blogger Ann Althouse received a similar letter:

      althouse-letter

      Note that the text is identical.

      • #22
      • February 8, 2016, at 6:09 PM PST
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    16. Done Contributor

      Don Tillman:This tactic has been used for a while.

      Four years ago, noted Wisconsin law professor and blogger Ann Althouse received a similar letter:

      althouse-letter

      Note that the text is identical.

      Greater Wisconsin political fund was a liberal group. Interesting.

      • #23
      • February 8, 2016, at 6:26 PM PST
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    17. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

      I have not gotten any of these yet this year but or primary is in May so that may be the reason. I am a registered Democrat a usually see one or more of these an election. I gather it is part of the get out to vote efforts.

      • #24
      • February 8, 2016, at 6:37 PM PST
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    18. aardo vozz Member

      MarciN:These political campaign workers need to read How to Win Friends and Influence People. :)

      Scary thought for the day: What if they’ve already read it?

      • #25
      • February 8, 2016, at 7:21 PM PST
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    19. Austin Murrey Inactive

      “Public Policy” sounds vaguely Democratic, but given data mining and public records this could just as easily be a Republican campaign.

      I believe the Cruz campaign was slammed earlier this week for something similar in Iowa; although they’d be fools to spend in New Hampshire his mail operation seems, uh, pretty foolish.

      • #26
      • February 8, 2016, at 7:34 PM PST
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    20. Weeping Member

      Frank Soto:Has to be a campaign that believes high turnout in these areas favors them.

      Or low turnout — if their aim is to make the public think someone else sent the letter and hopefully turn them against that person. Which is the case? I have no idea.

      • #27
      • February 8, 2016, at 7:37 PM PST
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    21. Arahant Member

      Austin Murrey: I believe the Cruz campaign was slammed earlier this week for something similar in Iowa; although they’d be fools to spend in New Hampshire his mail operation seems, uh, pretty foolish.

      And maybe they want people to think Cruz is doing it again. Until it can be traced back to the source, I would bet on someone like the Democrats, or JEB!

      • #28
      • February 8, 2016, at 7:38 PM PST
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    22. Umbra Fractus Coolidge
      Umbra FractusJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t the Cruz campaign up front about being behind the Iowa mailers? The secrecy here does make me suspect a third party (whether conspiracy or simple stupidity is not in evidence yet.)

      • #29
      • February 8, 2016, at 7:51 PM PST
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    23. Brian Watt Member
      Brian WattJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

      Hey, wait just a minute. This could be a valuable voter fraud tool. If the flier shows that you voted one year when you know you didn’t or couldn’t vote, for whatever reason, then someone may have illegally voted claiming to be you.

      As long as this information is a matter of public record and it doesn’t encourage the recipient to vote for any particular candidate I’m trying to understand why I should be all hot and bothered about this.

      • #30
      • February 8, 2016, at 10:38 PM PST
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