What 83 year-old William Sidwell of Queen City, Missouri found in his mailbox last week scared him. It was a letter from the Republican National Committee, but it seemed to bear grave news: "Our records show that you registered as a member of our Party in Schuyler County, MO," the letter said. "But a recent audit of your Party affiliation turned up some irregularities."
Audit? Irregularities? Was he in trouble? Were they threatening him?....
The letter, it turns out, is just a misleading pitch for a contribution to the RNC -- one of the "irregularities" cited in the letter is that "I cannot find a record of you taking a single action in support of the Republican Party -- not locally, not nationally!" A contribution, the letter suggests, would help set the record straight.
You can view the whole letter here. Again, the consensus seems to be that the letter is legal (if somewhat misleading), and most people reading the letter probably will see through it without much trouble. But still, there are undoubtedly some people (especially elderly people) who might be confused or scared, and its certainly a pretty underhanded tactic.