The Republican fund-raising machine is back to some old tricks: the bogus, telemarketed "National Leadership Award" pitch/scam dating back to at least 2002 and ethically-challenged former Congressman Tom DeLay.
A friend of mine in the corporate world received this voice mail in mid-March 2007, as related to him by e-mail from his administrative assistant:
Heather Yolan from Congressman Tom Cole’s office called and said they would like to recognize you with a National Leadership Award, and would like to talk to you about a press release ASAP...their number is 1-877-213-0603.
I love the ASAP bit.
The blog Disregard Evil Tongues summarizes the pitch:
I was promised a suitable plaque to proudly display in my office to show my workers how I support the President and his policies. I would get a fine wooden gavel for my desk. (The better to hit my co-workers who are not impressed by the plaque) I would be invited to the President's dinner in Washington where I would be able to voice my opinions on the problems impacting small business....I would be named an Honorary Chairman of the Small Business Leadership Committee....
But the catch: the Baloney Leadership Committee and all the rest of it can be yours only for the price of a contribution to the National Republican Congressional Committee.
That is right, for a mere $500.00 I could help the NRCC spread the word of their support of small business, and the NRCC was certain my name would carry a lot of weight in the [community] and would I be willing to send the money in two easy payments.