Friday, February 08, 2008

Dalai Wins The American Spirit Award!

I received this fax today, and I got all excited. On the cover sheet, it was noted that "this fax and the attached documents are official documents of the Republican Party, and are confidential, and are intended solely for the individual named above." Which would be me!

The attached document said:

Dear Dalai:

I've just received word that based on your support of the Republican Party, you have been selected by the National Republican Senatorial Committee to receive the American Spirit Award. The American Spirit Award is a high honor -- the highest, in fact, that the NRSC can bestow upon an individual. This high honor has been endowed upon our nation's and our world's greatest defenders of liberty, economic freedom and military strength, including President Ronald Reagan and General Norman Schwarzkopf. I am thrilled that you have been selected and it is my sincerest hope that you will accept this honor....


Senator John Ensign (Dalai's Note: (R) Nevada)


National Republican Senatorial Committee

Now, that's what I'm talking about! I've finally been recognized for my selfless fight against certain large corporations, and blog-boredom. And I've voted Republican all my life.

But wait. There's a problem. Some quick Googling reveals something disturbing. Dozens of other folks reported receiving the same fax over the past several weeks and months. When they call in to claim their "award" they receive a high-pressure sales pitch to join up with NRSC at ever higher levels, for thousands of dollars, although for many, the price went down when they demurred. Sadly, this is nothing but a scam, designed to separate the mark from his money.

I don't know if Senator Ensign realizes that his name is being used in this manner, and I call upon the Senator to stop this low-class fund-raising tactic immediately. Who does he think he is, Hillary? I've actually e-mailed him with this request, but have yet to hear back.

Obviously, I'm not the only one to have this honor "endowed" upon him. There were several citations of the "award" being given to Democrats who never have voted Republican in their lives. The saddest story of all comes from Glasgow, Kentucky, where a poor fellow named David Thomas actually believed the hype, and so did his local paper, the Glasgow Daily Times:

Local wins mystery honor

Thomas still uncertain what American Spirit Award is

By BRAD DICKERSON Glasgow Daily Times

David Thomas was notified via fax that he was to receive a major award, yet it took some convincing before he accepted it as the truth.

The owner of Glasgow’s D&D Construction and Concrete received the correspondence last week from the office of Nevada Sen. John Ensign, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), saying he was selected to receive the 2007 American Spirit Award.

Others who have been recognized with this honor were President Ronald Reagan, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and General Norman Schwarzkopf, the faxed notification stated.

“To be honest, I looked at one of my men and I said, ‘Somebody at work is really yanking my chain,’” Thomas said about his initial reaction. “We really didn’t know what it was. What we began to do is we began to call and we began to try to figure out what it was that we got.”

Thomas said he placed phone calls to representatives in both Frankfort and Washington D.C., to determine if the award was legitimate, which, he acknowledged, was.

“I was leery that it was probably someone just wanting money,” Thomas said. “I pretty much made them convince me of who they were. We ended up getting a number to the White House and we ended up figuring out that we had been given an award.”

Attempts to contact officials were unreturned, although operators answering calls referred to the office as that of the NRSC. Thomas believes someone wrote a letter and nominated him for the award, although he is unsure who it could have been or if he’ll ever know.

“What did I do to get this award?” he said.

After receiving confirmation that he was being recognized, Thomas tried to find out just what he would receive. That question, he said, is still a mystery.

“What the award is for, I don’t know right now,” he said. “I won’t know until I get there. They just needed to know if I would accept it.”

Thomas said that what he does know is he will be meeting President George Bush in March to get the honor. He added that he will also be sitting on a business advisory council.

Send me a postcard from the meeting, David. I think I'll have to pass.

As a reasonably staunch Republican, I am disheartened by this whole thing. My Democratic friends will laugh, but I think they have a few bad actors in their camp, too.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, this went on in the days of Tom DeLay, too. I don't know if it's a Republican thing, but I was p.o.'d by the whole affair, too. And I'm a conservative (well, at least what used to pass for conservatism -- small government, maximum personal freedom, personal responsibility). Everyone in my group got one of those things. When I called the number, it was clear I was talking to someone in a boiler room, with dozens of other people manning the phones.

Disgusting tactics.

Kay Spencer said...

I received one of these too (2/11/08). The must be working from a really poor mailing list. I am not, nor have a ever been a Republican! But somehow the National Republican Senatorial Committee thinks I am! What a hoot!

Anonymous said...

Yep--I got one too...I'm a "used-to-be-a-Republican" , and was proudly Republican until the principles of my party were replaced by machinations best described as fascist in the spirit of Mussolini and Franco, so I am the last person the National Republic Senatorial Committee would want talking about the record of the Republican Party. How interesting it is that most if not all of us selected for this singular honor seem to be physicians.

Anonymous said...

I am typically busy running my business, when one of my secretaries said, “NRSC is on the phone”. I instructed her to take a message only to get a fax applauding my efforts in support of the Replubican Party. My mind starts searching, "uh oh, who did I torque off with those letters I write to our senate and congress? My persona of flying under the radar is blown." Google it, I thought. What? Last year's dinner held in San Francisco. Isn't that the town where I mail my federal tax stuff too (not a warm fuzzy feeling so far)? The same town that single men can't go on vacation to for fear an acquaintance would assume incorrectly (another bad feeling)? How much money is this going to cost? Will I be able to write the trip off as business? It is my obligation to pay the least amount of tax legally deductible. Flat tax would put too many of my accountant friends out of jobs and they would have to go through the job corps to be retrained into productive citizens. Back to the wonderful award. Should I call my father? He’s old. He should know what to do. Nah, I haven’t solicited advice from him since I was 11 or 12. Maybe bounce this off my girlfriend. Better not, she really doesn’t care for my ranting at the national news each evening. I know, ask my ex-wife, she has always been over willing to give me advice. That’s the answer, when you have tough decisions to make, ask the one person who has been critical of everything you have done your whole life, the ex.

Anonymous said...

Yeah! I'm a recepient too! for only $1000 dollors. I told them that if they wanted my money that they had to secure Ron Paul's republican nomination for 2008. This promptly ened the conversation. I have been forsakened.

Anonymous said...

Hey there! I just got one to! Aren't I special? I just re-registered to vote, and I didn't check republican It's almost as bad as getting a jury summons.

I think I'm voting Democrat this time....either a woman or a black man in office should shake things up. Can't do any worse than anyone else!

everyday jane said...

everyday jane.. I got one too!!! Except I interviewed the interviewer. He didnt like it either, made him uncomfortable. I asked him how he didnt know if I was a democrat, his reply was I dont. I then proceeded to tell him he was a very brave cold caller and he agreed. so everyone I am glad that I found this and googled it before going further with this scam and I tank you all and PLEASE dont throw away your votes this election day it is going to Huge either way it goes! Glad Im not on the demo ticket, Hard choices there!

Anonymous said...

add me to the list - I received this exciting fax on 29 Feb 08-- but if I have to meet GW then I think I'll pass

Anonymous said...

I recieved the letter too. I'm a UK citizen living in the US on a green card. I can't vote. I've deliberately never expressed support for or criticism of the Republican Party or any other American political party in my life. What is this about?