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No ‘fooling’: RNC mailer solicited donations to phone sex hotline

By David Edwards and Stephen Webster
Thursday, April 1, 2010 20:25 EDT
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This is not an April Fool’s joke.

The Republican National Committee does not want you to give your credit card information to a phone sex hotline, even though they listed the number to one on a recent fundraising mailer.

The RNC document, which was appears designed to mimic a census form, features Chairman Michael Steele’s name atop it and lists the RNC’s return number as 1-800-863-8500. The number that was intended is 1-202-863-8500.

The difference: instead of a friendly voice thanking callers for contacting the RNC, it’s a “horny girl” who can’t wait to put customers in touch with “hot, local students, house wives and working girls,” if only they will enter their credit card information.

“The number in question was a typographical error by a vendor used on this particular mailer — using 1-800 instead of 202,” RNC Communications Director Doug Heye told Politico’s Ben Smith.

Smith added: “Heye e-mailed different direct-mail pieces that included the correct RNC phone number, writing: ‘This is an isolated incident and will not be repeated in the future.’”

View a copy of the mailer here.

Callers to the number were offered “live, one-on-one talk with a nasty girl who will do anything you want for just $2.99 per minute,” Politico reports:

At the bottom of a piece designed to resemble a census form, a toll-free number is listed next to the national party’s address.

A voter in Minnesota received the mailer and called the number intending to complain about the attempt to raise money with a form that looks like a government document.

But the Minnesotan was instead directed to a second toll-free number that greets callers as “sexy guy” before offering them the chance to talk with “real local students, housewives and working girls from all over the country.”

ABC News has a full transcript of the call:

“Hey there sexy guy. Welcome to an exciting new way to go live one-on-one with hot, horny girls waiting right now to talk to you. Lie back, baby. Relax and get ready to meet real local students, housewives, and working girls from all over the country. Hundreds of hot girls call free all day and night cuz we love nasty talk as much as you do. Hot amateur talk and voice personals for just 99 cents per minute. Or live one-on-one talk with a nasty girl who will do anything you want for just $2.99 per minute. This service is brought to you by Intimate Encounters. You must be over 18. Enter your credit card now to join the fun.

No credit card? Call 1-900-Talkline for just $1.99 per minute. That’s 1-900-T-A-L-K-L-I-N-E. Or try collect call back. Dial 1-215-SexTalk and we’ll call you right back. Connecting you to hot live talk with horny students, housewives and working girls. That’s 1-215-S-E-X-T-A-L-K. For the same exciting action call 1-775-785-6860 for exciting action at just 89 cents per minute. That’s 1-775-785-6860 to bill this call discretely to your phone.

Now it’s time to stick it in. Enter your Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or AmericanExpress card number now followed by the pound key. Or press 1 for other billing options.”

Audio of the service that answers when the RNC’s advertised number is dialed is available below and should be considered not safe for work.

Download audio

“The RNC is already in trouble with conservatives; Family Research Council chief Tony Perkins asked his members not to give to the GOP directly anymore this week, in part because the RNC has shown itself to be ‘tone-deaf’ to the values of a large swath of the people it purports to represent,” Slate’s Mike Madden wrote. “This latest gaffe probably won’t help.”

The scandal couldn’t come at a worse time for the Republican party, which was hit just earlier in the week by details of RNC dollars going toward liquor and a bondage-themed night club. Though the unnamed RNC staffer allegedly behind the charges was reportedly fired, the political damage had been done. Some senior Republican brass even called for Michael Steele’s resignation.

“For those donors who truly believe in conservative values, this latest news about Steele has to be very disturbing,” said Douglas MacKinnon, former press secretary to Majority Leader Robert Dole, according to The Huffington Post. “No matter which side of the aisle you find yourself, if you are giving a political party your hard-earned money, you should have no doubts that it is going to be spent as advertised and not to provide a spoiled, egocentric, out-of-touch chairman with frivolous luxuries which are out of reach of the vast majority of the American people. Michael Steele needs to resign and let the RNC vote in a man or woman who understands that his or her needs do not come before the needs of the nation or the party.”

“Removing Mr. Steele would require the 168 members of the RNC to hold a special meeting, vote by a two-thirds majority to remove him, and then agree on a replacement,” noted Dave Cook, writing for the Christian Science Monitor. “The process would be especially awkward because Steele is black and his party has a predominately white face in Congress.

“Still, it has been an exceptionally painful couple of days for the RNC.”

In the wake of such a scandal-ridden week for the RNC, it’s not difficult to imagine calls for Steele’s resignation becoming more frequent, even if he’s not likely to be going anywhere soon.

 
 
 
 
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