Someone Is Trying to Freak Out New Hampshire’s Undecided Voters

Voters found a sketchy letter in their mailboxes today—but who sent it?

<a href=:"http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-286413785/stock-photo-an-open-mailbox-in-garden.html?src=PpshHrDwaJSBcZEu3N04iw-1-31">Source</a>/Shutterstock


Some voters in New Hampshire opened their mailboxes today to find an envelope stamped in red with “important taxpayer information enclosed.” Inside was a letter featuring an official-looking seal that listed not only the recipients’ voting records, but those of their neighbors.

“WHAT IF YOUR FRIENDS, YOUR NEIGHBORS, AND YOUR COMMUNITY KNEW WHETHER YOU VOTED?” the mailer asked. “We’re sending this mailing to you, some of your friends, neighbors, colleagues at work and community members to make them aware of who does and does not vote.”

A mailer circulated to New Hampshire voters today by a mysterious group

The mailer listed the recipient’s name, his or her record of voting in the last few elections, and the names, addresses, and voting records of nine neighbors. Mother Jones was shown two copies of the mailer, one sent to a registered independent voter in Manchester and the other to a registered Democrat; complaints about this mailer began popping up on the internet this afternoon.

The mailer is very similar to one circulated by Ted Cruz’s campaign to undecided Iowa voters just days before the caucuses. Cruz’s controversial mailer warned of “voting violations” and listed what it said was the voting records of the recipient and his or her neighbors, although the voting data appeared to be incorrect if not made up entirely. (At least one of the New Hampshire mailers featured false voting-record data, according to the recipient.)

Unlike the Iowa mailer, which prominently listed the Cruz campaign as its source, there is no indication who sent the New Hampshire letter. In small print at the bottom of the letter a disclaimer notes that it is “Paid for by Public Policy Matters,” a group that has no obvious web presence. If the New Hampshire mailers are not from Cruz, it’s possible that someone wants to remind New Hampshire’s coveted independent voters of Cruz’s Iowa stunt.

Update: Ted Cruz’s spokesman, Rick Tyler, told Mother Jones that the Cruz campaign did not send the mailers. “All of our mail has a Paid for by Cruz for President disclaimer. Not ours,” Tyler emailed.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate