Originally posted on the BetterCA blog.

The California Recovery Team (CRT) has been violating the law by sending out campaign mail that illegally uses discounted non-profit postage and displays a fraudulent union bug.  Both actions are violations of federal law.  We have requested an investigation by the USPS and announced possible legal action unless they cease their activities.

From our attorney Lance Olson:

CRT’s use of a non-profit permit to get cut-rate discounts on their blatantly political mailing is outrageous.  This permit was either unlawfully issued or is being unlawfully used.  Only organizations that satisfy special standards and have received official authorization from the USPS may mail items using the Nonprofit Standard Mail rate.

By misusing the nonprofit mail permit, the governor’s campaign saved about seven cents per piece mailed.  A single small mailing of one million pieces would have saved $68,000, while a larger six million piece mailing would have saved $408,000.  According to the California Secretary of State, there are currently 15,839,327 registered voters in California.

A fake union bug on the Proposition 75 mailer identifies the piece as being printed by a Allied union shop in Los Angeles (“9”), but no such printer exists.

Howard Dudley, president of Communication Workers of America Local 14904, representing printers and mailers in Southern California, and delegate to the Southern California Allied Printing Trades Council says:

“Union label #9, which Governor Schwarzenegger put on his mailer, is not authorized by the Southern California Allied Printing Trades Council. The unauthorized use of this union label not only raises the question of legitimacy about the governor’s mailer but further raises questions of violation of federal trademark laws.

This is a major mistake by the Schwarzenegger campaign and it further underscores their attempts to win at any cost and portray themselves as friendly to union members.  Clearly, the need to save money outweighed any ethical or legal concerns.

Click images below for more detail, or see the full mailer here

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