Those crafty folks at the Republican Party want to give the U.S. Census Bureau a run for, er, your money.
The party's latest plea for cash comes in the form of a semi-official document. I know it's supposed to look official because the envelope says: "Do not destroy -- Official Document -- Second Notice." And hands off those mattress tags while you're at it.
Actually the Republicans were smart enough to not send the "Official Document" to me but it did go to someone I know who correctly thought I'd get a kick out of it.
At the top of a sheet printed on paper a shade thinner than cardboard are the words "2016 Congressional District Census."
In case you're wondering what's the difference, there is no charge to take an "official" U.S. government census. That's when the government counts the people.
A 2016 Congressional Census (Commissioned by the Republican Party -- it says in the smaller type) is when the GOP counts, or at least counts on, your money.
I have to wonder why the mailer didn't simply say: Sends us your money so we can elect Donald Trump. A regular sized letter than comes with the oversized "census" spells it out better. (Guess which one fights the hardest to stay in the envelope.)
"We cannot make major progress in making America great again if the Democrats hold the White House, The U.S. Senate and U.S. House," writes Chairman Reince Priebus in the letter.
The larger letter begins "SPECIAL NOTICE: You have been selected to represent Voters in Mississippi's 4th Congressional District. Enclosed please find documents registered in your name." Remember that part because later they claim the responses will kept confidential.
It's not until you've answered the usual boilerplate questions (For example: Do you think it is in the United States' national interest to take military action against ISIS in Iraq and Syria) that you get to the punch line.
That's the invitation to give between $25 and $1,000 or more to help the poor old GOP out.
And if you can't afford at least $25, you could at least send them $15 to cover the cost of processing the census document.
Again, for the record, there is no charge to participate in the real census.