Lawmakers Object to Being Used as 'Bait'

Thursday, 04 Aug 2011 01:09 PM

By Greg McDonald

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Some lawmakers are raising concerns about their names being used “as bait” to promote a business that brings school children to Washington, D.C., according to a report today in The Hill newspaper.
Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-N.Y., is trying to put a stop to it by circulating a letter to House and Senate members informing them that their names are being “used erroneously to drum up business” by the Congressional Youth Leadership Council.
“Your name is being used by a private company enabling them to generate untold millions of dollars,” Ackerman wrote.
Ackerman said the leadership council, which the Hill reported has organized trips for more than 260,000 students over the past 25 years, “started out innocently enough” as a non-profit education program that placed members of Congress on its Honorary Board of Congressional Advisers.
But he said the company was sold in 2007 to Envisions EMI, a mail-marketing firm that continues to use “the names of almost a majority of Congress for its own profitable and promotional advantage.”
According to the newspaper, at least 42 members of the House have asked to have their names removed from the company’s advisory board.
Ackerman said most members have no idea their names are being used.

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