Mediator nominated for Congressional Order of Merit by National Republican Congressional Committee

Congressional Order of MeritCan you smell the desperation in the air? That’s a sure sign that a major election year is rapidly approaching and at least one political party is getting nervous. Consider the following.

Recently I received a voice mail from the office of U.S. Congressman Tom Cole and the National Republican Congressional Committee. The message informed me that the NRCC wished to “recognize [you] with our highest honor, the Congressional Order of Merit” and asked me to call.

A Congressional Order of Merit? For me? How could I refuse?

The staff person who answered the phone told me that as part of being singled out for this honor, I’d also been invited to serve on a business advisory council, and she asked me to listen first to a recorded message from Congressman Cole before she provided me with further details.

The message was most instructive. I learned that small businesses like mine “are the backbone of our community”. I learned that Democrats think I’m “rich and don’t pay [my] fair share of taxes”, and that I could play an important role in combating their “anti-business agenda”. I also learned that small business owners like me are “the last line of defense against the liberal agenda”. Finally, I learned that Tom Cole and the National Republican Congressional Committee needed my help.

At the end of the message, the staff person asked me if I had any questions. I asked her how much it would cost to take part. She told me that there was no cost–only my participation on the advisory council.

As tempting as the opportunity was, I had to come clean. I confessed that by no stretch of the imagination could I be characterized as a supporter of Republican political causes. I asked how they selected my name in the first place. She sidestepped that last question but hastily reassured me that Democrats and Independents could serve on the council as well.

I regretfully declined the honor.

Which meant, alas, no Congressional Order of Merit for me.

(Just for fun, try googling the phrase “Congressional Order of Merit”. I did. It yielded the news that the NRCC has extended this prestigious-sounding but meaningless honor to numerous others, including a former Democratic congresswoman and National Public Radio science correspondent Ira Flatow. I wait breathlessly to see what honor the Democrats next have planned for me.)

20 responses to “Mediator nominated for Congressional Order of Merit by National Republican Congressional Committee

  1. Wow, I just recieved my call today, it was on my answering machine and I thought was it because I was a retired Army Vet who had served in combat the last time in that crazy war, or that just friday I had recieved my masters, then my wife found this blog about it. I guess they didn’t check my political affilitaion either. I would not accept any type of recognition or help with my small business from them, I cant even get an appointment with the VA about my disability but they can pick me out for this silly waste of time and money.

  2. Joe Trybyszewski

    I’m not a subscriber to this group, but may consider it. Since the real estate market has tanked, my home inspection business, Global Home Inspection, is withering.So it came as a surprise to receive this email from Tom Cole’s office, telling me they wanted to give me the “congressional order of merit”. I thought to myself, ” perhaps they are commending me for my marching at demonstrations against the Iraq war?”. Or maybe it is my support for those needing medical marijuana? or my support for Dennis Kucinich? Not likely.It seems they must of received my name from one of the trade organizations I belong to, or anyone with membership in the US Chamber of Commerce. This is a strange political word we live in, indeed.

  3. And it’s only going to get stranger, Joe. Sorry to hear about your business. There must be plenty of other small business owners like yourself who’ve been affected by the fallout from the chaos that is today’s real estate market. Best of luck to you and thanks for your comment.–Diane

  4. I’ve seen the 800 caller ID on my phones the past few weeks but today, they finally decided to leave a voicemail. It sounded a bit odd since I haven’t really accomplished anything special that would get government or policital attention. So I googled the key words from the message and came across this blog. Well, I guess I’m one of many business owners on the “highest honor” list 🙂 Here’s a audio clip of my voice mail. CLICK HERE FOR VOICEMAIL AUDIO (MP3 format)

  5. Anonymous, thanks for providing the link to the MP3 of your voice mail message. Word for word, it’s identical to the one left for me back during the summer. The fact that this ploy has attracted negative media attention hasn’t seemed to deter them. And it must be paying off or they wouldn’t keep making these calls. Makes me wonder how many people have accepted this “honor” in the mistaken belief that it actually means something.

  6. Has anyone actually gone ahead and signed up to see what happens? I got my call today from Megan Fraizer. She was very nice. much better than most “telemarketers”, Good thing hubby didnt answer the phone, he would have fallen hook line and sinker. Must be people with an active or recent LLC for a small business. BTW…so NOT republican….do they call any republicans?

  7. ughh,They called me today too.What a joke…couldn’t disagree with the Republican Party’s positions more right now.It’s pretty funny, becuase I just switched my affiliation from Democrat to Independent a couple of weeks ago. They pounced on it!

  8. Well, I just got the same call from Cole’s office- I am a small business owner and a Democrat. Oddly enough Dunn & Bradstreet called last week and said my company profile was requested from 2 organizations. I Googled the phrase “Congressional Order of Merit” wondering what is was,and got here–what a complete scam! Obviously Cole’s office has much too much free time, and not trying to fix our government’s messes. I hope the voter’s take note in the next election as to what type of people they put into office. Saddly, the true representatives of the people’s voice really don’t exist anymore.–Tall guy in the West

  9. God! They left it for me at 8:01 am. I usually work until 3 or 4 am, and wake up at 10 or 11, so rarely receive calls this early. So I rushed to the phone in case it was an emergency and there they were with their congessional order of merit…ARGGGGGGGGG!

  10. This is really sad that people are fooled into thinking just maybe they are being recognized for work that they do as business owners. I own Aspen Consulting & Associates and thought we might be honored for all of our work fighting IDentity Theft. Haa, what a joke. Well, I think all of you hard working business owners deserve some credit, so here it is: great job, and Joe, I need a business partner, so check me out if you need a new career from the housing industry fall-out. I have satellite offices that can go nation-wide. Plenty of work for any honest person.TheIDentityTheftExperts.comBoise, Idaho

  11. They got me too – just listened to the voice mail. I run a non-profit providing services for environmental causes I thought it must be linked to that. But nope, just a scam. Aw well. I guess I’ll hope to be “honored” in some other way one day!

  12. Curiouser and curiouser. I do have a small (part-time) business, but they didn’t call me there — or on my cell phone, or at home. No, they called my day job work phone and left the voice mail on my extension there. I have no idea how they concluded this was the appropriate place to call and offer me this “honor.” It’s not like I keep my employment here a secret (I have online resumes posted in a few places), but I don’t mention this place by name on my small business website. And they would still have had to invest at least a few minutes in looking up the business phone number — because while all of those resumes clearly feature a direct contact phone number for me (not this one), they didn’t use it. This is just plain weird.–Another Diane

  13. I’m a State Government employee, not a business owner, and they tagged me. Sounded bogus to be nominated for such a “prestigeous” award by leaving a voicemail instead of trying again to get me in person.

  14. Got a call today and thought, yeah…what’s this REALLY about!? Googled the great ‘honor’, as well, which brought me to this site and had a good laugh and head shaking over people having had similar calls. JUST registered my business, too…I agree with other posters, “waste of time and money.”Sarah

  15. My boss emailed me this voice mail, since I used to work on Capitol Hill he asked me what this was all about. I had never heard of it before and then did a little googling and found out how pathetically desperate the RCC is for money. What’s funny is I’m sure they picked his name out of a list of CEOs or something, he’s not even an American Citizen!I thought about jerking him around a bit and letting him think it was a great honor they wanted to give him because of a big deal we just did, but I figured it was better for my career if I didn’t.

  16. I got the call last Thursday.I too googled the info and got here. I too just registered my business with Dun & Bradstreet.I am not a Republican, but I took the Representative up on the offer. Hey, it’s free, I can’t loose nothin’. Even after she asked me if I wanted to make a donation of $100 to $200 to the Republican Party and I nicely let her down, she was still thanking me. Advising that I would get invited to Republican Party events in my state and in Washington…..I thought to myself, great opportunity to NETWORK!I try to look at the glas half full….this may just be a way for us as business professionals to network as well!I’ll keep you all posted! Orchid

  17. I, too, received a phone message (isn’t anyone at the phone when it rings?) within the last 24 hours, similar to all of you. The caller’s name sounded like “Rita Deniston” calling on behalf of Representative Tom Cole. Same invitation to be recognized with a Congressional Order of Merit. Wikipedia has a thing or two to say about this award, including the fact that Al Jolson received it post-humously. I sent an email to Rep. Tom Cole asking if he was affiliated with this situation that didn’t sound very legitimate. Now, I may receive a Congressional Medal of Honor!! I have a small business that does not even break even; my day job keeps it going. There is absolutely no reason to be included for any meritorious award, advisory board, or as a financial contributor. I am a registered Republican, but am pretty liberal on issues – particularly in recent years. Well, thanks for sharing your experiences. I won’t have to stay awake tonight with visions of stardom.

  18. If they were willing to waste stamps in both directions on me I decided to at least let them know that I would not be sending them any money. I just support my candidate of choice, John McCain. After seeing the way the party and W (whom I now respect) jerked him around in 2000, I choose who I support directly.Oh wait… as I was typing I got an e-mail from Chairman Duncan offering me a stuffed elephant for $35! I’m holding out till the baked goods go on sale.

  19. I “googled” Congressional Order of Merit and found all that info, and your blog. I just received a call for my husband to receive this award as well, and I treated the lady like it was a scam. She was highly offended (of which it sounded so ridiculous, she should not have been offended). We recently closed our small business (in the entertainment industry, which THAT irony gave me an even BIGGER laugh), and couldn’t figure out WHY she’d be calling US, as we hadn’t really moved mountains in our industry to earn such a “prestigious” recognition. I just found this pretty funny….. My husband will definitely blow this off, for sure. And to think…all my numbers are on the national DO NOT CALL registry. I guess that doesn’t exempt government business, huh. Good times. 7

  20. I’m adding my 2-cents to every blog site about this racket! Reva (sp?) Sellers on behalf of Congressman Tom Cole called me; the NRCC wants to award me with the Congressional Order of Merit, blah, blah. If it hadn’t sounded like a “boiler room” in the background, I might not have Googled.Wasn’t my non-OK area code or non-Republican status a clue that I wouldn’t donate?!I can’t wait to see the ‘long’ list of names in the WSJ of the people who could actually afford the $500 Cole wants for his ad, etc. These days, I can’t even spare the cost of the return phone call to vent at them because I’m a Realtor. Reaganomics lives again!