National Leadership Award from Congressman Tom Reynolds

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[Be sure to check out the update to this story.]

This morning on my voice mail was a voice mail (wav file) from Congressman Tom Reynold’s assistant informing me that he "wants to recognize me with a National Leadership Award" and to please call back.

Today was a busy day so I didn’t have a chance to call right back, but as I was looking at furniture for the new office and picking up the power cord I left at the Web marketing course I taught last night and writing up a few estimates for new clients I got to thinking….

  • Why does a congressman from New York want to recognize a business "leader" from Maine?
  • Why does the Business Advisory Council (a project of the National Republican Congressional Committee) want to recognize a democrat?
  • Who nominated me? Why do I deserve such an honor?

My curiosity piqued, this afternoon I Googled "National Leadership Award" and found this article about a fellow winner of the award…and a fellow democrat. In short, after winning the award, Ronald Silver was hit up for $300 and asked that they could include his name on a media blitz they were doing. Here’s a snippet:

"The question is, do you want a tax cut?" Matt asked frankly.

"Well, Matt, it depends," I said. "We’re on the verge of a war. Tax revenues are down. Unemployment is skyrocketing. The United States has one of the lowest tax rates in the civilized world. And gasoline prices are cheap enough to allow every Jones in the country to drive a Sport Utility Vehicle. I suppose it depends who’s getting the break, and who’s going to suffer for it. Now, what is the story on this award?" I wanted that plaque.

I told the story to Beth, my project manager and registered Republican (with non-partisan leanings), who asked incredulously, "Is Tom Reynolds selling National Leadership Awards for $300?" I didn’t think so, but I had to get to the bottom of this.

I returned to the voice message and called Brenda at the Business Advisory Council (BAC). Although I didn’t get Brenda, another woman looked me up and saw that I had in fact won the National Leadership Award and asked if she could play a message from Congressman Reynolds that would only last 35 seconds. I said yes.

After hearing the message that reminded me that I was being overtaxed by my government and that the government should be helping small businesses (I really wish I had a transcript of the exact recording) I wondered what the BAC’s take on Net Neutrality was.

When the next operator (a 3rd person, a man this time) picked up the phone I was about to ask him when he confirmed that I had won the award and it came with a gavel and a plaque. (Mmmmm…gavel.)

He also asked if I would be OK with the BAC using my name in a full-page ad they were taking out to support further tax cuts and to defeat the Democrats in the upcoming elections and would I make a donation of $500 to support this "media blitz."

I begged off and asked him if the BAC had a position on Net Neutrality. He said that the BAC was a project of the National Republican Congressional Committee. It seemed he was saying how could they support this as Republicans, but I informed him that Net Neutrality is a non-partisan issue and even the Christian Right supports Net Neutrality.

He said, "oh." I asked if he knew if the BAC had taken a position and he said he didn’t know. Then he asked if $300 donated anonymously would be easier for me to afford.

I told him that I didn’t feel comfortable making a donation or having my name appear in the ad, but I was definitely looking forward to the gavel to "keep my employees in line." He told me that I needed to go to the BAC Web site and fill out a form to get the paperwork started.

I must have missed the URL the first time he gave it to me because just before he hung up I told him that I couldn’t find the link to the form. He repeated the URL and this time told me to put "slash info" at the end. (It’s possible I didn’t hear this the first time.)

I’m not sure if you can register for a National Leadership Award without hearing from a congressional leader first, but if you want to try, here’s the sign up page.

I can’t wait for my gavel.

[Be sure to check out the update to this story.]

Rich Brooks
National Leadership Award Winner

Here are some related links:

  • Jonathan Braden

    Brenda really needs to work on her enthusiasm if she expects to sell those awards and gavels. You can get a much better deal on a gavel of your choice at http://www.thegavelstore.com/custom.html and you don't even have to put your name behind any political agenda.

  • Jonathan Braden

    Brenda really needs to work on her enthusiasm if she expects to sell those awards and gavels. You can get a much better deal on a gavel of your choice at http://www.thegavelstore.com/custom.html and you don't even have to put your name behind any political agenda.

  • http://www.mainewebreport.com Lance Dutson

    Rich this is great…
    Nice work following through on this, what a crock. As a registered Republican, this *bleeps* me off to no end. The ensuing silence by fellow GOP members will *bleep* me off even more.
    I'm going to register, I'll let you know if I 'win'. It would be real great work to get this little bit of information floating through the blogosphere. This seems , unfortunatly, part and parcel with the utter lies the right has been peddling about the Net Neutrality issue. At some point someone needs to understand that getting busted with flimsy deceptions will sink a movement.

  • http://www.mainewebreport.com Lance Dutson

    Rich this is great…
    Nice work following through on this, what a crock. As a registered Republican, this *bleeps* me off to no end. The ensuing silence by fellow GOP members will *bleep* me off even more.
    I'm going to register, I'll let you know if I 'win'. It would be real great work to get this little bit of information floating through the blogosphere. This seems , unfortunatly, part and parcel with the utter lies the right has been peddling about the Net Neutrality issue. At some point someone needs to understand that getting busted with flimsy deceptions will sink a movement.

  • http://www.thecodeworksinc.com Sara Moss

    Thanks for the write-up and for saving me the agro of looking into this myself. Glad to know that my fellow award winners are so smart :) I can't even imagine the dip in productivity resulting from this hoax. Thanks again.

  • http://www.thecodeworksinc.com Sara Moss

    Thanks for the write-up and for saving me the agro of looking into this myself. Glad to know that my fellow award winners are so smart :) I can't even imagine the dip in productivity resulting from this hoax. Thanks again.

  • http://www.flyteblog.com Rich Brooks

    Sara,

    Just let me know when you get your gavel, OK?

  • http://www.flyteblog.com Rich Brooks

    Sara,

    Just let me know when you get your gavel, OK?

  • Carolyn Gravel

    My husband just received a phone call from a Paul T. who says he is Congressman Tom Reynolds assistant and that they want to award my husband with a National Leadership Award. We were also confused by this phone call and so, I got on-line and found this information. We have no intentions of returning this call! Our last name is Gravel…we don't need a gavel!!! Also, our business is new and times are tough, maybe he would like to make a donation to keep our business up and running!

  • Carolyn Gravel

    My husband just received a phone call from a Paul T. who says he is Congressman Tom Reynolds assistant and that they want to award my husband with a National Leadership Award. We were also confused by this phone call and so, I got on-line and found this information. We have no intentions of returning this call! Our last name is Gravel…we don't need a gavel!!! Also, our business is new and times are tough, maybe he would like to make a donation to keep our business up and running!

  • Laura Brodeur

    Thanks for this info. I too just received a call today regarding the award. Even though my curiosity was piqued, it also spared me a call back!

  • Laura Brodeur

    Thanks for this info. I too just received a call today regarding the award. Even though my curiosity was piqued, it also spared me a call back!

  • Cheryl Carnes

    I recieved my call today! Of course the first thing I did was to go onto "Tom Reynolds" web site but imagine this… there is nothing about the "Business Advisory Council" or this wonderful prestigious award I won!!! How can we stop this???? Has anyone contacted him directly??

  • Cheryl Carnes

    I recieved my call today! Of course the first thing I did was to go onto "Tom Reynolds" web site but imagine this… there is nothing about the "Business Advisory Council" or this wonderful prestigious award I won!!! How can we stop this???? Has anyone contacted him directly??

  • J. Alexander

    I received an identical call today at my parents'home number, of all places; they forwarded me the message. I read these posts here before calling back, and was able to get some info out of a nervous call center worker when I told him that a number of blogs had already exposed this as a political telemarketing SCAM. He said he works for INFOCISION of Akron, OH (www.infocision.com) and that their client, the Republican National Congressional Committee, hired them to make the calls. I know I'm raising cain with Infocision, the RNCC, and with Tom Reynolds' office the MINUTE it opens up tomorrow morning!!! In case you would like to call and toy with them as they have done with us, the inbound number at Infocision for the Nat'l Leadership Award Scam is 1-866-338-8289. Let's show them the wrath of the blogosphere when they try to pull such idiotic stunts as asking for money for fake awards!!!!!!

  • J. Alexander

    I received an identical call today at my parents'home number, of all places; they forwarded me the message. I read these posts here before calling back, and was able to get some info out of a nervous call center worker when I told him that a number of blogs had already exposed this as a political telemarketing SCAM. He said he works for INFOCISION of Akron, OH (www.infocision.com) and that their client, the Republican National Congressional Committee, hired them to make the calls. I know I'm raising cain with Infocision, the RNCC, and with Tom Reynolds' office the MINUTE it opens up tomorrow morning!!! In case you would like to call and toy with them as they have done with us, the inbound number at Infocision for the Nat'l Leadership Award Scam is 1-866-338-8289. Let's show them the wrath of the blogosphere when they try to pull such idiotic stunts as asking for money for fake awards!!!!!!

  • Melissa

    Thanks for a good laugh. What a scam!

  • Melissa

    Thanks for a good laugh. What a scam!

  • THOMAS FRYE

    I SENT A FAX TO THE CONGRESSMAN
    TO LET HIM KNOW ABOUT THIS.

  • THOMAS FRYE

    I SENT A FAX TO THE CONGRESSMAN
    TO LET HIM KNOW ABOUT THIS.

  • Tres

    I thought this smelled something of fish. Why would Tom be contacting me today 11/13 ? A leadership award?..I must be special. I am apalled that this scam is used by our trusty representitives. Net neutrality is a false agenda and the good old dollar is once again supreme. Thanks for the warning !

  • Tres

    I thought this smelled something of fish. Why would Tom be contacting me today 11/13 ? A leadership award?..I must be special. I am apalled that this scam is used by our trusty representitives. Net neutrality is a false agenda and the good old dollar is once again supreme. Thanks for the warning !

  • JFriday

    I got the call too, and since I did not know Tom Reynolds, and could nto think of any reason why i would be considered a national leader, I did a quick search. Thanks to you all. NOw I don't have to cal Paul back to find out what he was talking about.

  • JFriday

    I got the call too, and since I did not know Tom Reynolds, and could nto think of any reason why i would be considered a national leader, I did a quick search. Thanks to you all. NOw I don't have to cal Paul back to find out what he was talking about.

  • Mary Stephens

    I had a simialar message left on my business telephone here in South Carolina. How would a Congressman from New York know anything about me?? Leadership award? Maybe he has me confused with my daughter in New York City, oh no, I remember, she is a democrat!

  • Mary Stephens

    I had a simialar message left on my business telephone here in South Carolina. How would a Congressman from New York know anything about me?? Leadership award? Maybe he has me confused with my daughter in New York City, oh no, I remember, she is a democrat!

  • Holley Coppetti

    I received my message from Judith on the 11th here in California and I also was wondering how I was selected to receive what sounded like a very prestigous award. It's sad that we have to take up our valuable time to research calls such as these to make sure we do not fall victim to scams!!! Thanks for the info.

  • Holley Coppetti

    I received my message from Judith on the 11th here in California and I also was wondering how I was selected to receive what sounded like a very prestigous award. It's sad that we have to take up our valuable time to research calls such as these to make sure we do not fall victim to scams!!! Thanks for the info.

  • Elisabeth Sloan

    We had a very similiar call this afternoon for my husband, an active democrat and leader in our community of Charlottesville, Virginia. Thanks to this posting I will consider the direct ordering of the gavel and award, as oppossed to supporting any add by a Republican New York Congressman.

  • Elisabeth Sloan

    We had a very similiar call this afternoon for my husband, an active democrat and leader in our community of Charlottesville, Virginia. Thanks to this posting I will consider the direct ordering of the gavel and award, as oppossed to supporting any add by a Republican New York Congressman.

  • Charlie Davis

    I received a message on my answering machine three days ago "This message is for Charles Davis my name is Brenda Conley with Congressman Tom Reynolds and the National Republican Congressional committee in Washington. We want to recognize you with our National Leadership Award and I need to speak with you about a press release we want to send out to you." The thought of this is so absurb I didn't call back. So this morning I received the message again on my answering machine, this time from a John Ambrose.

    I am also self-employed, registered Democrat, in Maryland.

    The only way I thought I could receive this award is if someone else contributed lots of money to the Republican National Congressional Committee and used my identity as the source.

  • Charlie Davis

    I received a message on my answering machine three days ago "This message is for Charles Davis my name is Brenda Conley with Congressman Tom Reynolds and the National Republican Congressional committee in Washington. We want to recognize you with our National Leadership Award and I need to speak with you about a press release we want to send out to you." The thought of this is so absurb I didn't call back. So this morning I received the message again on my answering machine, this time from a John Ambrose.

    I am also self-employed, registered Democrat, in Maryland.

    The only way I thought I could receive this award is if someone else contributed lots of money to the Republican National Congressional Committee and used my identity as the source.

  • Vicki Schroeder

    After 3 recorded messages, my husband cornered me in the bathroom this morning and made me take this call. I am just starting a business, haven't even completed my marketing plan. So this "award" seemed truly absurd. Brenda told me that it didn't matter that my business was brand new, I could still serve as an honorary chairperson. I didn't give her the chance to get to the $300. This strikes me as a perfect example of all that is wrong in politics. Everything is show and no substance.
    Thanks for sharing your experiences. Perhaps we should all send gavels to Tom.

  • Vicki Schroeder

    After 3 recorded messages, my husband cornered me in the bathroom this morning and made me take this call. I am just starting a business, haven't even completed my marketing plan. So this "award" seemed truly absurd. Brenda told me that it didn't matter that my business was brand new, I could still serve as an honorary chairperson. I didn't give her the chance to get to the $300. This strikes me as a perfect example of all that is wrong in politics. Everything is show and no substance.
    Thanks for sharing your experiences. Perhaps we should all send gavels to Tom.

  • Ruth Fuchs

    I just got home from a meeting and received a message on my voicemail from Congressman Tom Reynolds office regarding the 'Leadership Award' and asking me to call back. I also thought why would a New York congressman (Republican) want to give an award to someone living in Michigan and is a registered Democrat. I decided to 'google' Tom Reynolds and came up with this website and found I wasn't the only one. Who knows, maybe Nancy Pilosi will really clean up Congress and in particular the Republican party. But I will try to get my award and my gavel!!

  • Ruth Fuchs

    I just got home from a meeting and received a message on my voicemail from Congressman Tom Reynolds office regarding the 'Leadership Award' and asking me to call back. I also thought why would a New York congressman (Republican) want to give an award to someone living in Michigan and is a registered Democrat. I decided to 'google' Tom Reynolds and came up with this website and found I wasn't the only one. Who knows, maybe Nancy Pilosi will really clean up Congress and in particular the Republican party. But I will try to get my award and my gavel!!

  • Bill

    I called the number they left and talked to a person with a very thick Hispanic accent and he finally fessed up that he was selling dish network satellite systems. Maybe I dialed the wrong number or maybe they are just getting more despearate.

  • Bill

    I called the number they left and talked to a person with a very thick Hispanic accent and he finally fessed up that he was selling dish network satellite systems. Maybe I dialed the wrong number or maybe they are just getting more despearate.

  • Pete Paulson

    I am a Republican and yet this kind of stuff borders on being unconscionable. I have won a couple of Leadership Awards in my profession, but I couldn't understand how a Congressman from N.Y. would be remotely interested. If they want money for the National Republican Committee, be honest and forthright. But, to try to dupe people into believing they are getting a phoney award for cash is just wrong. The person that called my office and spoke to my receptionist was "Kim". Telephone number I was to call back is 866-338-8289. I joked with the staff before I got onto the internet to check this out, "The Congressman probably want a donation".

  • Pete Paulson

    I am a Republican and yet this kind of stuff borders on being unconscionable. I have won a couple of Leadership Awards in my profession, but I couldn't understand how a Congressman from N.Y. would be remotely interested. If they want money for the National Republican Committee, be honest and forthright. But, to try to dupe people into believing they are getting a phoney award for cash is just wrong. The person that called my office and spoke to my receptionist was "Kim". Telephone number I was to call back is 866-338-8289. I joked with the staff before I got onto the internet to check this out, "The Congressman probably want a donation".

  • Jason Walker

    Well add my name to the list; I too received this phone call. I just started my business and haven't really done anything that merits an award. That alone made me skeptical that it was a gimmick. Thanks for saving me time, I quickly found you site and confirmed my suspicions.

  • Jason Walker

    Well add my name to the list; I too received this phone call. I just started my business and haven't really done anything that merits an award. That alone made me skeptical that it was a gimmick. Thanks for saving me time, I quickly found you site and confirmed my suspicions.

  • Tom Squires

    I too received a call from the Congressmen's assistant and became suspicious because I never win anything although I don't have a gavel and Googled the congressmens name and found wonderful people out there that saved me $500. Thanks

  • Tom Squires

    I too received a call from the Congressmen's assistant and became suspicious because I never win anything although I don't have a gavel and Googled the congressmens name and found wonderful people out there that saved me $500. Thanks

  • Linda Wynn

    I received three such messages on my new business voice mail in the last three or more weeks. I did not and will not call back. I have been a registered democrat for the last 14 years so I thought this was odd. Thanks to your site I won't entertain these calls.

  • Linda Wynn

    I received three such messages on my new business voice mail in the last three or more weeks. I did not and will not call back. I have been a registered democrat for the last 14 years so I thought this was odd. Thanks to your site I won't entertain these calls.

  • http://www.thesubversive.com/ Jim Crispino

    I just got off the phone with these same folks. They asked for $500.

    I knew it had to be a scam, I was juts waiting for the part about sending them money before I hung up.

    I would like to see some of my tax dollars spent by the FBI putting these scammers behind bars. :)

    Jim

  • http://www.thesubversive.com/ Jim Crispino

    I just got off the phone with these same folks. They asked for $500.

    I knew it had to be a scam, I was juts waiting for the part about sending them money before I hung up.

    I would like to see some of my tax dollars spent by the FBI putting these scammers behind bars. :)

    Jim

  • David

    Got the call yesterday. Is ANYONE surprised this is from the Republicans??? Hopefully this Reynolds clown will get voted out like his buddies. Another scumbag

  • David

    Got the call yesterday. Is ANYONE surprised this is from the Republicans??? Hopefully this Reynolds clown will get voted out like his buddies. Another scumbag

  • http://www.flyteblog.com Rich Brooks

    I don't think this is a Republican thing, I think this is a politician thing.

    The way our country and our politics work (or don't), politicians need insane amounts of money to run their campaigns.

    A decade or so ago Dems were kicked out of congress because they got too comfortable with power and became corrupt. This past year it was the Republicans. If the Dems don't learn from history….

    Besides, I think we need to remember what's important here: I'm still waiting on my gavel.

  • http://www.flyteblog.com Rich Brooks

    I don't think this is a Republican thing, I think this is a politician thing.

    The way our country and our politics work (or don't), politicians need insane amounts of money to run their campaigns.

    A decade or so ago Dems were kicked out of congress because they got too comfortable with power and became corrupt. This past year it was the Republicans. If the Dems don't learn from history….

    Besides, I think we need to remember what's important here: I'm still waiting on my gavel.

  • Linda Egan

    My employer, an attorney in northwest FL also was given this honor. When I asked who recommended him, I was told they had a list of small businesses and that the Congressman wanted to honor these businesses in FL. In order to get the reward he would have to serve as Chairman on the Small Business Counsel… this is a crock! Has anyone bothered to forward to the White House? No gavel promised here, but then, he's not getting through to my boss either! Is this our hard-earned tax dollars working… I sure hope not!

  • Linda Egan

    My employer, an attorney in northwest FL also was given this honor. When I asked who recommended him, I was told they had a list of small businesses and that the Congressman wanted to honor these businesses in FL. In order to get the reward he would have to serve as Chairman on the Small Business Counsel… this is a crock! Has anyone bothered to forward to the White House? No gavel promised here, but then, he's not getting through to my boss either! Is this our hard-earned tax dollars working… I sure hope not!

  • Angelique Johnson

    Thank you so much for your article. I received a voice message today from Debra Cocheren (866-338-8289) saying I won the National Leadership Award and to call back as soon as possible so she can get a press release to me. This message came as a surprise as I pondered to myself what did I do to deserve such an award from a Congressman in Washington. I called my mother and she immediately did not believe it. So before calling back I thought I'd surf the web to see if this is legitimate and you all have just killed my curiosity and saved me time from listening to the political spill. I think its a crime shame that Republicans are stooping this low to lure and deceive people into paying money to their party. These phone calls have been going on since as far back as 1992. I plan to write my congressman in hopes of putting an end to this crime. Thanks again and keep sharing!

  • Angelique Johnson

    Thank you so much for your article. I received a voice message today from Debra Cocheren (866-338-8289) saying I won the National Leadership Award and to call back as soon as possible so she can get a press release to me. This message came as a surprise as I pondered to myself what did I do to deserve such an award from a Congressman in Washington. I called my mother and she immediately did not believe it. So before calling back I thought I'd surf the web to see if this is legitimate and you all have just killed my curiosity and saved me time from listening to the political spill. I think its a crime shame that Republicans are stooping this low to lure and deceive people into paying money to their party. These phone calls have been going on since as far back as 1992. I plan to write my congressman in hopes of putting an end to this crime. Thanks again and keep sharing!

  • Charles Williams

    I would like to thanks all you guy's for saving me the agro, however i was feeling a little big shoty when my wife first called me and told me about,,,"busted"

  • Charles Williams

    I would like to thanks all you guy's for saving me the agro, however i was feeling a little big shoty when my wife first called me and told me about,,,"busted"

  • Joyce

    Twice this week on my voice mail I recieved this same call. The call was from…guess who? Congressman Reynold's office…for the same award that everyone else has been nominated for. We live in South Florida. The call was for our 34 year old son that owned a small drilling business. Our son passed away in August and we cancelled his business license the end of August. I am not very happy with this call. Our son had not lived here for 12 years so why they are calling here I have no idea. But I will contact the Congressman and let him know my thoughts….whether it is a scam from his office or anyone else. I do not appreciate it.

    I would like to thank you for the information that you provided and saved me the trouble. I don't need anymore.

  • Joyce

    Twice this week on my voice mail I recieved this same call. The call was from…guess who? Congressman Reynold's office…for the same award that everyone else has been nominated for. We live in South Florida. The call was for our 34 year old son that owned a small drilling business. Our son passed away in August and we cancelled his business license the end of August. I am not very happy with this call. Our son had not lived here for 12 years so why they are calling here I have no idea. But I will contact the Congressman and let him know my thoughts….whether it is a scam from his office or anyone else. I do not appreciate it.

    I would like to thank you for the information that you provided and saved me the trouble. I don't need anymore.

  • J DJ Archmage

    Yeah me too. I just started a DJ Business up here in Michigan. And I get a letter months ago and then a call. Same shit as above. 500 bones and an ad in the wall street journal. So I check the site they refer me to and it's just a run around. Hey I'm a DJ and I vote Libertarian and also listen to Alex Jones. Somebody should report these fools and have them shut down! If you want call 1-866-338-8289 and chew them out or pretend and have some fun. AND REMEMBER I'm a leader, you are all leaders. Don't pay um squat! Much thanks to all the LEADERS who looked into this scam and posted. No answers NO TAXES

  • J DJ Archmage

    Yeah me too. I just started a DJ Business up here in Michigan. And I get a letter months ago and then a call. Same shit as above. 500 bones and an ad in the wall street journal. So I check the site they refer me to and it's just a run around. Hey I'm a DJ and I vote Libertarian and also listen to Alex Jones. Somebody should report these fools and have them shut down! If you want call 1-866-338-8289 and chew them out or pretend and have some fun. AND REMEMBER I'm a leader, you are all leaders. Don't pay um squat! Much thanks to all the LEADERS who looked into this scam and posted. No answers NO TAXES

  • Doreen

    I just got the same call. National Leadership award, from Congressman Reynolds, but this one with a twist. This is because I am a woman :). Do you believe that? I had to check this out, and found all these postings. So thanks for saving me a whole lot of research. What a scam? Dont they have anything else to do with taxpayer dollars?

  • Doreen

    I just got the same call. National Leadership award, from Congressman Reynolds, but this one with a twist. This is because I am a woman :). Do you believe that? I had to check this out, and found all these postings. So thanks for saving me a whole lot of research. What a scam? Dont they have anything else to do with taxpayer dollars?

  • Emily

    I answer the phone for the company I work for and my boss gets these all the time…anyone got the fax to go with the call??? We never call back cuz we know it's a scam…I decided to see who Tom Reynolds was today (in the past haven't cared) and saw he was from NY…we are in Nebraska!! ha….thanks for this site, it helped me figure this out a bit more (confirmed our assumptions!)

  • Emily

    I answer the phone for the company I work for and my boss gets these all the time…anyone got the fax to go with the call??? We never call back cuz we know it's a scam…I decided to see who Tom Reynolds was today (in the past haven't cared) and saw he was from NY…we are in Nebraska!! ha….thanks for this site, it helped me figure this out a bit more (confirmed our assumptions!)

  • Susan

    My boss received this message on our office's answering machine this morning. I found it very odd that a National Leadership Award had a toll free number, and figured it had to be some kind of scam (a little paranoia is a good thing :-) A bit of Googling led me here, and thanks very much for the confirmation and further information. Just thought I'd post and let all know that the scam's made it to south Florida. (We're in West Palm Beach). My boss is going to very disappointed to not get that gavel though… ;-)

  • Susan

    My boss received this message on our office's answering machine this morning. I found it very odd that a National Leadership Award had a toll free number, and figured it had to be some kind of scam (a little paranoia is a good thing :-) A bit of Googling led me here, and thanks very much for the confirmation and further information. Just thought I'd post and let all know that the scam's made it to south Florida. (We're in West Palm Beach). My boss is going to very disappointed to not get that gavel though… ;-)

  • http://www.laydownyourguns.com Steve

    I am a registered Democrat which lives in New York. I received a voice message from Wanda Hessell on 12-8-06 saying I won the National Leadership Award. I was definitely suprised and convinced that I finally was getting recognized in the community for my actions and achievements. I thought to myself this is sounds like a very prestigious award and need to research previous winners so that I can prepare my speech for this call. To my suprise, I found this site. I am now heartbroken. Thanks for the information. I have no plans on contacting Tom Reynolds or his scammers. I will continue on my journey for greatness.

  • http://www.laydownyourguns.com Steve

    I am a registered Democrat which lives in New York. I received a voice message from Wanda Hessell on 12-8-06 saying I won the National Leadership Award. I was definitely suprised and convinced that I finally was getting recognized in the community for my actions and achievements. I thought to myself this is sounds like a very prestigious award and need to research previous winners so that I can prepare my speech for this call. To my suprise, I found this site. I am now heartbroken. Thanks for the information. I have no plans on contacting Tom Reynolds or his scammers. I will continue on my journey for greatness.

  • Beverley

    I have received this message two times from a Stacy Williamson. I also wondered why I should be receiving such an award. I never bothered to call back–thank goodness. I, also, an struggling to get a new business up and going, and the last place my money will be going, is to a politician for any reason!!!!!

  • Beverley

    I have received this message two times from a Stacy Williamson. I also wondered why I should be receiving such an award. I never bothered to call back–thank goodness. I, also, an struggling to get a new business up and going, and the last place my money will be going, is to a politician for any reason!!!!!

  • Bradley

    I am happy I received the call it has reminded me to do something I forgot to do for literally 20 years: withdraw my memebership in the Republican Party, and not join the Democratic Party. I prefer flying undetected and independent. And thank you for the blog!

  • Bradley

    I am happy I received the call it has reminded me to do something I forgot to do for literally 20 years: withdraw my memebership in the Republican Party, and not join the Democratic Party. I prefer flying undetected and independent. And thank you for the blog!

  • Julie Dresch

    I read this post after receiving the call for my prestigious award and as a Democrat in the State of Washington, I decided to call and question them further on their tactics. After my line of questioning, I told them I was a Democrat and they informed me I shouldn't have been on the list for this award and hung up on me. I can't believe this is for REAL!!!!

  • Julie Dresch

    I read this post after receiving the call for my prestigious award and as a Democrat in the State of Washington, I decided to call and question them further on their tactics. After my line of questioning, I told them I was a Democrat and they informed me I shouldn't have been on the list for this award and hung up on me. I can't believe this is for REAL!!!!

  • Esperanza H

    I just recieved a call… Thanks for the direct link but it seems to go nowhere when you click the "submit" bar it opens the same page, so maybe there covering there butts, because if everyone goes and signs up it will TAKE MONEY away from them. SO I hope everyone signs up and they end up having to shell out more money than they get!

  • Esperanza H

    I just recieved a call… Thanks for the direct link but it seems to go nowhere when you click the "submit" bar it opens the same page, so maybe there covering there butts, because if everyone goes and signs up it will TAKE MONEY away from them. SO I hope everyone signs up and they end up having to shell out more money than they get!

  • Myrna

    My secretary just put through a call from Tom Reynolds' office. WOW!! I did a Google search and came up here.

    Well, guess what? I've been self-employed for years, I'm about to retire and I'm sitting here in the middle of an Illinois corn field. I don't need awards from some congressman in New York and I already got a gavel from Rotary.

    I'm also old enough to remember that I got identical calls to this some time ago and from another congressman. His name was/is (drum roll)….. ta DAH — are you ready for this??? — TOM DE LAY!!

    How about THAT folks? And there's nothing new under the sun. Just tell 'em not to waste your time!

  • Myrna

    My secretary just put through a call from Tom Reynolds' office. WOW!! I did a Google search and came up here.

    Well, guess what? I've been self-employed for years, I'm about to retire and I'm sitting here in the middle of an Illinois corn field. I don't need awards from some congressman in New York and I already got a gavel from Rotary.

    I'm also old enough to remember that I got identical calls to this some time ago and from another congressman. His name was/is (drum roll)….. ta DAH — are you ready for this??? — TOM DE LAY!!

    How about THAT folks? And there's nothing new under the sun. Just tell 'em not to waste your time!

  • Ernest Cook

    I also rewceived a call. What an outrage, selling awards. This guy should be blasted out of office!

  • Ernest Cook

    I also rewceived a call. What an outrage, selling awards. This guy should be blasted out of office!

  • Ginger Pugliese

    I just got the same call from Brenda today…googling is a wonderful thing. If both parties spent this much energy on resolving some of our more important issues, there wouldn't be time for any scams..

  • Ginger Pugliese

    I just got the same call from Brenda today…googling is a wonderful thing. If both parties spent this much energy on resolving some of our more important issues, there wouldn't be time for any scams..

  • Cathy

    I received a call today frm Betty Thomlinson with congressman Tom Reynolds. My husband is to call her back so they can get more information for his pressrelease. I asked her twice who she was and who was the congressman. We live in Georgia. So I got on the net and here I am with the rest of the honored folks!(ha)Sounds like a scam to me.

  • Cathy

    I received a call today frm Betty Thomlinson with congressman Tom Reynolds. My husband is to call her back so they can get more information for his pressrelease. I asked her twice who she was and who was the congressman. We live in Georgia. So I got on the net and here I am with the rest of the honored folks!(ha)Sounds like a scam to me.

  • Kevin Richmond

    I just got the call at 8:35 am on 1/2/07.This is one of the biggest political scams I have ever heard of.This congressman Tom Reynolds should be ashamed of himself.I live in Ponte Vedra Florida and the idiot {Walter Stevens} that called me wasn't even sure that Reynolds was a congressman from New York!!

  • Kevin Richmond

    I just got the call at 8:35 am on 1/2/07.This is one of the biggest political scams I have ever heard of.This congressman Tom Reynolds should be ashamed of himself.I live in Ponte Vedra Florida and the idiot {Walter Stevens} that called me wasn't even sure that Reynolds was a congressman from New York!!

  • joanne green

    I just got off the phone with the "National Republican Congressional Committee–Business Advisory Council" –they should be ashamed of themselves—but they are shameless—totally without ethics-I am calling my Congressman today and letting him know of this–even my Republican colleque is horrified! First of all I am not a small business owner –I am a social worker and run a non-profit mental health organization–and I would love to give those republicans a piece of my mind! scumbags.

  • joanne green

    I just got off the phone with the "National Republican Congressional Committee–Business Advisory Council" –they should be ashamed of themselves—but they are shameless—totally without ethics-I am calling my Congressman today and letting him know of this–even my Republican colleque is horrified! First of all I am not a small business owner –I am a social worker and run a non-profit mental health organization–and I would love to give those republicans a piece of my mind! scumbags.

  • Kimberly D. Martin

    I intercepted a call to my boss from Roberta Stephens in…Cong. Tom Reynolds' office and was as surprised as anyone that this Californian was being recognized by a New Yorker…boy, is this a case of the Internet working in the best way it is supposed to, and a case of politics (regardless of your affiliation) as usual.
    I hope we all take note and make sure we are excersising our right to vote and then voting in a way that will (at least) curb this continued abuse of power. Good grief, Charlie Brown!

  • Kimberly D. Martin

    I intercepted a call to my boss from Roberta Stephens in…Cong. Tom Reynolds' office and was as surprised as anyone that this Californian was being recognized by a New Yorker…boy, is this a case of the Internet working in the best way it is supposed to, and a case of politics (regardless of your affiliation) as usual.
    I hope we all take note and make sure we are excersising our right to vote and then voting in a way that will (at least) curb this continued abuse of power. Good grief, Charlie Brown!

  • Jim Hammer

    We also received the call this morning in the 8:00 am hour from Brenda Weathercall from Tom Reynolds' office. We were told to call the 866-338-8289 number about a press release and the fact that there was an award.
    We are so glad this blog exists! What a scam, and we are going to make some noise about it.

  • Jim Hammer

    We also received the call this morning in the 8:00 am hour from Brenda Weathercall from Tom Reynolds' office. We were told to call the 866-338-8289 number about a press release and the fact that there was an award.
    We are so glad this blog exists! What a scam, and we are going to make some noise about it.

  • Jim

    I visited the link to the "page that starts the paperwork" to get the award, and it mentions NOTHING about this supposed award! It is a sign-up for an "honorary chairperson" position within the Business Advisory Council. So I guess if you don't giuve the money, you don't get the award… awww, and it meant so MUCH to me.

  • Jim

    I visited the link to the "page that starts the paperwork" to get the award, and it mentions NOTHING about this supposed award! It is a sign-up for an "honorary chairperson" position within the Business Advisory Council. So I guess if you don't giuve the money, you don't get the award… awww, and it meant so MUCH to me.

  • Ann

    My husband has received at least 3 calls since December about "the award" and we have been ignoring it. After this last call I decided to get on the web to investigte because this does sound real strange since my husband has only been in business for a few months and he doesn't have a large client base so we didn't know how a comgressman would have heard about him. I'm so glad I found this site, it just comfirms my views of politics and how they try to screw the people trying to make a living for themselves.

  • Ann

    My husband has received at least 3 calls since December about "the award" and we have been ignoring it. After this last call I decided to get on the web to investigte because this does sound real strange since my husband has only been in business for a few months and he doesn't have a large client base so we didn't know how a comgressman would have heard about him. I'm so glad I found this site, it just comfirms my views of politics and how they try to screw the people trying to make a living for themselves.

  • Barb

    I also, received a call this morning, immediately Googled the good Congressman and found this blog- my first choice- always the best choice. I also fit the profile- new business owner, female,from PA- not NY. Come on- what informed person would not go to the Net and check this out? I however, will put out some info to the "real" leadership groups I am affiliated with to let them know about this scam and then call a few friends in the Republican party and see what can be done about this.

    I am highly insulted by these scams- I am sick of being targeted by these people who can't be bothered to get a real job like the rest of us. Grrrrrr….

  • Barb

    I also, received a call this morning, immediately Googled the good Congressman and found this blog- my first choice- always the best choice. I also fit the profile- new business owner, female,from PA- not NY. Come on- what informed person would not go to the Net and check this out? I however, will put out some info to the "real" leadership groups I am affiliated with to let them know about this scam and then call a few friends in the Republican party and see what can be done about this.

    I am highly insulted by these scams- I am sick of being targeted by these people who can't be bothered to get a real job like the rest of us. Grrrrrr….

  • Susan Kilcrease

    You got a bargain! They asked me for $1000 for my award! Gavel and all, meetings in Washington (I pay my own way), press release to local paper….I asked if I still got the award if I didn’t make a donation, and she said “yes, but no gavel, press release, plaque, or meeting.” (In other words, no award) When I got the original phone message, I googled the RNC and called them directly to confirm that this woman worked for them and the award was legit. I was told YES by the RNC. This made me sick to the core. I changed from Red to Blue that day.

  • Susan Kilcrease

    You got a bargain! They asked me for $1000 for my award! Gavel and all, meetings in Washington (I pay my own way), press release to local paper….I asked if I still got the award if I didn’t make a donation, and she said “yes, but no gavel, press release, plaque, or meeting.” (In other words, no award) When I got the original phone message, I googled the RNC and called them directly to confirm that this woman worked for them and the award was legit. I was told YES by the RNC. This made me sick to the core. I changed from Red to Blue that day.

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