We’re still searching for Jimbo in the flesh, but he gave us a sign that he still exists last month.
By now, you’ve probably received Jim Moran’s mailer sent in August if you’re in the 8th District. In August 2010, Moran sent a similar mailer at taxpayers’ expense. It’s called the franking privilege – it allows members of Congress to send mail funded by taxpayer dollars to their constituents for legitimate purposes. Problem is, Moran doesn’t use it for legitimate purposes.
The franking privilege cannot be used within 90 days prior to an election, for obvious reasons – to prevent members of Congress from bombarding constituents with taxpayer-financed campaign mailers.
Moran’s office always obeys the letter of the law – but definitely not the spirit.
This year’s election is on November 6th, so according to the law members of Congress cannot send franked mail from August 8th, 2012 – November 6th, 2012. I received my mailer the first week of August – so the mailer was sent mere days before the deadline.
It’s a blatant puff piece with lots of pretty colors and graphics, thinly disguised as a “legislative update”. Click the images below to see the first and last pages of the mailer, and look at the bottom of the last page for that tiny disclaimer: “This mailing was prepared, published, and mailed at taxpayer expense.”
How outrageous. Moran’s strategy – cut it as close to the deadline as possible, so you can shake down the taxpayers to fund your campaign outreach, even though you received $800,000 in contributions – half from PACs like your defense contractor buddies – just through June 31st, not counting July.
But let’s give credit to Moran for one thing – the 2010 mailer was 16 pages long; this year’s was only 4. (As if that makes it any better.)