In the mail this past week you probably received a taxpayer funded pamphlet as you were flipping through your daily mail. These were the pamphlets that Carol Shea-Porter sent entitled, “Congressional Update” describing her plan for economic reform and her recent efforts to improve the economy. A large, unconventionally sized pamphlet is also more than likely to cost more than a flyer you may get for a Wal-Mart or Macy’s “One Day Only!” sale. On the front of the Shea-Porter flyer are her ideas and efforts- on the back, in small black font it reads, “This mailing was prepared, published and mailed at taxpayer expense.”
Clearly this was not an “update,” it was Carol Shea-Porter campaigning with our tax dollars. These flyers were mailed not only to each household, but to individual voters, creating a great waste of taxpayer money and paper. There is a thin line between maintaining a rapport with one’s constituents and electioneering. These pamphlets violate the idea of a “Congressional Update,” and show an abuse of a representative’s franking privileges. This is not the first time either, that Carol Shea-Porter has been singled out in the past as well for exploiting tax dollars for personal gain. Instead of keeping the public informed on the issues, she is using the “update” to propagate her own campaign. Hasn’t she spent enough of our money?
That being said, since the pamphlet is supposed to be a, “Congressional Update” does there really need to be more than one per household? There must be a more efficient, and most importantly, less costly way to distribute these papers. Many of her points in the pamphlet include keeping taxpayers from “paying the price” for acts such as bailouts. In this case, because of her elaborate, expensive design and excessive distribution, the taxpayers did pay the price. How is this supposed to help our deficit? What’s more, we paid the price for what was clearly Carol Shea-Porter propaganda. Simply put, whether we like it or not, we have already started to fund the Shea-Porter campaign!
I am running to eliminate waste and reel in unnecessary spending- unlike Carol Shea-Porter. This is a small example of how reduction in expenditures begins. While this a small issue relative to the federal deficit, only I will take that approach to all government spending in order to reduce our problem. As I have said before, all federal agency spending money must be audited to ensure that we are being fiscally responsible. This small, simple pamphlet change is a perfect example of a common sense adjustment to spending levels that I would strive to enact in Congress.