After many Missourians in the 7th District received a mailing from Congressman Roy Blunt’s Washington, DC Congressional office, Missouri Democratic Party Chairman, Craig Hosmer, held a news conference today calling on Congressman Blunt to reimburse Missouri taxpayers for what amounts to campaign literature being sent out by his Congressional office.
Hosmer announced that the Missouri Democratic Party plans to file complaints with the House Franking Commission, House Ethics Committee and is also looking at possible FEC violations to see if a federal investigation is necessary.
“It was bad enough when corporate special interests and lobbyists were funding Congressman Blunt’s campaign, but now Missouri taxpayers are footing the bill,” said Craig Hosmer, Chairman of the Missouri Democratic Party. “Taxpayers deserve to know how many people Congressman Blunt sent this mailer to and how much it cost Missourians. We are calling on Congressman Blunt to reimburse taxpayers for the cost of his campaign literature – his campaign should pay for this kind of political mailing, not Missouri taxpayers.”
Recently the League of Conservation Voters had put out TV and radio ads stating the fact that Congressman Blunt has taken over $1 million from big oil and energy interests [click here to view], and the Missouri Democratic Party has also put out this video news release [click here to view] to set the record straight on Congressman Blunt’s 12 year voting record with big oil companies and energy corporate special interests, making Blunt’s mailer a direct response to a campaign matter, and a clear violation of Congressional Rules.
The franking privilege may only be used for matters of public concern or public service. (39 U.S.C. § 3210(3)(a).) It may not be used to solicit votes or contributions, to send mail regarding political campaigns or political parties, or to mail autobiographical or holiday greeting materials.
Blogger Jim Lee at BusPlunge was the first media source to write about the brochure:
At first I thought it was a campaign advertisement. After all, the most recent Rasmussen poll shows Congressman Blunt down 2 points to Robin Carnahan. I figured Roy was getting an early jump on the 2010 election.
The brochure looked to be a direct reply to that television ad mentioned about. It's called a "Energy Report and Issue Update" but the opening sentence is "Don't be fooled, I don't work for the interests of big oil or the energy industry."
Later in the flyer (four pages, four colors, 11" by 17") Blunt is quoted as saying "My record in Congress is being falsely reported to Missourians."
On the back page, above Roy's picture (when was that photo taken? 1986?), in small print, are two statements:
PUBLIC DOCUMENT / OFFICIAL BUSINESS
This mailing was prepared, published and mailed at taxpayer expense.