NH GOP - Hodes Abuses Taxpayer Dollars again, Second Franked Mail Piece

CONCORD – For the second time this month, Congressman Paul Hodes has abused taxpayer dollars by sending another piece of taxpayer-funded campaign-style mail. The piece started arriving in New Hampshire homes yesterday and comes just days after Hodes refused to answer basic questions about his first piece, and a month after Speaker Nancy Pelosi instructed House Democrats to start sending more franked mail.

“Paul Hodes and Carol Shea Porter are abusing the franking privilege to send taxpayer-funded campaign mail. It’s one thing to use the frank to respond to constituents who contact you. It’s another to mass-mail tens of thousands of glossy brochures to targeted voters,” said New Hampshire Republican Chairman Fergus Cullen.

Hodes’s second piece focuses on veterans, the same subject as Rep. Carol Shea-Porter’s first piece. “Representatives Hodes and Shea-Porter must be scared to death about how their votes against funding our troops are being received by veterans and their families,” Cullen said.

Cullen reissued his set of questions Hodes and Shea-Porter refused to answer last week:

1. Who is the vendor that designed and created the mail pieces?

2. Does the vendor also do traditional campaign mail?

3. If so, do they only do mail for Democrats?

4. Since the mail was not sent to everyone (“postal patron”), it was obviously targeted to certain voters. Who was the mail sent to (example: just undeclared voters), who made the targeting decisions, and what was the targeting criteria?

5. Exactly how many pieces were sent?

6. Exactly what was the cost to taxpayers?

7. How much more taxpayer funded campaign mail will we see fromyour offices?

“The franking privilege goes back to the Early Republic when news traveled at the speed of a horse. In this era of the internet, cable news, broadcast radio and television and thousands of newspapers, the frank is outdated and badly in need of reform. Representatives Hodes and Shea-Porter are clearly not reformers. It’s staggering how quickly they adopted Washington’s ways as their own,” Cullen said.

“Nearly one year after recapturing control of Congress, House Democratic leaders will embark on a publicity blitz starting in November to combat a dismal 25 percent approval rating….Those leaders expect their members to hold more press conferences and town hall meetings, send out more franked mail and develop better online strategies. Majority Whip James Clyburn(D-S.C.) is expected to keep tabs on which Democrats are doing their part to play up their record, leadership aides said.” (Jonathan Kaplan , “Pelosi to launch PR Blitz to beat ’08 media frenzy,” The Hill , October23, 2007)

Fergus Cullen

Chairman, New Hampshire Republican Party

10 Water Street

Concord , NH 03301