NH GOP - Hodes, Shea-Porter Used Tax Dollars For Political Purposes

CONCORD – Fergus Cullen, Chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party, releases the following statement in response to today’s stories in the Union Leader concerning Representatives Paul Hodes and Carol Shea-Porter’s use of franked mail:

“Today’s Union Leader stories make clear that Representatives Paul Hodes and Carol Shea-Porter have used taxpayer dollars to send targeted, politically-driven mail from their Federal congressional offices at taxpayer expense.”

“They purchased a political list from the New Hampshire Democratic Party using tax dollars, and used that list to send taxpayer-funded mail to targeted voters.”

“Hodes, Shea-Porter, and the New Hampshire Democrats can’t have it both ways. New Hampshire Democrats say it’s legal to sell the voter file for campaign-related purposes. If that’s true, what were Hodes and Shea-Porter doing with the list in their congressional offices except using it for campaign-related purposes at taxpayer expense?”

KEY EXCERPTS FROM THE UNION LEADER STORIES:

HODES, SHEA-PORTER USED A POLITICAL LIST TO SEND FRANKED MAIL

  • “Both congressional offices last year directly or indirectly purchased from the state Democratic Party the state-generated voter mailing lists, which, under state law, should be made available only to entities that use them solely for ‘election or political campaign’ purposes.” (John DiStaso, “Mailings Targeted To Boost Political Fortunes?” The Union Leader, January 4, 2008)
  • “Shea-Porter purchased the list directly from the Democratic Party last May for $5,000, according to official House disbursement records and the state party's financial report to the Federal Election Commission.” (John DiStaso, “Mailings Targeted To Boost Political Fortunes?” The Union Leader, February 4, 2008)
  • “Hodes chief of staff [Matt] Robison said his office ‘does not own the voter list’ of the state Democratic Party. But records show a printing firm hired by his office, Smith-Dunlap-Edwards, purchased the list from the state party last June 26 for $5,000, two weeks after Hodes’s office had paid Smith-Dunlap-Edwards $5,000 for ‘publication/reference material,’ according to an official House publication of congressional disbursements.” (John DiStaso, “Mailings Targeted To Boost Political Fortunes?” The Union Leader, February 4, 2008)

POLITICAL MAILING COST THE TAXPAYERS THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS

  • “Hodes' office paid the same firm $29,580 for ‘Mass Printing #1’ on July 25 and $1,000 for ‘publication/reference material’ on Aug. 28.” (John DiStaso, “Hodes Won’t Say How Much He Spent,” The Union Leader, February 3, 2008)
  • “Hodes is far from alone when it comes to franking. His New Hampshire Democratic colleague, Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, spent $63,270 on production and about $80,000 on postage for four mass mailings - a total of about $143,000 - during 2007, according to chief of staff Harry Gural.” (John DiStaso, “Tax Dollars Paid For Slick Mailings,” The Union Leader, February 4, 2008)
  • “Kyle Anderson, a spokesman for the House Administration Committee, which oversees ‘franked’ publicly funded mass mailings, told the New Hampshire Union Leader in an e-mail: ‘Official mailings may only be distributed on a non-, non-political basis and official mailing lists may not include any party affiliation, voter history by party or campaign information.’” (John DiStaso, “Mailings Targeted To Boost Political Fortunes?” The Union Leader, February 4, 2008)
  • “Shea-Porter chief of staff Harry Gural said that in four mailings sent last year, ‘New Hampshire veterans, plus seniors over a certain age, got the veterans piece. Seniors got the senior piece. People under 50 got the environmental piece. All households got the year in review.’” (John DiStaso, “Mailings Targeted To Boost Political Fortunes?” The Union Leader, February 4, 2008)

MOST TRANSPARENT CONGRESS? PAUL HODES WOULDN’T SAY HOW MUCH HESPENT

  • “While Rep. Carol Shea-Porter's chief of staff disclosed that her office spent $143,000 on production and mailing costs for four franked mass mailings in 2007, his counterpart in Rep. Paul Hodes’s office refused to provide similar information.” (John DiStaso, “Hodes Won’t Say How Much He Spent,” The Union Leader, February 3, 2008)
  • “Matt Robison of Hodes’s office declined to provide copies of Hodes's four Quarterly Mass Mailing Reporting Forms, which congressmen are required to submit to the House Administration Committees’ finance office every three months. And he declined to simply say in an interview how much was spent.” (John DiStaso, “Hodes Won’t Say How Much He Spent,” The Union Leader, February 3, 2008)

Fergus Cullen

Chairman, New Hampshire Republican Party

10 Water Street

Concord , NH 03301