Manchester - Increased NH state spending $500 million dollars, a gallon of gas in NH $4.07, the average NH Property Tax bill $5,332. Congressmen Paul Hodes and Carol Shea-Porter returning to NH taxpayers the quarter of a billion they wasted on taxpayer-funded mailings, priceless.
Recent figures released from the National Taxpayers Union show both of New Hampshire's Congressmen are spending taxpayers' dollars on their franked mail privileges at a staggering rate. Both Hodes and Shea-Porter are among the top spenders on franked mail in the 435-member House and seem to be using taxpayer money to increase their re-election chances.
"New Hampshire Taxpayers' are being hit from every angle these days. State spending is up, Property Taxes are up and the price of gas is up. Meanwhile, back in Washington, Congressmen Hodes and Shea-Porter are spending taxpayers' hard earned money to send self-promoting mailings during an election year like there is no tomorrow. Giving back New Hampshire taxpayers' their hard earned money during these hard times is the right thing to do." said NHAC Chairman Michael Biundo
"Frank" comes from a French word that means "free." But of course this is not France, and franked mail certainly is not free, when abused it is nothing more than a waste of taxpayers' dollars. Unfortunately, for Hodes and Shea-Porter the under the wire timing of these mailings calls into question just what the intended purpose is. As a taxpayer I am offended, as the Chairman of NHAC, I am calling for them to pledge to stop future mailings during an election year." concluded Biundo
In 1995, lawmakers' mailing allowances were reduced, and the period during which House Members could not send out franked mail was extended from 60 days before a primary, runoff, or general election to 90 days before.
The Senate prohibition remains 60 days. Even with these rules governing election-year behavior; franked mail spending in election years is consistently higher than in non-election years. For example, from 1990 to 1999, Congress spent $224.2 million on franked mail in election years, compared to $145.2 million in non-election years.