Congressman has sent over one million pieces of franked mail since taking office
CONCORD – New Hampshire voters should be on the lookout for a deluge of campaign-style mailings from Congressman Paul Hodes in the coming days.
According to published reports, Hodes has sent eight separate glossy, campaign-style mailers at taxpayer expense totaling more than one million pieces since taking office. The taxpayer-paid cost of the mailings is estimated at approximately $359,000 to date, with more potentially on the way. Acknowledging the political benefits of such mail, they are banned within 90 days of an election, or after June 11 this year.
Meanwhile, just two weeks ago Hodes decried Department of Defense communications as “propaganda.”
“I have to give him credit. When it comes to taxpayer-funded propaganda, Paul Hodes is an expert. He has shamelessly sent more than one million pieces of franked mail at taxpayer expense in less than a year and a half in office,” said Fergus Cullen, chairman of the New Hampshire Republican party.
“Hodes has never revealed what targeted lists he is using to send the mail, or why he purchased a voter file from the state Democratic party using $5,000 in additional taxpayer funds,” Cullen noted.
“In a free and democratic society, our government should never use the public airwaves to propagandize our citizens. Congress cannot allow an Administration to manipulate the public with false propaganda on matters of war and our national security.” (PRESS RELEASE “Congressman Paul Hodes Passes Amendment Launching Investigation into DOD Military Analyst Program,” May23, 2008)
“Hodes’ office spent $182,782.50 on the five mailings in 2007, about half on production and half on postage. He said they went to a total of 418,006 mail boxes and that while some– such as veterans’ piece – were targeted to constituent groups, most were more broadly distributed.” (John DiStaso, “John DiStaso’s Granite Status: Hodes defends use of mailers,” The Union Leader ,February 7, 2008.
“The Iraq-oriented piece is the freshman Democratic congressman’s second such mailing in about a month. Like the previous piece, it will go to 151,890 households at a cost of about $59,000, according to Hodes spokesman Mark Bergman. He said the mailing is Hodes’ third this year and eighth since taking office in January 2007.” (John DiStaso, “John DiStaso’s GraniteStatus,” The Union Leader, May 28, 2008)
“Members of Congress are allowed to send certain types of informational mailings to their constituents and give taxpayers the bill…One of Hodes’ mailers stated that Washington is ‘not meeting the needs of our veterans,’ and that ‘the Bush administration’s proposed budget underfunds veterans’ service by 7 percent.’ That is a blatant partisian attack… [Hodes] should reimburse the money, apologize, and make sure to keep their political mailings separate from their constituent work from now on.” (“Frankly offensive: Hodes and Shea-Porter’s political mail,” The Union Leader , February 5, 2008.
Chairman, New Hampshire Republican Party
10 Water Street
Concord , NH 03301