Congressman Dennis Moore from the 3rd District in Kansas has a history of exploiting free franked mailings prior to elections. For some reason, Congressman Moore likes to communicate with constitutes about 90 days before an election but not so much at other times.
Why should Congressman Moore use a campaign account to pay for mailings to constituents in an election year, when the taxpayers can be stuck with the bill?
Tomorrow seems to be the only day before the Nov 4 general election that Congressman Moore can use his free Congressional franking privilege to mail a slick, campaign-looking flier to his constituents. Will Congressman Moore send that free mailing tomorrow?
Dennis Moore is a master at counting to 90 days. Using this day-of-year number page, a quick subtraction of Aug 6 (day 219) from Nov 4 (day 309) gives exactly 90 days!
The Congressional Franking “red book” can be consulted for the exact election year rule. See Chapter four, “Election year mailing restrictions” on p. 25:
What luck for Congressman Moore! The rule says less than 90 days, and Wednesday Aug 6, the day after the primary election, is exactly 90 days before the Nov general election, which would be in compliance with the rule.
In early June 2008 the Meadowlark sent a request to the Legislative Resource Center, Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives, asking the following:
How can I order all the franked material disclosure documents filed by House members from Kansas over the last six years? Specifically, I’d like to order all franked material disclosures by these Kansas House members:
- Congressman Jerry Moran (1st District) from 2002-2008
- Congresswoman Nancy Boyda (2nd District) from 2007-2008
- Congressman Jim Ryun (2nd District) from 2002-2007
- Congressman Dennis Moore (3rd District) from 2002-2008
- Congressman Todd Tiahrt (4th District) from 2002-2008
The Office of the Clerk simply ignored the request. There was no reply to my letter from June.
On Friday Aug 1, I called the Office of the Clerk to find out what happened to my letter requesting information. Unbelievable, I was told that requests for such information must be made in person at the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, DC. When I protested that this policy was effectively hiding this information from the citizens of the State of Kansas, there was no explanation. Congress does not believe in freedom of information on itself?
I also asked if I could request information by phone of a specific mailing by a specific Congressman that might occur on Aug. 6 (let’s say, Congressman Dennis Moore, tomorrow). I was told I could not request such information on the phone. Congress is not FOIA-friendly.
Without a trip to DC, there’s no way to get this information to compare/contrast franking expenses of the Kansas members in the House of Representatives.
We’ll know later this week if Congressman Moore wastes taxpayer money on a needless election year mailing 90 days before the November general election.
- State Rep Rardin’s FOURTH franked piece to kick-start his re-election campaign, Kansas Meadowlark, June 8, 2008.
- Congressman Dennis Moore’s chief of staff may have violated E-mail rules. Moore franking abuse too?, Kansas Meadowlark, May 27, 2008.
- Update on Franking Abuse by Kansas Senate Minority Leader Hensley: $53,564 on 161,277 franked pieces, Kansas Meadowlark, May 7, 2008.
- Franking Abuse by Kansas Democratic Legislative Leadership, Kansas Meadowlark, April 17, 2008.
- Dennis Moore’s Abuse of Franking Privilege: “This mailing was prepared, published, and mailed at taxpayer expense” even though Moore has almost $1,000,000 in campaign cash in the bank, Kansas Meadowlark, Aug 6, 2006.
- Congressman Moore’s Abuse of Franking Privilege?, Kansas Meadowlark, May 4, 2004.