We've all gotten them in the mail, right? Notices from our Congressman praising his or her own accomplishments - basically saying why they deserve to be re-elected.
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Despite being swept into office in November, promising an end to wasteful spending - the costs of these mailings are piling up and you and I are left with the bill, and a mailbox full of things we're just going to throw out.
According to Politico, more than a dozen of these budget-conscious freshmen spent thousands of taxpayer dollars on these items. Including the biggest spender, Illinois' Adam Kinzinger.
Just in the first three months of this year, he spent nearly $79,000 on mass mailings. Using $900 a day he advertised his Website with pamphlets.
Texas Congressman Francisco Canseco wasn't far behind with a $75,000 tab to advertise upcoming town hall events.
And Richard Nugent of Florida - taxpayers helped him send nearly 13 million pieces of communication last quarter, totaling more than $64,000.
Seriously? Have any of these lawmakers heard of the Internet? Or Twitter?
The report points out members by law can use taxpayer funds to communicate with their constituents, as long as they aren't related to their re-election campaign. Yea, I don't know the difference either.
And it's not just the price tag that has me fired up. A lot of it is the hypocrisy and waste being unveiled.
Richard Hanna of New York sent mailings to his constituents upstate praising how the GOP freshmen helped cut $100 billion in spending. If you remember correctly that never happened because of a compromise reached by the leadership - but those messages cost more than $60,000!
Freshman Steve Stivers from Ohio spent more than $50,000 on teaching his district Civics 101 - the pamphlets were literally titled: "How a Bill Becomes a Law." Aren't there videos on that out there already?
And get thisLou Barletta of Pennsylvania printed messages to tell constituents how he doesn't want laws to be printed anymore, as a way to save taxpayers money.
Admirable - except for the $18,000 he spent on these messages!
Now the overspending on these mailings is in no way restricted to freshmen Republicans. Veterans from both parties have spent more than this "communicating" with us.
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But we had higher hopes for these particular freshmen - finally a group that was going to change the way things are done in Washington.
Why I am I surprised that it's still business as usual? And we're paying for it.