In this episode of “How Can Pat Remain in Power”, we get to introduce ourselves to franking. Not what your Uncle Frank does after too much beer and pie, but the Congressional privilege of free mailing services that enables them to inform their constituents of the goings down on Capitol Hill.
Pat’s latest “frank discussion” with those he represents looks much more like a campaign piece than some innocent informational newsletter mailing. Much, much more like!
Let’s take a peek at the whole thing and then break it down a bit. [view entire mailer in pdf format 304KB]
OK, first thing to note is Pat is a vulnerable Bush rubber stamper who is running against a well liked and respected candidate in Bob Shamansky. Bob also happens to be older (Bob is 79) who is making Medicare Part D one of his key campaign issues. So what does this “newsletter” talk about? Why, Medicare Part D of course!
Today, with Medicare Part D, 38 million seniors have prescription drug coverage – that’s 90% of all Medicare beneficiaries.
OK, so let’s look at this franking thing. There are rules (pdf again). Apparently, you are supposed to limit the use of personally phrased references so as not to seem like you are campaigning instead of informing. Well, peppered all over this piece are several. Congressman Pat Tiberi, I, I’m, I, I, I.
So the obvious question is: Why is Pat Tiberi putting this out within a week of the deadline for such mailings (he can’t send out mass franked mail within 90 days of an election he’s in). It might be because he needs to shore up support among seniors because he’s running against one and about to get clocked. Just maybe, yeah. I personally think the taxpayers of the 12th district should look on this as a waste of their money. Pat should pay it back and buy his own campaign material. I know I certainly don’t like funding this stuff. I’d much rather see it go to schools here in Delaware.
I can’t blame Pat. Afterall, he’s probably just following someone directions. One of the higher ups. He is a follower afterall. The choice is still crystal clear here in the 12th. Pat Tiberi is yet another rubber stamper deperate to hold on to power. Bob Shamansky is a change agent and a real leader ready to do real work for seniors – not put out glossy brochures to make them think he has.
Here are some helpful phone numbers for Ohio seniors. Call Pat and tell him to pay for his own damned campaign brochures!
Tiberi for Congress: 614-847-2000
Washington DC Office 202 225-5355
Columbus Office: 614 523-2555