by Jim Welsh
Thursday, September 27, 2012
(Editor’s note: Jim Welsh, who wrote WE are Building it, Mr. President, is running for state representative in a remote district on the coast of northwest Oregon. It’s a pure grassroots campaign, with lots of personal contact. He writes a column in MooCountyNews from which this is excerpted. Recently he noticed the first election flyer mailed by his incumbent opponent. But he also noticed something else.)
“That election flyer wasn’t really an election flyer. No, it was just a “routine” official newsletter from the Office of Oregon State Representative Deborah (“Deb”) Boone that was just coincidentally mailed out six weeks before your ballots arrive to your mail box.
Therefore, it was the taxpayers of the State of Oregon who paid for this fancy mailer you got in the mail. I’m almost a little embarrassed that I missed this when I received my copy. I just looked at it quickly and went back to doing more important things. So today I thought I would look at what Rep. Boone had to say in order to comment on its contents. And that’s when I saw the mailer was actually an “official” communication from Rep. Boone. You see these crooks down in Salem have written the rules so that they can send out taxpayer-funded “newsletters” up to sixty days before an election. How convenient. How corrupt. Our collective revulsion for these people is validated again.
Originally, this idea was to spare legislators the expensive cost of postage to communicate with their constituents regarding problems they were having with State issues. Eventually, like all government programs, it has grown until our legislators now regularly send out, at your expense, barely disguised re-election ads that extol the always superhuman exploits of the incumbent. And then these phonies, who spend thousands of taxpayer dollars on their government-funded election ads, have the gall to decry the high cost of political campaigns. My disgust grows daily with these people.
To be fair, it probably is not limited to just those who are members of the Boo God Party (Democrats). I’m sure lots of Republicans do it too. Now I’m not against elected officials communicating with their constituents but this is way over the line. Kind of a “I do it because I can” attitude. Arrogance is the best word to describe Rep. Boone’s and so many incumbents’ attitudes. She knows damn well this mailer’s purpose was to electioneer because the legislature adjourned months ago. There has been no legislative activity in the past six months that you, her constituents, need to know about. Besides, anything of importance can easily be posted on her state financed website .
So how much did this taxpayer financed election flyer cost the taxpayers of District 32? By my reckoning, probably about $8000-9000. At least that is what it would cost anyone else to mail out thousands (tens of thousands?) of political flyers to the voters in House District 32. But it didn’t cost Rep. Boone a plugged nickel. “Waiter, just put it on my State of Oregon VISA card”.
I’ll tell you folks, if elected, you’ll never see Jim Welsh ever do something like this. I respect how hard you have to work to pay those tax dollars to the State of Oregon.
To make matters even worse, it is not like Rep. Boone’s campaign checking account is empty. She continues to get thousands of dollars from out-of-state political action committees (PACS) and special interest lobbyists. But hey, why spend her campaign funds when she can get you constituents to foot the bill? That way it leaves more money to take trips to China, buy $4000 air tickets to Montreal, and stay in five-star hotels, all expenses duly charged to Oregon by Rep. Boone.
I’m not much of a “There oughta be a law” guy but here is one time I’ll say “There oughta be a law”. And it is this: No Representative shall spend any funds appropriated for communicating with constituents on any mass mailings later than one month after the last session of the legislature concludes its business. Now I realize that if such restrictions were enacted Rep. Boone would probably just spend those funds anyway before the deadline. But at least those who do not support her would not be forced to finance her campaign literature.
I would especially like supporters of Rep. Boone to respond to my comments and defend this blatant misuse of taxpayer’s dollars. Or do you have no real problem with this as long as your candidate can win? I’d like to think you’re better than that. Are you?”