Gordon Smith's "Correspondence"

Over at Beaver Boundary, blogger taioseach criticizes a recent mailer sent by Senator Gordon Smith using taxpayers' dollars:

The Congressional Franking privilege, which allows members of Congress to send correspondence to constituents without cost, dates back to the seventeenth century in the British House of Commons. Over four centuries, it’s been subject to quite a bit of abuse by politicians to use official dollars for electoral pandering come campaign time. That doesn’t mean that Gordon Smith won’t take that abuse to new levels in order to save his Republican hide in blue Oregon.

The Boundary obtained a copy of Smith’s latest direct-mail piece franked newsletter form a source residing in the Portland metropolitan area. Based on Smith’s sweater-wearing peacenik persona that’s featured in the piece, it would seem the flyer probably went only to Portland-area voters.

The message of the front page of the mailer’s is clear: Senator Smith works across the aisle, and only across the aisle it would seem, in the spirit of the liberal values of Oregonians. He namechecks Senator Wyden’s health care plan without really endorsing it–he is not among the 8 cosponsors of the bill. And it’s all wholesale politics! The bullet points, the Democrats, the italic headlines with vague achievements: Gordon Smith is truly campaigning with the taxpayer dime, and in an overtly conspicuous fashion.

Where are the bill numbers, the congressional colleagues and the actual proof that Smith has done any due diligence towards the claims listed on this mailer? Official correspondence should carry the weight of the work being done by the member who sends it. The bullet points and ethereal nature of this mailer (again, paid for by you, me and Aunt Susie from Delaware) surely reflect a lightweight senator–one that tries to cover his right-wing tracks of war support and social conservatism by promoting his few associations with Democrats and espousing empty overtures towards liberal values.

And he has the gall to stick us with the bill for his explicit and shameless campaigning to the left... Oregonians deserve a hard-working, ethical Senator who’s not afraid to list the specifics of his accomplishments. Frankly, it’s time to get rid of Smith and give someone else a turn.

View a copy of the mailer and comment at Beaver Boundary.


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