There has been some buzz lately surrounding a newsletter sent using taxpayer money by Rep. Michele Bachmann to an address in Colorado. Under House franking rules, members of Congress may not use taxpayer money to send a mass communication outside of their district – which is exactly what happened here.
The Star Tribune reached out to the House committee that oversees franking, whose spokesman Kyle Anderson said that this letter could be grounds for a complaint alleging a violation of House franking rules.
But is this an attempt by Bachmann’s office to use public money to garner support outside of her own district? It doesn’t look like it.
We contacted her office and they spoke to the third-party company that assists with their mass mailings, Aristotle. The company responded with a formal and rather technical letter (below) explaining that it was their error and that people who had changed their address were accidentally not removed from the mailing list.
The intended recipient of the letter moved to Colorado from Stillwater about a year ago, said her fiancee Matt Schmoeckel.
“The contract which your office has with Aristotle is only for constituents of Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional district, in keeping with Franking rules which indicate that mass mail should only be sent to your constituents,” wrote Aristotle president Dean Aristotle Phillips. “We accept responsibility for the omission of the date from this field and expect that it should be limited to this instance.”
Photo of mailer from spaceman7 on Flikr.