NC-02: Getting franked by Renee Ellmers

ELLMERS_RThe GOP primary challengers in congressional districts 2 and 3 were in The N&O today bashing the GOP incumbents for allegedly using their congressional franking (AKA free mailing) privileges for political purposes.

You hear that every election year in districts all over the country.  The charge usually draws eye rolls.  I’ve worked on Capitol Hill.  Of course, my time there was prior to the time email and the web were so widely in use.  A lot of correspondence had to go out.  Constituents voicing their concerns on issues had to be responded to.  Folks seeking help with government agencies needed feedback.  

Occasionally, some stuff goes out that creeps right up to the line of being campaign propaganda.  After reading today’s article, I think 2nd district GOP challenger Frank Roche may have a point about incumbent Renee Ellmers.  The article made me go back and look at a mailing I received earlier this week.  I know an election is coming up.  I thought the mailer was something from her campaign.  It was printed on the same paper stock as your typical campaign flier.  It was designed with bright colors and photos and fluffy, feel-good jingoism.  My second look helped me notice an “official business” notation on the flier, as well as a sentence saying the mailing was paid for by taxpayers.

One side of the flier could be explained away as simple constituent correspondence.  (It’s interesting that we’re getting this in the mail a few months before the primary AND after a primary challenger has announced his intentions. ) But the other side of the mailer clearly is campaign propaganda.  “Representing Your Priorities … Fighting For Your Values.”  Seriously?  HOW is that different from campaign propaganda? 

You’ve got eight blurbs which look right at home on a piece of campaign literature.  One of the blurbs offers up some nonsense about her battle to repeal ObamaCare.  Really?  How does what’s written there square with THIS, THIS, THIS, and THIS?

And, a fan of “traditional values”? How does that square with her campaign against the marriage amendment to the state Constitution?

And spending and tax reform? How does her rhetoric on this mailer square with THIS and THIS?

Let’s not forget amnesty immigration reform.  Ellmers is being elevated as a point person for House Republicans on “immigration reform” and has hugged up to the amnesty crowd here in the state.   Word is leaking out that John Boehner and Eric Cantor are going to lead the GOP caucus into a total sellout on amnesty.   And Renee is never too far behind those two guys.

Not only did she mail out campaign propaganda on the taxpayer dime.  She’s also telling us some serious bald-face lies AND spending OUR MONEY to do it.