VIDEO BELOW: HOSMER'S PRESSER
ISSUE PIECE OR CAMPAIGN FLYER?
The Missouri Democratic Party is filing ethics complaints against Congressman Roy Blunt for sending a flyer to his constituents that defends himself against attacks for opposing cap and trade energy legislation.
Party chair Craig Hosmer said Friday that the four page mailer, (pictured above), paid for by Blunt's Congressional office, is a misuse of taxpayer dollars. Hosmer said the flyer violated House Franking Commission rules, which approves mailings sent by members of Congress.
"It's clear that this mailer is a direct response to a political ad that Congressman Blunt has repeatedly talked about in his Senate campaign," said Hosmer at a news conference. "Quite frankly, this mailer raises serious questions about what Congressman Blunt is doing in his Washington, D.C. Congressional office." **WATCH Q&A with Hosmer BELOW**
The mailer is clearly designed to combat a League of Conservation Voters television ad that attacked Blunt for campaign contributions from oil and other energy interests.
"Don't Be Fooled -- I Don't Work For The Interests Of Bil Oil Or The Energy Industry," blares Blunt's flyer.
Blunt deputy chief of staff Burson Snyder pointed out that the Franking Commission already approved Blunt's flyer and provided The Notebook with a Dec. 10th letter signed by Jack Dail of the commission's staff.
"When you follow the rules, you don't have to worry about these kinds of false political charges. Nancy Pelosi's employees on the Franking Commission approved this mailer, and it is unfortunate that the Democrats do not want Missourians to know the truth about this job-killing cap and tax bill. Unfortunately we cannot communicate with Southwest Missourians for free, but Congressman Blunt believes it's important to make sure the people he works for know where he stands on the issues, like his opposition to the national energy tax.," Snyder said in a statement.
Hosmer called on Blunt to reimburse taxpayers for the expense of the mailer.
"This is a campaign expense and it should be paid for by his campaign and not Missouri voters," Hosmer said.
A few hours after the Democratic Party's complaint, the Missouri Republican Party announced a similar complaint against Democrat Robin Carnahan.
GOP Executive Director Lloyd Smith said Carnahan "abused taxpayer dollars by airing self-promotional radio advertisements" in Wyoming and Mississippi.
But earlier this year, Carnahan's office noted that the money used for those public service ads come from fines paid by those convicted of securities fraud and that no tax dollars are used.
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