The Pennsylvania Republican Party issued a press release this week condemning State Rep. Scott Conklin — the Democrat candidate for Lieutenant Governor — for issuing a statewide promotional mailer at taxpayer expense.
Conklin’s “Legislative Report” is a multi-page letter that outlines his activities as a representative, and is a case of an elected official abusing his privileges to promote a political campaign, argues the PA GOP.
“I can’t understand why Scott Conklin is sending his taxpayer-funded mail to an address outside of his district, said Mike Barley, spokesman for the Republican Party. “This mailer seems like a blatant attempt to use our taxpayer dollars to aid one of the races he is running for this fall.”
Now, acknowledging that Mr. Barley is probably right in characterizing this mailer as political over-reach by Conklin, let’s also acknowledge something else: these mailings are abused regularly on both sides of the aisle.
In 2010, using the postal system to communicate with constituents represents what Newt Gingrich describes as government in “the world that fails.”
When fresh Republican challengers are looking to control budgets and, hopefully, reign in spending to address the roots of our debt problem, these mailers — which basically constitute campaign collateral for incumbents — are a perfect example of the sort of massive, discretionary expenditure that legislators should be permanently renouncing.
Scott Conklin’s mailer: