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We just saw a campaign television ad wherein Vicky Hartzler touts her “saving the taxpayers” money bonafides when it comes to her congressional office expenses, “leading by example to cut my office budget” (Sorry, she doesn’t appear to be posting her campaign ad videos online. Wouldn’t want us peasants fact checking her assertions, now, would we?). Really? Let’s talk about sending out mail at taxpayer expense. We remember a little something about Vicky Hartzler’s use of the congressional franking privilege (the perk which allows members of Congress to send mailings out for free):

Republicans Who Campaigned To End Taxpayer-Funded Campaigning Spend Big On Taxpayer Funded Flyers

By Josh Israel on May 16, 2012 at 10:12 am

The House Tea Party Caucus, chaired by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), says it seeks to represent the views of the people who have “had enough of the reckless spending and vast government overreach coming from Washington.” Fifteen House freshmen are part of the 60-member, all-Republican caucus. The group talks passionately about cutting spending and the need to “work towards getting our fiscal house in order, before the burden of debt is passed onto our children and grandchildren.”

Surprisingly, three of the freshmen Tea Party members were among the ten biggest spenders on taxpayer-funded mailings of the 444 people who served in the House over the last nine months of 2011, according to a new report by USA Today. They were:

   #4 Rep. David McKinley (R-WV), $263,083

   #8 Rep.Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), $253,156

   #10 Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL), $237,355


But Hertzler defended her mailings, telling USA Today, “After 34 years of leadership by [the district’s previous Congressman, Rep. Ike Skelton (D)], we feel like it’s important for me people to get to know me and for me to hear from them. It’s part of serving the people that you represent is to communicate with them, and that’s always been a priority of mine.


[emphasis added]

Yep, that’s number eight out of 444 members in spending on those campaign style franked (paid for by taxpayer) mailings.

“…It’s part of serving the people that you represent is to communicate with them, and that’s always been a priority of mine….”

Except when it’s not. A just eleven days ago, in the Warrensburg Daily Star Journal:

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (r): “No answer given.” (October 19, 2012)


10/18/2012 5:42:00 PM

Experienced prosecutor seeks to unseat incumbent [subscription required]


Jack Miles


….Hartzler’s campaign declined to participate in answering the survey….

[emphasis added]

A priority. Yeah, right.

After seeing the Vicky Hartzler’s pious promoter of rectitude in government spending television ad we thought we’d check the latest available (June) quarterly Statement of Disbursements [pdf] (page 1024) showing Representative Hartzler’s expenditures in the House of Representatives. Sure enough, the stuff applicable to franking:




YTD AMOUNT [$]67,959.99


04-26 AP 00433019 UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE  03/01/12 03/31/12 FRANKED MAIL [$]25,613.11

04-26 AP 00433153 UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE  03/01/12 03/31/12 FRANKED MAIL [$] 673.05

04-30 GL FLG0018871  04/20/12 04/30/12 FRANKED MAIL [$] -23.40

05-17 AP 00447400 UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE  04/01/12 04/30/12 FRANKED MAIL [$] 826.85

05-30 AP 00456860 UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE  04/01/12 04/30/12 FRANKED MAIL [$] 26,923.56

05-31 GL FLG0019712 05/20/12 05/31/12 FRANKED MAIL [$] -40.19

06-22 AP 00475713 UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE  05/01/12 05/31/12 FRANKED MAIL [$] 628.21

06-29 AP 00479334 UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE  05/01/12 05/31/12 FRANKED MAIL [$] 12,200.88

06-29 GL FLG0020488  06/20/12 06/30/12 FRANKED MAIL [$] -35.53


04-04 AP 00416303 CASS CNTY DEMOCRAT-MISSOURIAN  02/28/12 02/28/12 ADVERTISEMENTS [$] 1,020.00

04-04 AP 00416305 PLEASANT HILL TIMES  03/07/12 03/07/12 ADVERTISEMENTS [$] 360.00

04-27 AP 00433889 THE FRANKING GROUP  03/09/12 03/09/12 PRINTING & REPRODUCTION [$] 8,083.00

04-27 AP 00433891 THE FRANKING GROUP  02/28/12 02/28/12 PRINTING & REPRODUCTION [$] 10,434.00

05-22 AP 00453044 THE FRANKING GROUP  04/26/12 04/26/12 PRINTING & REPRODUCTION [$] 15,192.00

05-23 AP 00453755 THE FRANKING GROUP  04/24/12 04/24/12 PRINTING & REPRODUCTION [$] 11,895.00

06-04 AP 00459298 ACCURATE WORD LLC.  05/11/12 05/11/12 PRINTING & REPRODUCTION [$] 141.90

06-04 AP 00459299 ACCURATE WORD, LLC  05/04/12 05/04/12 PRINTING & REPRODUCTION [$] 39.90

06-04 AP 00459305 MAJORITY STRATEGIES  04/24/12 04/24/12 PRINTING & REPRODUCTION [$] 17,918.04

06-04 AP 00459792 ACCURATE WORD LLC.  03/02/12 03/02/12 PRINTING & REPRODUCTION [$] 31.90


And what kind of “communicating with constituents” franked mail did Vicky Hartzler (r) send on the taxpayers’ dimes?:

A campaign style franked mail piece from June 2012 sent by Rep. Vicky Hartzler (r).

Yep, you got it. Campaign style mailers.


Rep. Vicky Hartzler (r): frankly, the mail keeps coming (June 15, 2012)

Teresa Hensley (D): ad – Vicky Hartzler (r) has a few issues (June 13, 2012)

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (r): We’ve got mail (May 4, 2012)

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (r): Clinton town hall – April 5, 2012 – part 2 (April 6, 2012)

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (r): frankly, the importance of being Vicky (December 11, 2011)

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (r): frankly, it’s all about wedge issues (November 22, 2011)

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (r): Who needs the NRA… (September 17, 2011)

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (r): franking right wingnut propaganda on Medicare (August 27, 2011)

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (r): frankly, it looks like a campaign mailing (July 7, 2011)