Reichert Illegally Franking?
July 18, 2006
Dear Mr. Kirkdorffer,
The development of transportation systems and infrastructure in our region is vital to almost every aspect of our lives. The improvement of these systems in the Puget Sound region will allow for the faster movement of goods, more time spent with families and a cleaner environment. I have made it a priority to ease the traffic congestion throughout the region because I realize the profound impact it can have on people’s daily lives. This is the reason I sought, a received, a position on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee when I arrived in Congress.
On July 28, 2005, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on the final conference report for HR. 3, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). I was proud to be an original co-sponsor of this legislation and to serve on the conference committee. negotiating and drafting the final version. I was able to secure $38.5 million for 19 different transportation projects in our region, including $800,000 for the upgrade of Redmond old and outdated traffic signal control system. This project will provide improved detection and monitoring of Redmond’s transportation system to provide better incident response and traveler information. Construction on this project is expected to begin in 2006.
Money that is used for transportation and infrastructure creates jobs. In fact for every $1 million spent, 48 jobs are created. The $38.5 million I was able to secure could result in over 1,800 new jobs in the District. Further, these funds come from the gas taxes you pay at the pump, so I worked to ensure the money was returned to our region. As a Member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the co-chair of the Goods Movement Caucus, I will continue to work to bring your tax dollars home to Washington’s 8th Congressional District to improve our region’s transportation.
If you are interested in receiving additional information about this and other topics of interest, please visit my website at http://www.house.gov/reichert/ and sign up for my newsletter.
David G. Reichert
Member of Congress
I've scanned the actual letter which you can view here. I have also scanned the envelope of the letter (see below or view a larger version here).
Here's the thing about this letter from Reichert. There is no stamp, so his signature is used in lieu of a postage stamp, as explained at Wikipedia. The Wikipedia page also has an example of an envelope of a franked mailing that looks similar to my envelope:
You will recall that last month I pointed out that Dave Reichert was abusing his franking privileges by sending out glossy mailings that were pure electioneering campaign pamphlets, and were being received by constituents within the 90 day period before an election, which was illegal. King 5 political reporter Robert Mak also dived into the matter questioning the legality of the mailings, and at least shining a light on the fact that Reichert had spent over $500,000 of tax payer money on such mailings.
Franked mailing envelope from Dave Reichert July 18 mailing
Well this latest piece of franked mail was dated July 18, which is 64 days before the September 19 Primary elections - well within the 90-day no-franking window before an election.
This particular piece of mail was also unsolicited. I did not contact congressman Reichert about this subject, and it was not in response to a communication on my pert to him. Any time I have communicated with Reichert I have done so via email forms, and he has responded to them via an email of his own.
The subject matter of this piece of mail seems to be predominantly about action taken one year ago. Reichert paints a picture that he was behind funding for a variety of transportation projects for the district. However, as the highest-ranking Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Transportation Subcommittee, Patty Murray, has been the key member of Congress that has brought in transportation project dollars for the region, not Reichert.
In summary, this letter, paid by tax payers, serves only to try to promote the accomplishments of Reichert on an issue that would have made more sense to mail constituents about a year ago, and to provide Reichert with a forum for making campaign-like pledges. It may not have the gloss and pizzazz of past mailings, but it serves the same purpose.
If you have also received such a letter I'd like to know. I'm guessing local reporters, such as Robert Mak, or David Postman, would like to know as well.