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Reform Party of North Carolina Statement on Renee Ellmers Franking Abuse

According to a report from the News and Observer, North Carolina Republican Renee Ellmers has been cited by her critics for abusing her franking privileges. The mailing in question was sent during the primary campaign, and was seen as breaking several franking rules.

“By now it’s obvious to anyone that these are essentially campaign tools that incumbents use at taxpayers’ expense to maintain their advantage in the re-election,” said Renee Ellmers opponent Frank Roche.

Franking Privilege allows Congressional Representatives to send mail free of charge. This privilege is to be used for official business, and is supposed to be nonpartisan. According to franking rules, it is not to be used to send materials that are political or partisan “in fact or tone”. This Congressional privilege is paid for by the taxpayers.

Despite its limitations, it’s not unknown for members of Congress to take liberties. Even with increased scrutiny over recent years, some elected officials use franking privileges to send out campaign materials and partisan literature. This is known as Franking Privilege Abuse.

The Reform Party National Committee believes that abuse of Franking Privilege is wrong. The Reform Party calls on Congressional Ethics Committees to continue scrutiny of Franking, and to hold our elected Congressional officials accountable for any abuses, including penalties and reimbursing any misused funds.

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