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Take the politicians off welfare

Bloomington Herald-Times, March 12, 2014

To the Editor:

The Herald-Times' March 5 editorial raises a good point about the inappropriate use of public resources to promote the campaign of an elected official, but that is only a starting point. We should also be concerned about the "informational" mailers sent by our legislative leaders to constituents. The postage and printing of these "informational" mailers are paid for by our tax dollars.

Let's be honest here. These "informational" mailers are little more than taxpayer-funded campaign mailings, representing both an unfair advantage for incumbents over challengers and an improper use of state resources for partisan purposes.

Yes, the mailings may contain valuable information for constituents, and they can help keep us informed about what our government is doing. But is it necessary to include the legislator's name in huge font along with a full-color photograph?

I even got a mailing from my legislator wishing me a "merry Christmas," not even disguised as an "informational" mailing. This would be fine if it was from his campaign account, but using tax money for this is just wrong.

Both Republicans and Democrats are guilty of sending these taxpayer-funded campaign mailings. If politicians will not voluntarily take their campaigns off welfare, voters should demand it.

Scott Tibbs.