EAST BAY CITIZEN. EVERYWHERE SINCE 2009

Saturday, November 5, 2016

No frank you: Honda used loophole to send pre-election letters to constituents

Rep. Mike Honda sent an official letter to less than
500 constituents in October, thereby, sidestepping
pre-election House franking rules. 
CONGRESS | 17TH DISTRICT |
ELECTION 2016 |
Rep. Mike Honda is certainly going for broke in his bid to again stave off defeat at the hands of Ro Khanna. Honda’s congressional office has been dutifully cranking out press releases on the boss’ activities of late.

On Saturday, it highlighted an opinion piece in The Hill written by Honda and Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley on the need for funding the processing of rape kits.

But Politico noted this week that Honda’s office exploited a loophole in the Congressional franking rules. According to Politico, congressional offices are prohibited from sending mail to constituents within a 90-day window before Election Day.

Taxpayer-funded letters from Honda’s office to voters in his 17th District are not considered mass-mailing if they are less than 500 pieces. But some South Bay voters, imprecisely, less than 500, received the letter dated Oct. 3 that appeared on congressional stationary.

Honda and two other endangered House incumbents used the so-called “’499’ loophole” to send constituents letters extolling their accomplishments while in office.

It’s not the first time Honda has been accused of undermining House franking rules. Khanna lodged a complaint during the 2014 campaign and one of Honda’s other 2016 primary opponent filed an official complaint in December 2015.

In both instances, Honda was not found to have violated any rules. One reason is all House mail goes through a painstaking process before it is approved for dissemination to constituents.

2 comments :

This is key... "One reason is all House mail goes through a painstaking process before it is approved for dissemination to constituents." So it is unlikely any rules have been broken.

Personally wouldn't mind if they tightened the rules. But hard to blame Honda for using any tool he can legally use when Khanna's super PAC has spent half a million dollars in just the last few weeks.

Quite a double standard there. The other day you were defending your Kos article accusing Ro of BRIBERY (a crime) with the argument that "yeah, maybe it's legal, but it's still WRONG." Now all that matters is technically following the rules? Quite a double standard.

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