Legislatures Spend Millions on Mailings

WASHINGTON (AP) _ An Associated Press public records review has
found that U.S. House members spent more than 20 million dollars in tax money last year to send constituents what's often the government equivalent of junk mail, meeting announcements, tips on car care and job interviews, surveys on public policy and just plain bragging.

Some lawmakers are defending the newsletters as a vital way of communicating with constituents. Among them is Florida Congresswoman Ginny Brown-Waite, who says the mailings help her
communicate with her district. She says one of the biggest complaints her constituents had about her predecessor was that they never knew what was going on in Washington.

Brown-Waite is one of the biggest users of bulk mail, with nearly 658,000 pieces at a cost of $129,428 last year. That surpassed the approximately $110,000 her campaign spent on direct mailings and related costs.

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