FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 26, 2020
Helena, MT – A new report from the American Independent reveals that Senator Steve Daines has spent $367,000 in taxpayer dollars in Washington on glossy mass mailers, including nearly $100,000 on pieces that echo talking points from his recent political ads. While Senator Daines claims to care about cutting spending in Washington, this abuse of taxpayer-funded mass mailings highlights that he’s just another dishonest politician who’s only looking out for himself.
American Independent: GOP senator has spent $367K in taxpayer funds promoting himself to voters
By: Emily Singer
Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) has spent $367,000 in taxpayer funds on self-promotional mailers since he first took office in 2015. Nearly $100,000 worth of those mailers includes content that is almost identical to messages from campaign ads he’s released for his 2020 reelection bid. […]
While the use of taxpayer funds for the mailers is legal […] it seems to directly contradict Daines’ own position on government spending.
Daines has criticized the wasteful use of government funds and demanded spending cuts to reduce the national deficit.
The $367,000 Daines spent on the promotional mailers since arriving in the Senate in 2015 is the second-highest expenditure on franked mail of any U.S. senator during that period, according to an analysis by the American Independent. […]
A look at the mailers themselves, which were obtained by the American Independent, shows how strikingly similar they are to the campaign ads Daines has run as he seeks a second Senate term.
One mailer sent between July 2019 and October 2019 is titled “Fighting for Lower Prescription Drug Costs.” In it, Daines says that “as Montana’s lone voice on the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, I have made my top priority to lower prescription drug costs for Montanans.”
The mailer says Daines introduced legislation to lower prescription costs that “will greatly help Montana seniors and taxpayers.”
Between January 2020 and March 2020, Daines sent out a mailer titled “Serving Montana’s Veterans,” which says that he is “actively fighting” to “protect Montana veterans from scam artists.”
In March 2020, Daines released a campaign ad with near identical messaging to that in the mailers.
Daines narrates the ad, saying:
America’s economy is booming, with record low unemployment and rising wages. But there’s still more to do for Montana families. It’s why I wrote a bill that says if Congress doesn’t balance the budget, they shouldn’t get paid. It’s why I’m taking on Big Pharma to lower prescription drug prices and why I’m working to protect veteran pensions from scam artists. As your senator, protecting your pocketbook is my top priority.
Daines’ spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment on whether he thought the self-promotional mailers were a good use of taxpayer dollars.
But good government groups have criticized the franked mail perk and argued that it is antiquated and should be eliminated. […]
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