When Don Manzullo ran for Congress in 1992, he made a pledge not to make mass mailings using what is called a Congressman’s “franking privilege.”
That privilege allows a Member of Congress to use his signature instead of stamps to send answers to constituent inquiries or frequent mass mailings, which, of course, are intended to increase one’s name identification for future election purposes,
Previous Congressman sent at least quarterly newsletters. Sometimes they had interesting information, but that was the exception, not the rule.
So, Manzullo has been in office 19 years and the savings from not sending out the mailings has mounted up.
The Chicago Tribune today added up all the money each Congressman had returned to the U.S. Treasury and Manzullo ranked number one.
Part of that has to do with the number of years involved.
In any event, Manzullo turned back about $1.63 million.
Not an inconsiderable amount.
Staffs were asked to estimate how much their bosses would spend for the 2011 calendar year.
Manzullo’s people said, “105,212.”
2011 figures (some estimated) in descending order for all of Illinois’s Congressmen follow (Republicans are seen in boldface type):
- $190,000 – Jerry Costello and Joe Walsh
- $180,000 – Adam Kinzinger
- $110,000 – Bobby Schilling
- $105,212 – Don Manzullo
- $75,000 – Randy Hultgren
- $67,000 – Aaron Schock
- $58,000 – Tim Johnson
- $52,239 – Judy Biggert
- $32,259 – John Shimkus
- $21,000 – Robert Dold
- $20,896 -Peter Roskam
- $13,000 – Luis Gutierrrez
- $12,687 – Jesse Jackson, Jr.
- $10,000 – Dan Lipinski
- $10,000 – Mike Quigley
- $0 – Danny Davis