Congressmen are low profile folks in huge metropolitan areas. They don’t get their names in the paper much or on TV unless they are leaders like Denny Hastert was and Rahm Emmanuel is.
So, most congressmen take advantage of the incumbent protection program known as “franking.”
Just affix your signature to an envelope, stick in the post office and it gets delivered free.
Your name appears in every mailbox in your district and you don’t even have to address it.
Tucked away in the bottom is this paragraph:
Rockford GOP Rep. Donald Manzullo has never spent money on mass mailings during a 14-yea congressional career. He has returned more than $1.1 million in unused office allowances, spokesman Rich Carter said.
And in the Sun-Times version, Manzullo $1.1 million even rated a sub-headline, as you can see here.
“(Cook County U.S. Rep. Daniel) Lipinski acknowledged that some mailings are difficult to differentiate from advertising, and said he understands how some people may view them as propaganda,” the article said.
Peoria’s Republican Ray LaHood, whose district is dominated by Peoria media, making him well-known, told AP that he considers the mass mailings “self-promotion.”
Self-obvious, it would seem to me.