Blunt (R-MO) Exonerated of Bogus Ethics Charges

Apparently, having seen the great success with with Democrats have used bogus ethics charges to bog down effective Republicans in the last several years, the Missouri Democratic Party in December decided to file a ridiculous ethics complaint against Roy Blunt for a mailer sent to his constituents about his vote on cap-and-trade legislation.  Yesterday, the bipartisan Commission on Congressional Mailing Standards has completely exonerated Blunt.

(Washington, DC) — A bipartisan commission in Washington D.C. has ruled Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO) did not violate federal rules about postal mailings that explained his vote against the so-called “cap and trade” bill.

The mailer went out in mid-December and immediately drew fire from Democrats.  Edward Janosik of Springfield filed a complaint in late January with the Commission on Congressional Mailing Standards, questioning the use of public funds for the cost of the printing and postage.  Each member of Congress is allowed a certain amount of franking, or mailing, privileges to communicate with their constituents.

The same week the mailer went out, Missouri Democrat Party chairman Craig Hosmer held a news conference to raise questions about who was behind the piece.  “Missouri taxpayers deserve to know how many people this mailer went out to.  They need to know how much it cost Missouri taxpayers and they need to know who prepared the mailer.  Was it prepared by the lobbyists, special interest lobbyists or the oil industry or was it prepared by his political team?” Hosmer said at the time. 

Monday, the Commission replied to Janosik’s complaint, saying a bipartisan review found the mailer did not violate federal franking laws and that the mailing standards staff approved the piece before it was sent out.

Although this race has inexplicably not been polled very often, the Democrats have been able to see for some time that the trend lines, such as they are, are trending towards Blunt.  The Democrats can’t change the fact that their candidate is gaffe-prone and forced to defend an unpopular agenda and an increasingly negative national tide; so look for more of these bogus ethics charges in the future, especially as Democrats try to level the playing field with respect to their own MoCs retiring due to ethics violations right and left.