Saturday, August 12, 2006

Congressman Steve "Frank" Chabot is Embarrassed

Congressman Steve Chabot, the master of campaigning from his public office and abusing the congressional franking privilege, is embarrassed.

Click here to learn about the franking privilege.

The Washington Post, Cranley campaign, local bloggers, local newspapers, and this blog exposed how Chabot has misused thousands of tax payer dollars with the franking privilege. The ironic side of this story is that Chabot and Bob Ney back in 1994 pledged NEVER to campaign from their offices (thus, they vowed never to misuse the franking privilege).

The honesty that Chabot came to office with in '94 is now catching up to him. Since he has broken this pledge (along with the term limit pledge and congressional travel pledge) his campaign has tried to cover it up. Regarding the franking privilege, they say, "prove it!".

The Cincinnati Post proved it.

"Franking follow-up"

Aides to U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot have taken issue with an item we ran in this space last week - specifically, the unattributed assertion that their boss had pledged in early 1995, shortly after he was first elected, to use the franking privilege only to communicate with constituents, not for mass mailings. They say Chabot never made such a promise.

Newspaper clippings from the Cincinnati dailies abundantly document Chabot criticizing then-incumbent Tom Luken for allegedly abusing the franking privilege in 1988. An Enquirer clipping in late 1994 has him undecided about whether to limit his use of the franking privilege. And a clip from the Columbus Dispatch in early 1995 has Chabot and Ohio's (now disgraced) Bob Ney saying they would limit free mailings to correspondence with constituents, even though others in the congressional delegation had decided against making such a pledge. That report, the Chabot folks say, must have been in error.

On the other hand, they don't have anything in writing articulating just what his policy was. The Post's morgue does have a clipping from July, 1995 that has Chabot's staffers bragging about spending less on free mailings during his first three months in office than his Democratic predecessor did.

Sorry for all this, gentle reader. It's the silly season. Don't be surprised if you see an attack ad that portrays Chabot as the devil incarnate because of all this. That, however, would be a grievous disappointment. Chabot and his opponent, John Cranley, have a lot more important things to talk about than the franking privilege.

So the way Chabot is getting around breaking this pledge is by lying about it.

I wonder how Chabot will vote on H.R. 3099, a bill to prohibit misuse of the franking privilege during election cycles...


At 8:07 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frankie! Are you trying the whole "well then the newspaper is wrong too!" trick? I don't know if it will work this time.

If that franking overuse means anything, it's that Chabot thinks he's going to lose in '06 and that he disrespects the tax payer.

Respect the tax payer, Frankie. When you don't, it's gonna bite you in the a**.

At 5:09 PM EDT, Blogger Ohio's First District said...

More evidence to add to the list, from 1995:

"The freshmen also are wrestling with whether to use their taxpayer-paid mail subsidy to send newsletters to constituents. LaTourette won't. He won by criticizing Democratic Rep. Eric D. Fingerhut of Mayfield Heights for making self-promoting mass mailings.

Chabot and Ney also have promised to avoid the unsolicited mass mailings but would use the franking privilege to respond to letters.

"I'm not going to use the franking privilege to do newsletters," Ney said."


Columbus Dispatch

January 2, 1995

Authors: Roger K. Lowe, Dispatch Washington Bureau

At 3:38 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chabot should be embarrassed. After something like two decades of ignoring the economic concerns of his constituents and letting countless communities stagnate, this town needs some fresh blood representing Cincinnatians in Congress. John Cranley clearly has a better take on the concerns of everyday Cincinnatians. Let's take back Cincinnati.

At 1:45 AM EDT, Blogger Ohio's First District said...

Cool website!

At 8:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very sad if the biggest complaint of Chabot is the use of mailings and a few statements that was made several years ago. I'm sure most of you have changed your views on things after a period of time. Today's political enviroment is not the same as it was in 1995.
He has been very consistant on trying to curb federal spending.

At least he did not break Ohio elecion laws by buying votes with giving away gas to voters like Cranley did.


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