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Frankin’ Noem: Congresswoman Violates House Rules on Free Mail

Last updated on 2012.11.06

Rep. Kristi Noem didn't send me these letters; my Dem friends did:

Noem Franking Letter October 18 2012

Noem Franking Letter -- Farm Bill -- October 18, 2012

Rep. Kristi Noem dated these two letters, on Medicare and the Farm Bill, October 18, 2012. She sent them on her Congressional letterhead and used her franking privilege, the free mailing privilege granted to members of Congress, to send them.

The general blackout on franking began on August 9. No Congressperson whose name appears on the November ballot may frank such mass mailings. According to the franking manual, if this letter went out to more than 500 people, it violates House ethics rules. To make this clear to my easily confused Republican friends, Congresswoman Noem, as a House member, is subject to House ethics rules.

In 2010, candidate Noem promised that "We are not going to send out unsolicited pieces at taxpayers’ expense this close to an election." She was complaining about a flyer that Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin sent out in early August 2010.

The above two letters were unsolicited. Noem sent them at taxpayers' expense. We are much closer to an election.

It's bad enough that Congresswoman Kristi Noem chooses to violate House rules. It's worse that she can't even keep her own word.