N. Ky. GOP Congressman Defends Massive Mailings


BOONE COUNTY, KY -- If Geoff Davis knew six years ago what he knows now about sending mail to Congressional constituents, he would not have criticized Ken Lucas for his mailing practices, reports the Cincinnati Enquirer in its Saturday edition.

"When I look back, I did not understand the value of (mass mailing)," Davis, the Republican Congressman from Boone County, said Friday night. "And I didn't understand it in the context of being a member and communicating effectively with your constituents."

Davis turned up on a list as one of the biggest users of mass mailings to constituents, reports the Enquirer.

The Associated Press reported last week that Davis sent out 716,803 pieces of mail in 2006 at a cost of $165,316 to taxpayers.

Only four of the 435 House members outspent Davis, who last year ran for re-election against Lucas, his 2002 opponent and former Democratic member of Congress from Boone County.

During the 2002 campaign, Davis said Lucas abused the so-called "franking" privilege by sending a glossy piece of campaign material under the guise that he was communicating with constituents, the newspaper reports.

"Ken Lucas has abused the trust of Kentucky's hardworking families by using taxpayer dollars to fund his congressional campaign," Davis said at the time. He lost the 2002 race to Lucas. Lucas' 2002 mailing cost about half of what Davis spent last year, the Enquirer reports.

Davis said Friday that he sent the mail to stay in touch with constituents in a district that covers 24 counties and stretches from West Virginia in the east to near Louisville in the west. He wanted to inform the public about field offices that had opened, services his office offers and legislation and programs he supported or opposed, the newspaper reports.

Copyright: The Cincinnati Enqurier

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