Democrats plan lots of spending to help Dems win re-election next year

From Roll Call:

The House wants to increase Members’ office budgets next fiscal year by almost 15 percent, partly because 2010 is an election year and lawmakers anticipate a surge in franked mail.

In a recently released budget request, the House Chief Administrative Officer asked appropriators to raise the Members’ Representational Allowances — which fund everything needed to run offices, including salaries, travel and supplies — by $90 million, citing increases “due to the election year cycle.”

“In an election year the expenditures increase and then decrease in a non-election year,” the request reads.

Increases for most expenses are usually modest from year to year, accounting mostly for inflation and cost-of-living adjustments. But during election years, some accounts get a big bump.

The fiscal 2010 request includes an extra $16 million for franked mail — an 80 percent increase from fiscal 2009. The stated reason: Members send more mail to their constituents during an election year. . . . .

Ironically, the UK's MPs are undergoing their own scandal with expenses.

The public's view of MPs has been badly damaged by a series of revelations about expenses claims, a new survey has revealed. . . . .



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