Franks a lot Blue Dog.


     First term congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords spent a whopping $234,000 on franked mail last year. Great to see Daniel Scarpinato revisit the issue. We were getting lonely talking about this waste of taxpayer funds. This from a politician with about $1.5 million in cash on hand.


  1. “oh, the other ones count differently than we do” bwaahhhhaahahahahahah!

    I’ll take Spin for $500 Alex….

  2. What do you think was the cost of using that aircraft carrier and plane to fly Bush in and have him preen in front of a “Mission Accomplished” banner? Let’s talk about not just the cost in dollars, but the subsequent cost in lives lost. When I hear the Bee supporters on this blog (and Bee himself) denounce that act of shameless self-promotion and deception, you might have some credibility in going after Giffords on franking.

    I agree that the comments by Giffords’ staff in this story have an “inside baseball” feel to them and I will go one step further than Josey and call for the outright elimination of the centuries-old franking privilege. It is an outdated and unnecessary extravagance in the Internet age, not to mention a waste of paper. Jim Kolbe sent me a lot of franked mail when he represented me in Congress and many of those pieces were self-congratulatory, even though they were supposed to be “informational.” I read them as much as I now read Giffords’ stuff, which is to say that I glanced at them briefly before chucking them in the recycling bin.

    I saw several Republican names on that list and I don’t remember the GOP advocating the elimination of franking (or earmarks) when they ran Congress. There are probably Republicans who, like the Democrat Grijalva, don’t send out a lot of franked mail. However, Giffords should not be pilloried for engaging in a legal practice and being honest as to how much she is engaging in it. I’ll take that openness over the disingenuous accounting gimmicks Tim Bee just endorsed in the recently-passed state budget any day…and, yes, I will also criticize Janet Napolitano for the same inclination to postpone making tough choices.

  3. Rex,

    I know Senator Clinton thinks Sonoran Alliance is part of the vast right-wing conspiracy but honestly we had nothing to do with Bush’s landing on the carrier.

    On a similar note we could hardly be accused of being the mouthpiece of the Bee campaign (you must be thinking of a different blogger.) We even listed who wasted the most taxpayer funds in earlier years, Republicans and Democrats. We have never been fans of Jim Kolbe and if Tim Bee wins CD 8 we hope that he will not waste taxpayer funds on franking. We agree that the practice should be ended and even noted a great solution implemented by a Democrat. We have more than enough credibility on this issue.

  4. Fair enough, Josey. My main point was that the post read like either a cheap shot or, at the very least, a stretch. It is hardly fair to use this Scarpinato story has some kind of telling act of hypocrisy on the part of Giffords or, for that matter, the majority of all members of Congress. Bee took a shot at Giffords in the article, so I cited him in my post. I am well aware of the fact that this blog has contributors who have both lauded and called out Bee.

  5. Giffords is a total hypocrite on this issue. We documented that she used taxpayer funds to tell the voters that she had become a Blue Dog Democrat.

  6. After reading the article, I noticed that Scarpinato left out the opinions of Derek Tidball (as always). Mr. Tidball has taken the stance of not taken special interest money to fund his campaign, and I would hope that if he is elected to serve this district, he would not use taxpayer dollars to fund this wasteful exercise.

  7. GOP Spartan says

    Maybe Scarpinato left him out because he considered the chances of Tidball winning the CD 8 race and being able to actually get an opportunity use the Franking privilege.

    Tidball has no money, no organization, no name recognition, no experience, no party backing, and no chance of winning. His only success will be to keep Gabby in office; making her an entrenched incumbent.

    Don’t worry Josh, as soon as it becomes clear that Tidball will become Tim Bee’s Ross Perot, the media will start to help him.

    Tidball will become a tool of the left and a stooge of the media in their effort to help Gabby win. After the election he’ll become an insignificant schmuck once again.

  8. JuneBug says

    What causes people to want to run when they have no chance ? …There is always a Joe Sweeney candidate. Maybe they are just happy to have a campaign sign printed up with thier name on it…Oh speaking of campaign sign I mean that literally as he will not have money to buy more than one

  9. Is it that no one knows that all three party’s are very closely equally divided? Derek Tidball has a greater chance because of that fact. When will people wake up and look outside of their party box? Everyone needs to know that you have two career politicians and one Independent who has integrity, has served his country and does not have strings holding him up. He has not been set up like the other two candidates by their party. I guess he has thrown a wrench into the other two party plans. If you want to continue to have your strings pulled by your party then don’t even bother with Derek Tidball because the only one he will be listening to are the people who vote him in to office.

  10. Derek Tidball says

    I normally don’t reply to comments on the blogs, but would like to toss in a word or two at this one.

    Firstly, GOPSpartan, this is one schmuck who would like to meet you at any given time. It’s easy to blast behind a presumed name and contribute nothing to the advancement of ideas or fixing the problems we all face. Kind of takes any personal responsibility out of making a difference doesn’t it? The sidelines must be such a safe and warm place to hide.

    And to JuneBug, your comment is so blatently unresearched that it confuses me. If you were to listen to any of my multiple radio spots or any of the articles written on my campaign you would see that I’m in no way doing this for any recognition. After what I’ve already done for my country getting my name on a sign is the last thing I need to feel self worth.

    If the person who raises the most money is the base item for which you pick a candidate then you deserve whatever you get in the future from your politicians.

  11. GOP Boomer Gal says


    Why didn’t you run in the Republican primary instead of as an independent? I respect your service, but I believe that your candidacy will help to elect a liberal who voted for doing away secret ballots for employees voting on whether to unionize, and voted with Pelosi to can the free trade agreement with Colombia.

    Frank Antenori is also a great veteran who lost in the primary two years ago, but gained the respect and support of our party and is now in a great position to become a state legislator, and eventually, perhaps, will be a Congressman.

    It’s better to go up through the ranks than to be a spoiler. (This being said with all due respect, of course)

  12. GOP Spartan says

    Mr. Tidball,
    We have actually met. I spoke with you at the fair and basically told you the same things.

    I have been in Republican Politics for over 55 years and have done far more to contribute to the advancement of ideas than you could ever hope to in your lifetime.

    Next time I run into you, I will introduce myself.

    I can see you’re struggling with dealing with the reality of being nothing more than a spoiler.

    Without money you have no way to get out your message to the extent of even being a factor in this race.

    Unless you can raise a comparable amount to your other two opponents, you sir, have no chance of winning and succeed only in helping to keep Gabby in office?

    Is that what you want?

    Do you want Gabby to become an entrenched congresswoman in CD8 and represent you for the next 20 years?

    It is obvious you do. Otherwise you would realize the futility of the situation and the likelihood that you will have NO FUTURE in politics.

    You’re approaching the point of no return, if you already haven’t passed it. Are you aware of the five stages of death? Because political death has the same stages.

    From the tone of your post it seems you have crossed over from the denial phase into the anger phase. That’s good, because the next phase is negotiation which I strongly suggest you consider, and consider quickly.

    If not, you will quickly progress to the stages of hopelessness and eventually accepting your demise, your political demise, and it ain’t going to be pretty.

  13. Wow 55 years in Republican politics, I have to say I am impressed!

    What titles have you held? How many terms in Congress did you serve?

    Awwww, it’s sad really…..always a bridesmaid and never the bride, GOP Spartan??

    While your arrogant rant was quite entertaining it came across as an ignorant schoolboy bully looking to pick a fight.

    Your insinuations REALLY impressed this guy to the point where I want to be part of the Republican party and work with ignorant folks such as yourself….

    Oh enjoy that fourth stage. Depression is it?? One more to go for you and we’ll be spared of your ignorance…..

  14. Duke the Dog says

    While some like GOP Spartan are a bit more direct in their approach to Mr. Tidball’s candidacy, there are some that are trying nicely to give you some sound advice.
    While some like GOP Spartan are a bit more blunt in their opposition to Mr. Tidball’s candidacy, there are some here that are trying nicely to give you and he some sound advice.

    I think Mr. Tidball has a future in Southern Arizona politics, just not as an Independent. While he may not like the reality of the two party system, for the time being, and likely into the distant future, that’s what we have.

    There is no Independent Party brand; there’s no Independent Party convention to energize your base; there is no Independent Party Structure with thousands of Precinct Committeemen to walk districts for candidates; and there is no Independent National Committee that can funnel money and resources in and out of races in support competitive candidates.

    Mr. Tidball must face the reality that the deck is significantly stacked against him. Bee and Giffords are two heavyweights with the full power and resources of their parties behind them. They can tap into millions of dollars, hundreds of volunteers, scores of consultants, etc.

    Mr. Tidball was in the Army. He must understand the concept of preparation of the battlefield and building up your combat power before you attack.

    Bee and Giffords have been doing this for years, Mr. Tidball unfortunately has not.

    Mr. Tidball has some tough decisions to make, he can pull a John Wayne and go down fighting in a hail of bullets, or he can realistically calculate his chances, withdraw from the field and live to fight another day, in another race, when he’s politically stronger.

    Don’t let pride ruin what could potentially become a bright political future. The Republican Party is constantly looking for new candidates. There are plenty of offices for him to get his feet wet in. He might want to consider a State Legislative Race, a City Counsel Seat (This is really a possibility since the Dems are royally screwing up Tucson), or even a County race.

    Just think it through, for everyone’s sake.

  15. Without funding significantly into the six figure range, and Gabby is throwing millions into defending her seat, Mr. Tidball is not going to be able to reach the voters he needs to elect him.

    How is he going to debate issues with Gabby or Tim if they avoid him? They are unopposed so there is no reason to even include him until after the primary.

  16. Duke the Dog says

    Bob is exactly right. According to the FEC, Mr. Tidball has $0. That means he is yet to exceed the $5000 minimum for reporting to the FEC.

    Where are you going with less than $5k?

    Mr. Tidball has also purchased signs and had rented a booth at the Pima County Fair, which isn’t cheap. So if he had less than $5K as of March 31st, and spent a bunch of money on signs and a booth, what does he have left?

    I guess we’ll have to wait until July to see if he clears the $5K and how much money he has left.

    Either way, it’s hard to see Bee or Giffords giving him the time of day in a debate setting.

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