Maloney floods NYC district with taxpayer-funded mailers ahead of primary, raising ethical questions


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Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney is relying on a practice one expert says is blurring ethical lines in her re-election bid.

A "franked" letter refers to mail sent from a House member to a constituent paid for by taxpayers. According to her office, Maloney sent nearly 26,000 franked letters touting her various achievements across the 12th congressional district at a time when there is supposed to be a blackout for mass communications. The workaround: those letters were sent in batches of 499 or fewer, to comply with the letter of House rules.

Richard Painter, a law professor and former chief white house ethics attorney for President George W. Bush, said Maloney was exploiting a loophole

"This is clearly an attempt to get around the law," said Painter.

A spokesperson for Maloney's campaign said all mailers complied with House rules.

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