The Shark Tank

**Update-Wasserman Schultz Ignores House Franking Rules with Taxpayer-Funded Mailer

by Javier Manjarres

Here we go again- the latest instance of Democrats in Congress using any means to further their political agenda would likely lead most clear-eyed observers to admit that rules were broken- several times, as a matter of fact.  Recall several months back when House Democrats sent out taxpayer-funded mailers accusing Republicans of wanting to “End Medicare”?  Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’ (D-FL) most recent constituent mailer sent to her District’s constituents completely erases the line between “matters of public concern” that are allowed under House Franking Rules and outright political campaigning- we would say partisan demagoguery, but as they pertain to Wasserman-Schultz, we repeat ourselves.

You can read the regulations concerning House Franking privileges and judge the content of Wasserman Schultz’s mailer for yourself. (Click here for mailer)

Her first instance of flouting the rules in this particular is where she identifies and calls out a political opponent by name when challenges Congressman Paul Ryan(R-WI) and his Medicare plan, a preemptive political attack that likely falls under “nonfrankable items”.

The Wasserman-Schultz mailer states, “Under the leadership of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the House of Representatives has developed a plan to end Medicare and replace it with a voucher system.”

The mailer also states, “The Ryan budget plan is a voucher plan. It would dismantle traditional Medicare and replace it with a voucher paid to insurance companies.”

It seems that there also is a double standard in Congress as to what types of statements are allowable in franked congressional mail that can be disseminated to the public.  According to a source in another Congressional office, when its representative prepared a mailer similar to the Wasserman-Schultz mailer in question, the Committee of House Administration denied their piece of mail simply because they named and questioned President Barack Obama.

The Wasserman Schultz mailer has some more questionable inclusions that also flout the rules.  First, note the typical disclaimer that “this mailing was prepared, published, and mailed at taxpayer expense.”

But in addition to the disclaimer, there are (4) clear promotions included on the mailer for 1. the recycling itself, 2. the Soy Ink campaign, 3. the promotion of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local #966 and finally 4. the promotion of “DWS TV”, Debbie Wasserman Schultz’ own On-Demand Cable TV Channel on Comcast’s Cable Service.

“Soliticitations, Promotions, or Endorsements”  are clearly prohibited by House Franking Rules- so why is Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz promoting a Teamster’s Union?  Did the Teamster’s prepare, publish, and mail the mailer as it states?  Regardless of whether or not the local Teamsters union printed this publication, if the House Franking Rules are to mean anything, it crosses the line to promote a clearly partisan organization- especially one that has donated untold amounts of money to Wasserman-Schultz. (Click here to view this image of the mailer)

According to the latest FEC reports, the AFL-CIO,other unions, and the now famous SEIU has donated $10,000 from it’s coffers, and most interesting, the Comcast corporation’s Political Action Committee(PAC) has donated $7500 to Wasserman-Schultz.

Why are the Comcast cable donations interesting? At the bottom of the mailer, we learn that Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz has her own cable TV channel- appropriately named “DWS TV”, which can be seen on Channel 890 on Comcast-on-demand. The channel is on demand, but does not charge viewers to watch. The DWS TV channel also has several categories including a quick synopsis of a day in the life of the Congresswoman, other issues related categories.  Has Debbie Wasserman Schultz paid for her own On-Demand Cable TV station?

Clearly, rules are little more than an afterthought for the Democrats in the quest of their progressive socialist agenda.  Are there any Democrats out there willing to defend this mailer with a straight face?


**Update- Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s office just forwarded a document stating that the mailer in question had complied to House Franking rulings before it was mailed out. The question still stands as to whether the mailer blurred the line between  ‘frankable’ or’ unfrankable’, regardless if it passed the sniff test.

About author

Javier Manjarres

As the managing editor of The Shark Tank, Javier was awarded the 2011 CPAC Blogger of the Year. Countless videos and articles from the Shark Tank have been featured on Fox News, The Hill, Wall Street Journal, and other national news publications. Javier has also appeared on Univision’s “Al Punto” and numerous radio shows, including being the weekly 92.5 Fox News' DayBreak with Drew Steele political contributor

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  1. Hank Bradley August 8, 2011 at 10:28 am

    What we have come to expect from the two timing double standard, flaunt the rules Democrats.

    They are allowed but others are not, why can’t the public see this happening and appropriately punish them at the ballot box?

    They will do anything, say anything and promote anything in order to keep their power won when Obama’s hope and change swept to victory. Hows that doing? They lie, they cheat, they manipulate and have the press in their pocket. A good example is the dinosaur in Miami called the Miami Herald and it’s writers.

  2. Bryan K Donnelly August 8, 2011 at 10:37 am


    Glad you published this. Have the “mainstream” media like the Herald or Scum Sentinel run it yet? I’ll not hold my breath.

    But why should we be surprised that the nastiest, meanest, most lying B…. in the congress also breaks the rules. Is this not just what we’ve come to expect from the Democrat-socialists?

    DO let us know whether the SE FL “lamestream” media ever cover this outrage. BTY Javier, see you up in Orlando for the GOP convention-straw poll next month?

  3. FLChristyB August 8, 2011 at 11:08 am

    Come on, what’s the story here, we all know the rules don’t apply to them. They have been getting away with this kind of stuff for years, whose going to stop them? The idiots that continue to vote for morons like her sure don’t seem to care.

  4. LV August 8, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Elma Fudd is your typical pathetic libloon joke. It’s up to the Republicans to go after her ugly behind and hold her responsible. As Elma would say…”weawy…we own the economy. Ooooooo…those Wepubwicans!”

  5. Rob August 8, 2011 at 11:28 am

    I’d like to know when the people who makes the rules are going to enforce them?

  6. Dusty August 8, 2011 at 11:52 am

    What can be done about this instance…File a complaint to the House Ethics Committee or Elections Commission? Is there any legal action tax-payers can take?

  7. Sean O’Neill August 8, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    I still want to know WHY she is being allowed to serve as an elected congresswoman and also be the head of the DNC?

    This is not Kosher!

  8. sada August 8, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    Come on now Doobie … get your kids in public school and enjoy your Koolaid

  9. Lightweight August 8, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Rob, enforcing rules would lead to order.They need to have choas in order to get what they evenually want ; control then order.

    This is why Marco Rubio advocates “comprehensive immigration reform.” To enforce the law already in place would not give non-citizen criminal invaders citizenship.

  10. Kelly Florida August 8, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    Has Debbie had some botox?

  11. George Blumel August 8, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    Ayone who would go on national TV and claim, as DWS has, that Obamacare will save us $500 bil a year can’t be trusted on anything. Outright partisan lies like that are her stock-in-trade. As someone recently said of her, she’s no lady. THAT is an understatement!

  12. Rich August 9, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    You people are disgusting. I received the exact same type of mailer from conservative icon Phil Crane, the drunken congressman for years. You’re all acting like this is the first time someone stretched the rules a little bit.
    I’ve never seen a bigger bunch of self-righteous blowhards in all my life.

  13. Carlos August 10, 2011 at 12:31 am

    And we’re shocked? Gore fundraising from the WH offices, Bubba taking Chicom campaign $, it’s old news. But the hypocrisy of the Lamestream media is still a fact,
    except today they can’t hide it from the net, talk radio and FNC.

  14. WTF!? August 11, 2011 at 8:59 am

    What the F()&(@^#*(&$_@()&$()&!!!!!!!!!!! I am unemployed and this CVN+ is spending my tax dollars on her agenda! ARRGGHH!!!!!!!!!

  15. Sherryl August 11, 2011 at 9:18 am

    We watched CD 2 Rep. Allen Boyd sending out campaign flyers several times “paid for by the taxpayers” under the guise of letting the people of Florida know what he’s doing in DC….what a sham that was, and nothing was ever investigated. Dems like him and Wasserman-Shultz will continue to get away with “breaking the laws” unless someone in Congress has enough guts to question their practices and have an ethics probe along with criminal charges. Otherwise, get rid of those laws so all congressmen and women can use taxpayer dollars for all their mailers! Isn’t this ridiculous! There is no rooster guarding the hen house, is there.

  16. MORT KUFF August 12, 2011 at 10:52 am

    Debbie W.Schultz is as unprincipled as they come. The voters in her district should be outraged that while they are paying her salary for full-time represenatation, she is obviously not giving full time and attention to their issues. And, one can only imagine how much of her time and attention is being diverted and devoted to her position as the DNC chair. So, what kind of a deal are her constituents getting? ARE THEY AWARE? ARE THEY THERE? DO THEY CARE?

  17. Jake August 13, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Barack Obama is the biggest BLOWHARD of all. He doesn’t have a clue how to run a business, and that is what the U.S. is, a business.

  18. Bobby Lynch August 15, 2011 at 8:45 am

    Whaddya mean “rules”. Don’t need no stinkin’ rules

  19. Toomuchsense August 16, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Such a vile evil human being.

  20. Steven September 12, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    Hope you all are having fun spewing your partisan bile. At the bottom of the article, it clearly states the rules were not violated. But then again, when was truth ever a litmus test for the right?

    • Charles Martel September 12, 2011 at 1:18 pm

      No rules were violated? Wrong. The Franking rules were ignored. You can’t square the content of the mailing that was sent out with the Franking Rules.

      For you lefties, the truth only exists to be distorted.

  21. Chad. S. September 21, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    So, have you seen Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack’s mailer sent out last week? It’s a total campaign ad, paid for by taxpayer dollars, but nobody seems to care.

    • Charles Martel September 22, 2011 at 12:30 am

      Rules are rules, and if they are to mean anything, everyone has to abide by them, and the standard should be the same for all candidates. If Mack is flouting the rules, she should incur the same penalty/reprimand as Debbie.