Bergman mailers costing taxpayers big money
After discovering Rep. Jack Bergman was "misusing taxpayer dollars to fund self-promoting Meta ads" Dr. Bob Lorinser — Bergman’s challenger — also investigated the incumbent’s print/mailer expenses. Lorinser says the numbers are shocking.
Rep. Jack Bergman increased his print and mailing by 1,250%, spending nearly $122,000 from January through March 2022. Dr. Lorinser says this is compelling evidence that Rep. Jack Bergman may be campaigning with federal funds.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — "I have received many complaints from constituents — Republicans, Independents, and Democrats — stating they're receiving multiple self-promoting mailings from Rep. Bergman's Congressional office, and it's at a frequency they've never seen before my campaign," said Dr. Bob Lorinser. "Their thoughts: Bergman is inappropriately advertising with Federal funds. At first I thought this couldn't be true. I thought it must be illegal."
So, Lorinser's campaign investigated.
According to the Statement of Disbursements of the House, before Jack Bergman faced Bob Lorinser in the Congressional race, the Representative's office spending and printing expenses were on par with the rest of the Congressional delegation from Michigan, Democrat and Republican.
Then, in the 1st quarter of 2022, Bergman's printing cost rose 1250%, and his office expenses increased 50% compared to 2021. All other Michigan Representatives' total office expenses decreased by 3%, and printing increased by 28%.
(Rounded to the nearest thousand)
"This is an unprecedented expenditure," said Dr. Lorinser. "Nearly $122,000 in three months? Why? If informing the constituency by mailing is critical in this rural district, quarterly spending should be consistent, whether in an election year or not. It shouldn't even matter what quarter it is. If Jack Bergman isn't campaigning against me with federal funds, taxpayers are owed an explanation."
"Without explanation, this is completely unethical and just plain wrong." - Dr. Bob Lorinser
Congressional officeholders have an advertising allowance to reach constituents. A bipartisan oversight committee approves expenses, but Dr. Lorinser contends the First District Representative's expenditure increase and the content of the "self-promoting" ads are a "gross misuse of taxpayer funds and go too far."
"This is taxpayer-funded self promotion at a level we very rarely see in Congress," said Dr. Lorinser. "Jack Bergman's campaign should advertise with donor funds only. I will be honored to replace him in November because citizens in Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula deserve a Representative they can trust, someone with principles of honesty and integrity, and someone who spends federal tax dollars wisely. This election cycle, Bergman is abusing his privilege."
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In March, Dr. Lorinser's campaign exposed other "misuses" of tax dollars, spent on Bergman's digital ads. Read more.