FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 25, 2012
Contact: Katie Carlson
Shelli Yoder, 9th District congressional candidate, today sharply criticized incumbent Todd Young for using tax dollars to send a political mass mailing targeted to senior citizens that distorts his views on Medicare. Yoder said the mailing is a part of a pattern, citing a June 19, 2012 Roll Call article that includes Young in its top ten “biggest users of the House’s taxpayer-funded mailing system.”
“Todd Young is grossly abusing the congressional mailing privilege to help his re-election campaign,” said Yoder. “Mr. Young should be paying for these campaign-style mailings from his million dollar campaign war chest primarily funded by special interests.” Yoder added the mailing is highly deceptive because it sports headlines claiming that Young wants to “preserve and protect Medicare” when in fact he has voted to privatize the popular program.
According to an analysis of House disbursement records from April 1, 2011 to March 31, 2012, Todd Young has sent out 651,072 pieces of mail at a taxpayer cost of $293,078.29, not including the most recent mailing to senior citizens. (see, www.disbursements.house.gov). The June 19 Roll Call article says that while campaigning is prohibited under House rules, lawmakers like Young “often walk up to the line of impropriety with the wording of their mailings.” Yoder charged that Young’s mailing is even worse because it creates the false impression that Young is protecting Medicare when he voted to dismantle it.
Yoder said the Roll Call article underscores the abuse of the congressional mailing privilege and shows how Todd Young and other top spending Republican freshmen use it “to protect incumbency rather than inform constituents about congressional developments.” Yoder added, “Todd Young ran for Congress criticizing Washington spending. But he has no problem taking full advantage of it when he personally benefits from it. This kind of hypocrisy is what’s wrong with Congress today. And I want to change that.”
Yoder said Young should refund taxpayers for the full cost of producing and mailing the campaign-style brochure entitled “Preserving and Protecting Medicare for the 21st Century.” Yoder described the mass mailing, which landed in the mail boxes of 9th District senior citizens early this month, as “a piece of partisan propaganda designed to persuade voters that Young is working to protect Medicare when he actually voted for a plan that would end Medicare as we know it.”
“Todd Young can’t legitimately claim to be a fiscal conservative while charging taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars for what amounts to deceptive political mail,” Yoder said. “As your Congresswoman, I will not only work to protect your tax dollars from this kind of government waste. I will also fight to preserve and strengthen Medicare and Social Security so it is there for our seniors when they need them.”
Young’s mailing includes photographs with a headline below his name that reads: “Ensuring a sustainable future for Medicare.” The text of the mailing offers one-sided and deceptive declarations of how Young is supposedly protecting Medicare.
Todd Young voted for the federal budget plan proposed by Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives and sponsored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). The so-called Ryan Plan includes a proposal that would require future Medicare recipients to use a voucher provided by the federal government to buy a private insurance policy instead of receiving the benefits directly funded by the federal government. The plan would also curtail benefits.
“What Todd Young fails to tell 9th District seniors in this mailing is that the Ryan-Young plan phases out traditional Medicare altogether,” said Yoder. “Seniors would pay thousands of dollars more each year if Medicare is privatized, as Mr. Young has voted to do. If Todd Young has his way, seniors will be left at the mercy of the big insurance companies.”
Yoder said that she would have voted for the floor motion earlier this month in the House that would have cut franking spending by 10 percent. Young voted against the 10 percent cut.
Yoder’s other key issues in this campaign are creating jobs and expanding economic opportunity for all Hoosier families. Her plan includes increased opportunities for worker training, funding for health research initiatives, and investing in infrastructure and green technologies. Yoder is running to unseat Todd Young in the general election on November 6, 2012. For more information on Yoder’s candidacy, please go to www.shelliyoderforcongress.com.