Campaign or Congressional Staff?

Exile at Rochesterturning has a Kuhl press release sent by Meghan Tisinger, Kuhl's press secretary.  It's a political product, since it calls Eric Massa a "puppet" and accuses him of "spewing falsities".  Exile points out that the press release might be part of a Kuhl strategy to delay his announcement so he can use Congressional staff without penalty.

That's an interesting theory, but there's no need for Kuhl to do that.  According to the rules governing staff conduct, staff are free to "volunteer" their "own time" to work on the campaign.  As for what constitutes the employee's "own time", that's determined by the "personnel policies that are in place in the employing office."   So, as long as his press secretary volunteers, she's free to write press releases for Kuhl in her spare time.

The use of government equipment for campaign purposes is forbidden.  The press release was sent from a Gmail account, not the House mail system.  But it went out on a Wednesday afternoon while Congress was in session, so Exile wonders if Ms Tisinger was using her government-supplied computer.  We'll never know, but I'd be surprised if Randy's staff didn't have campaign laptops to use for campaign business.

The loose rules for campaign use of Congressional staff is just one of the many perqs of incumbency.  They're issued by the House Ethics Committee, which is controlled by Democrats, so it's not as if the Republicans are cutting Randy a break.  It's just part of the huge, undisclosed and largely unmonitored incumbent advantage that helps prop up the established Congressional power structure.  


Thanks! I updated the post to reflect what you've pointed out.

I think the bigger issue in the press release is the awful grammer used by Kuhl in his statement. I know his fundraising is bad and his congressional budget is tight, but can't he at least splurge for a good grammer primer, Strunk and White can be purchased for only $10 at some online book stores.

With the bad grammer, its really hard to understand what point Kuhl is trying to achieve with his rant.

James, are you saying that you're "astonished at the amount of inaccuracies" in the press release?

James: In fairness to Kuhl, he may not have written any of it himself.

Still, he's not running for president, he approves everything that comes out in public attributed to his name. So he either wrote it, or has someone writing for him that is ignorant of grammer usage, and he doesn't know any better when he approved of it; or "his people" wrote it properly, and he changed the text to make sure it was using improper grammer.

This is Kuhl's life, don't kid yourself, everything done in public from his office is orchestrated and approved by him personaly.

Perhaps we should only allow old English teachers to run for office?