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Madrid Fails the Test

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives are governed by a rule, which establishes limitations on their use of official funds. At this time of year, the section of the rule that is most relevant is the following:

8. In the case of a Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner, a mass mailing is not frankable under section 3210 of title 39, United States Code, when it is postmarked less than 90 days before the date of a primary or general election (whether regular, special, or runoff) in which he is a candidate for public office. If the mail matter is of a type that is not customarily postmarked, the date on which it would have been postmarked, if it were of a type customarily postmarked, applies.

Why is it important to note this rule? Because Attorney General Patricia Madrid has just sent another campaign mailing at taxpayer expense – despite any declarations to the contrary. What makes this latest piece more offensive than all the others is the timing. We are now less than 70 days from Election Day.

True, Patricia Madrid is not breaking any law, but what is legal is not always what is ethical. If we agree that ethical behavior is behavior that conforms to accepted professional standards of conduct, then Patricia Madrid has just confirmed what is widely believed. When it comes to questions of ethics, she has once again failed the test.