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Calvert Challenged on Egregious Use of Taxpayer Mailers During Election Season

In a rally with educators, Democratic Candidate Bill Hedrick Challenges Congressman Ken Calvert to Either Pay Back Taxpayers or End Egregious Abuse of Mailers During Election Season

(Riverside, CA) – Democratic congressional candidate Bill Hedrick challenged Republican Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-44) to either end his planned egregious abuse of taxpayer-funded Congressional mailers during the weeks leading up to Election Day, or pay taxpayers back the minimum $35,000 in public funds it’ll cost – enough for an average starting salary for a teacher.

Bill Hedrick Challenges Calvert 8-24-10

In a recent newspaper article, Calvert’s office signaled his plan to bill taxpayers at least $35,000 to send official Congressional mail to 100,000 households during election season, circumventing rules ensuring fair elections. Calvert said he’d run around rules banning mass mailings (500+ pieces) during election season by sending more than 200 variations of mailers at 499 apiece. According to House disbursement statements, Calvert’s average per mailer cost is 35 cents.

“The taxpayer-funded Wall Street bailout that Congressman Calvert voted for does not extend to taxpayers bailing out his campaign,” Hedrick said. “Local taxpayers would much rather have this money spent on local needs, like keeping teachers employed.”

The National Education Association pegs $35,000 as the average starting salary for teachers and Inland Empire educators joined Hedrick Tuesday afternoon at a rally at Riverside City Hall. Speaking with Hedrick were California Teachers Association board member Mikki Cichocki and Kristy Orona-Ramirez, a laid off teacher from Riverside.

“I am that teacher who could be hired with these resources, so the quality of our children’s education doesn’t suffer with program cuts and increased class sizes,” Orona-Ramirez said. “Instead, Congressman Calvert has decided that his job is more important than mine and is sacrificing a teacher’s salary to help him win his election.”

Bill Hedrick has dedicated 35 years to teaching our children and advocating for educators in our public schools. He currently serves on the Corona-Norco Unified School District Board of Education, overseeing the 8th largest school district in California, serving 53,000 students. Bill is the board’s longest serving member at 22 years and has served five terms as president. In 2008, he came with 3,100 votes of defeating Congressman Ken Calvert, making the 2010 rematch for California’s 44th Congressional District one of the most competitive in the state.