Under fire for missing key votes to play golf, and facing for the first time in many years a credible primary opponent, the 13-term congressman last year sent out nearly 700,000 pieces of mail to constituents, touting his record and years of service. The mailers cost taxpayers more than $190,000 in postage. Only nine U.S. representatives, of the 435 in the House, sent out more taxpayer-financed mail than Burton.
It's not the first time, of course, that questions have been raised about Burton's judgment and use of congressional perks. In 2007, he missed House votes for a week in order to play golf with celebrities in Palm Springs, Calif. It also was revealed last year that taxpayers were shelling out $702 a month to provide Burton with a Cadillac DeVille. Burton last year was the only member of the House to vote against tougher ethics rules for members of Congress. The legislation passed the House by a vote of 430-1.
Burton apparently feels he can get away with such outrages because he represents one of the most heavily gerrymandered districts in the nation. The only real challenge Burton need ever fear at the polls is in the Republican primary.
McGoff's campaign may not have nearly as much as Burton's campaign to spend, but the Star's reporting and editorializing against Burton is going a long way in helping to close the money advantage Burton has.