GOP Freshmen Promise Cuts, Spend Big in First Quarter
PR, car leases cost taxpayers a bunch
By Tim Karan,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 8, 2011 11:00 AM CDT
Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger is the biggest newly elected spender in the House.   (AP Photo/Kinzinger campaign)

(Newser) – Despite campaign promises to slash the federal budget, some GOP House freshmen are sparing no expense on cars and PR at taxpayer expense. At least 15 newly elected Republicans have spent tens of thousands on mailings that boost their exposure in their districts, says House quarterly disbursement reports. Many also have signed car leases that will cost constituents up to $1,000 per month, reports Politico.

Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger is the biggest freshman spender, dishing out $78,000 on "mass mailings and communication" to constituents, including a pamphlet explaining "some of the ways we can help" in government interaction. Minnesota Rep. Chip Cravaak also took on a $1,700 lease for a 2011 Chevy Equinox. However, the first-quarter spending spree isn't limited to the GOP or freshmen, and many Republican frosh (including Allen West and Rick Berg) decided against mailings during the first three months of the year.