Today I received a letter from Robin Carnahan. It sounded like a campaign letter, but it’s production and mailing costs were paid for by her office, Missouri Secretary of State. In other words, we paid for it.
The mailer purports to warn investors about investment frauds and thefts. But it does so by adorning the “Top Investor Threats” enclosure with a full color picture of herself at the top. The letter takes pains to pat Robin on the back with a one-sided review of what she claims her office has done to protect investors, prominently on the first page. That information isn’t necessary for an investor’s protection, but it is important for Robin to make a name for herself in a positive light. And you have to wade through all of her self-promotion before you get to more important information, buried on the second page.
Robin is running for the U.S. Senate, and she is trying to promote herself whenever she can, preferably on somebody else’s dime. Since she’s running for a federal office, the law restricts from whom she (or her opponents) can raise money, and how much. For example, she can take no more than $2400 per election from anyone, and nothing whatsoever from corporations. So she’s getting around those pesky laws by sending out a campaign mailer disguised as “official business” that her office pays for. That’s you and me, and even her opponents.
This is Robin’s fifth year as Secretary of State, but somehow, she never felt it important enough to provide this information to investors until she began running for the U.S. Senate. How convenient!