Update: Challenger Slams Rep. LaHood Over Franking Privilege | WGLT

Update: Challenger Slams Rep. LaHood Over Franking Privilege

Aug 30, 2016

Congressional Candidate Junius Rodriguez
Credit Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Democratic Congressional Candidate Junius Rodriguez is attacking his opponent's judgment.

Rodriguez is running against GOP Representative Darin LaHood in the 18th District, which stretches from Bloomington Normal to Quincy.

During a news conference in Bloomington, Rodriguez attacked LaHood's use of federal funds to send out a mass mailing about LaHood's congressional activities.

"It's very difficult to say that this somehow is an informative piece that's being sent out. Let's be real, it's all politics. And if you're doing politics at the taxpayers' expense, that's pretty pathetic," said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez says LaHood's father Ray Lahood did not use such mailings at all in his fourteen-year Congressional stint.

When he was questioned about such campaign mailings back in 2007, then Congressman Ray LaHood stated, direct quote, 'It's a waste of taxpayers' money. I don't believe in this self-promotion,' end quote," said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez also criticized LaHood for opening an office in Bloomington less than three months before an election, calling it politically motivated. LaHood won office in a special election about a year ago.
     
Such criticisms are sometimes leveled by challengers against incumbents. Rodriguez says he thinks this will resonate more with voters this year because of tight economic times.

LaHood Communications Director J.D. Alfonso said constituent service is first in Representative LaHood's mind.

"From the day he took office in September, Darin has worked to fulfill his commitment to set up an office in Bloomington and he’s proud to have established the first 18th District office in McLean County, something none of his predecessors had done. Approximately eighty percent of McLean County resides within the 18th District and represents one of the fastest growing population centers in Central Illinois. It is critical we are able to provide constituent service to McLean County and the surrounding region, and I’m grateful we were able to open an office to do just that," Alfonso said.