Paper trail

U.S. House members spent $20.3 million in tax money last year to send mail to their constituents, much of it little more than junk mail.

As a media outlet, the Southeast Missourian gets more than its fair share of government mailings. Some agencies understand what information their constituents need to know. Others believe everything is news.

For instance, the Illinois governor's office last week sent out a release stating that January is Radon Action Month in the Land of Lincoln.

Government officials must walk a fine line when it comes to public communication. They often go too far by spending tax dollars on political posturing instead of necessary communication. This is an abuse of taxpayer dollars.

It's another example of government not understanding, or ignoring, the difference between serving the public and serving itself.