Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Mail en masse

Texas state Sen. Eliot Shapleigh's aides flooded Amarillo Globe-News mailboxes Monday with 15 copies of "Texas Borderlands: Frontier of the Future" -- all 486 pages of it.

I got a copy. Eight of my colleagues got a copy. And, five people who no longer work here got copies.

"We try to make it available to as many people that could be interested in using it," said Daniel Collins, communications director for the El Paso senator. "Again, we do think it has broad implications -- the information would be useful for people who are writing in all subject areas."

True, "the opportunities and challenges faced along the Texas-Mexico border" are a statewide issue.

"Good information is the basis of good policy," Shapleigh said in a provided comment. "The Borderlands Report has been useful since Comptroller (John) Sharp first printed it in 1998. Hundreds of policy makers, grant writers and academics use it every year."

The senator's office mailed 401 copies of the hefty book at $2.93 a pop -- almost an $1,175 total cost. "Less than 300" of those went to 20 media outlets across the state, Collins said.

"We tried to distribute to reporters all across the state with an interest in making Texas a better place," Collins said.

Elected officials, media and key academics in the El Paso area received 57 copies, and where possible, those were hand-delivered, as were copies to members of the Texas Legislature in Austin, he said.

The postage money came from personal franking funds allowed to every Texas state senator, to use at their discretion, Collins said.

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