U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, a Tennessee Republican, has spent more money in the last quarter than any other House member on official mailings to constituents.
Records obtained by the Chattanooga Times Free Press from the House's Statement of Disbursements show that he spent $224,346.33 from October to December 2011.
DesJarlais, who beat incumbent Democrat Lincoln Davis in 2010 for the 4th Congressional District seat, said in an email statement that one of his top priorities was constituent outreach. Almost every piece of mail he sends out includes a survey on issues, which he said plays a role in legislative decisions.
But state Democratic Party spokesman Brandon Puttbrese said the spending erodes the core message that the conservative freshman campaigned on, which was government cost-cutting.