No one seems to have covered this story so here's the hearing at the U.S. Senate by Senator Tom Carper, arguably the strongest Postal Service advocate in Congress:
Now that you have seen the hearing, here now is an article I find interesting about postal union donations to Congress:
By Angela Greiling Keane and Jonathan D. Salant, BloombergClearly, there's a conflict of interest for the notorious Rep. Darrell Issa given the number of donations he's received, which have been more than any other House Republican. Senator Susan Collins received the most donations it seems for a member in the U.S. Senate as far as Republicans.
WASHINGTON — All but five of Congress’s 255 Democrats and independents received campaign donations from postal worker union groups in the past six years, raising the political risk of Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe’s move to end Saturday mail delivery.
Political action committees for the seven postal unions contributed $9.6 million from 2007 to 2012 to current members of Congress, 91 percent of it to Democrats and two independents who caucus with them, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from the Federal Election Commission and the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based research group.
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a co-sponsor last year of the legislation that would have required waiting at least two years to end Saturday mail delivery, received $70,500, more postal union donations than any Republican in Congress. Calls to Collins’s office over two days weren’t returned.
California Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House committee with oversight over the Postal Service, had the most donations among House Republicans, $44,500. Issa, who has said he backs ending Saturday mail delivery, said the union donations don’t affect his position.
Democrats control the U.S. Senate, which must agree to most of the changes Donahoe says are needed to save the Postal Service from insolvency. Many of his proposals are intended to reduce labor costs accounting for 80 percent of the service’s expenses. That puts Donahoe in conflict with post office unions, which would lose most of the estimated 22,500 jobs that would be cut if Saturday delivery ends, and have spent years making friends on Capitol Hill.On the other hand, you have protests like these:
“That’s why it’s been so hard to come up with a plan for the Postal Service,” said Bill Allison, editorial director of the Sunlight Foundation, a Washington-based watchdog group. “The obvious thing you want to do is cut back on the number of employees, cut back on services, cut back on benefits. That’s something Democrats haven’t wanted to do in part because of the support they’ve gotten from the unions.”
Donahoe is trying to cut $20 billion a year in costs after the Postal Service, in the face of declining mail volume due in part to email and online commerce, lost $15.9 billion last fiscal year and an additional $1.3 billion in the quarter that ended Dec. 31.
The postmaster general yesterday stood by his position that ending Saturday mail delivery in August is legal, even though appropriations bills for three decades have required six-day mail, with the government operating under temporary funding.
Senate Democrats including Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada insist they, not Donahoe, get to decide on ending Saturday delivery. The Senate passed a measure last year that gave Donahoe some of what he wanted, while blocking him from ending Saturday mail delivery for at least two years. The House didn’t vote on that measure or its own plan.
“It may be in the public interest to curtail Saturday mail delivery, but the decision may not be made in economic interests but in the interest of who their friends are,” said Gary Chaison, a labor professor at Clark University in Worcester, Mass.
This one hits close to home for me as I'm a Berkeley Native:
I have some: Let's start nailing down our Congressmen/Congresswomen on this.
House of Representatives:
And let's especially nail down Darrell Issa and Susan Collins since they've gotten the most contributions from the postal unions.
Washington, D.C. Office (202) 224-2523
Augusta Office (207) 622-8414
Bangor Office (207) 945-0417
Biddeford Office (207) 283-1101
Caribou Office (207) 493-7873
Lewiston Office (207) 784-6969
Portland Office (207) 780-3575
Washington, D.C. Office (202) 224-2693
Augusta Office (207) 622-5884
Bangor Office (207) 990-4604
Biddeford Office (207) 283-4054
Caribou Office (207) 493-7810
Lewiston Office (207) 782-6475
Portland Office (207) 828-0380
Or alternatively, you can contact the DCCC or DSCC respectively if you want them to target the CA-49 race (district which Darrell Issa represents) and the U.S. Senate race in Maine in 2014 (where Susan Collins of course is a U.S. Senator)
430 S. Capitol St. SE
Washington, DC 20003
Main Phone Number: (202) 863-1500
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
Phone (202) 224-2447
Fax (202) 969-0354