The money and groups behind postal reform lobbying
The U.S. Postal Service's finances don't look very good -- it recently hit its borrowing limit after defaulting on two $5 billion+ payments. A Senate postal reform bill has passed, but a House version that would allow the USPS to close post offices and renegotiate labor contracts hasn't been brought to the floor for a vote, with pre-election politics making it a tough vote.
A number of major businesses, including ebay, Conde Nast and the Parcel Shippers Association, have been working postal reform under the umbrella of the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service. The group paid the firm Williams and Jensen $20,000 to lobby the postal reform bills, and $20,000 to Sackler Policy Services, headed by lobbyist Art Sackler.
In late October, Ford & Huff announced a practice to focus just on postal issues. Hal Hughes, a former USPS general counsel, is joined by Sackler and postal expert Bob Brinkmann.
National Postal Policy Council, a trade association for businesses that rely on First Class mail, also paid $20,000 to Sackler Policy Services. Association members include heavy hitters like American Express, Sprint and State Farm.
Meanwhile, the American Postal Workers Union spent $153,000, with one lobbyist working on the House and Senate postal reform bills. The union opposes the House bill, calling it a "disaster."