As the What Works Cities program, funded by the Bloomberg Philanthropies, celebrates its first year, municipal leaders and experts are looking at ways to make the results of their data efforts “so essential that nobody can take it away.”
Business groups and unions have spent much time and money lobbying postal reform measures.
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."