223 sign electronic petition against USPS move

Posted May 31, 2012

Letters including 223 petition signatures and other information have been sent to the U.S. postmaster general and the six members of Congress from Kansas.

Emily Bradbury, director of member services for the Kansas Press Association, sent the package of information this morning along with a letter KPA Executive Director Doug Anstaett detailing how a decision to give direct mail rate breaks to preprint competitor Valassis would affect our industry.

Go here to download the package of materials.

We had asked KPA members last week to sign an electronic petition that would be forwarded to Kansas Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran and Reps. Mike Pompeo, Lynn Jenkins, Kevin Yoder and Tim Huelskamp and Postmaster Gen. Patrick R. Donahue.

"Some of our newspapers have been customers of USPS for well over 100 years, so it is especially disconcerting that a special deal has been struck with a direct competitor. This special discount, while a bonanza for Valassis, in fact is anti-competitive and similar to kicking sand in the face of some of your best customers," said Doug Anstaett, KPA executive director.

Why did we pursue this course? Because, drawing on their deep roots in their local communities, newspapers have been one of the staunchest supporters of the U.S. Postal Service and the important role it plays in keeping all Americans connected with their communities.

Anstaett continued: "... Preprinted inserts are a significant contributor to the revenue streams of newspapers. Those sources of revenue have been shrinking in recent years, and this is just one more blow that will end up closing newspapers, hurting small communities and expanding the lines at the unemployment office.

"We’re willing to compete on a level playing field, but apparently Valassis is not. And because the USPS is in a revenue crunch of its own, it has decided to abandon one of its most important long-time customers to cater to a single client. That’s not a good business practice, and it will end up backfiring in the long run."

While we have compiled the electronic petitions and sent them to Congress and the USPS, if you want to contact USPS or your congressional member directly, here are addresses and phone numbers for each:

The Honorable Patrick R. Donahoe
Postmaster General and CEO
475 L’Enfant Plaza SW
Washington, DC 20260-3100

The Honorable Pat Roberts                           
United States Senate
109 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
(202) 224-4774

The Honorable Jerry Moran                           
United States Senate
354 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
(202) 224-6521

The Honorable Tim Huelskamp                            
United States House of Representatives
126 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515-1601
(202) 225-2715

The Honorable Lynn Jenkins                            
United States House of Representatives
1122 Longworth HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515-6601
(202) 225-6601

The Honorable Mike Pompeo                           
United States House of Representatives
107 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515-1604
(202) 225-6216

The Honorable Kevin Yoder                           
United States House of Representatives
214 Cannon HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515-1603
(202) 225-2865