Proposed cuts to the cash-hemorrhaging United States Postal Service, including eliminating Saturday delivery, are prompting outcries from lobbying interests as diverse as letter carriers to consumer groups.
Be sure to also include within their ranks the greeting card industry, which relies on the postal service for its business as much as any.
Hallmark Cards Inc. and the Greeting Card Association have both re-signed lobbyist Rafe Morrissey to advocate on their behalf for "all matters pertaining to reform and operation of the United States Postal Service," according to new documents filed with the U.S. Senate.
Morrissey, who has long lobbied for both entities, started his own firm government affairs firm March 1. Hallmark and the GCA "elected to remain with me as clients," he explained to the Center for Public Integrity.
"Both have weighed in on the importance of maintaining six-day mail service as well as the need to pass reform legislation to stabilize USPS finances for the last four years," Morrissey said. "I expect these activities to continue, but there is not an increase in activities this year compared to past years."
Hallmark spokeswoman Linda Odell told the Center for Public Integrity that the company was "skeptical of the estimate of savings to be realized from the proposed elimination of Saturday delivery" and that reducing service was "the wrong approach [for] the future viability of the USPS."
"While six-day delivery is the current issue in question, our concern is more about the long-term health of the USPS, which we believe is important not just to the 200-some businesses who belong to the GCA and individual consumers who use and value first-class mail, but also to the nation’s communication infrastructure," she added.
Hallmark typically spends between $200,000 and $350,000 annually on federal-level lobbying, and last year, it employed seven registered lobbyists, according to Senate records. The Greeting Card Association has spent $120,000 annually on lobbying during the past several years with Morrissey serving as its lone lobbyist during 2012.