At today’s meeting of the USPS Board of Governors, the panel elected Mickey D. Barnett of New Mexico as its new chairman. Barnett is a lobbyist for the payday loan industry, Indian casinos and drug legalization. He’s also a major figure on the far right of the New Mexico Republican Party, and was involved in the US Attorney’s scandal during the George W. Bush Administration. While Barnett is a Republican, stocking the USPS leadership with lobbyists and failed politicians is a bipartisan effort: Barnett replaces Democrat Thurgood Marshall, who, notwithstanding his distinguished name, is also a lobbyist, and an executive with the controversial private prison company, Corrections Corporation of America.
Replacing Barnett in the Vice-Chairman’s seat will be James Bilbray, a Nevada politician and crony of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. When Reid was elected to the Senate in 1986, Bilbray won his former House seat. He lost it eight years later after it was revealed that he had sponsored legislation that would give one of his aides a multi-million dollar windfall.
Needless to say, there’s nothing in the resumes of any of these individuals that suggests they have any business running a huge, important business like the US Postal Service.
Just imagine what the USPS could be like if Congress and the White House stopped a) bleeding money from it in order to make the deficit look a bit smaller and b) using it as a halfway house for failed politicians, cronies and lobbyists…