Election Mailings Save Postal Service — For Now

Monday, 15 Oct 2012 09:18 AM

By Greg McDonald

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The U.S. Postal Service had been teetering on the brink of insolvency, but thanks to the 2012 election it's expected to rake in enough cash from political candidates and super PACs to meet its obligations through the rest of this year.

According to a report by CNN Money, the postal service is busier this year moving and delivering more political junk mail than past election cycles. By the end of August, spending on postal mailings by federal candidates, parties and political action committees had topped $28.9 million, at least $1 million more than was spent in all of the 2008 presidential and congressional elections, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

The service estimates that when local and statewide races are added into the mix, the haul for the federal agency could surpass $285 million by the time voters go to the polls on Nov. 6.

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That may not sound like much, when put up against a net loss of $5.2 billion as of June 30 this year. But postal service spokesman David Partenheimer told CNN Money that it would get the agency through an October cash crunch that Congress had been warned about.

"Our liquidity situation remains serious," Partenheimer said. "We do expect election mail and the current holiday mailing season to help us get through this month's low point in our cash flow."

Congress, however, will still have to decide next year what steps to take to save the postal service, something that national lawmakers have not yet been able to reach a consensus on. Until then, their own campaigns for re-election may have to suffice to help keep the U.S. mail service afloat.

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