Montana Politics The Media

Post Office Lied About Butte Closure, Excellent Reporting in the MT Standard

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Huge kudos to the Montana Standard for uncovering a Post Office document “through other means”–a document which reveals that the Postal Service lied to the people of Butte about the impact of closing the Butte mail processing center.

Specifically,

  • while the Post Office claimed the closure would only cost 6-7 jobs, their own documents revealed that 21 jobs would be lost.
  • while the Post Office claimed the move was to create cost-savings, they failed to report that the move to Great Falls would cost over $350,000 initially, not to mention long-term costs associated with transportation.
  • The Post Office refused to provide information following a Freedom of Information request because they do not “release the contents of AMP studies because of the proprietary nature of the information.”

The same corporate culture at the Post Office that justifies exorbitant salaries for clearly incompetent CEOs seems to also being endorsing the idea that “proprietary” corporate information trumps the critical importance of open government. The Post Office can’t be corporate when it’s convenient and government when it’s expedient; they are a public trust that needs to behave much better than they have.

And that’s why the work Senator Tester is doing to protect postal service in Montana is so important. His work in the Senate, along with Senators Wyden and Merkley, will give the public enough time to find out just how dishonest the Postal Service has been during this process, not to mention what other “proprietary” secrets might reveal about their decision-making.

As for Republicans in the House, like Representative Rehberg, who created the problem? Their bill doesn’t protect small post offices or prevent rash closures:

The bill still has to be approved by the House, which is far from a sure thing. The House of Representatives bill on the matter is much different, and does not include language that would keep the Butte center open.

How about it, Representative Rehberg? Why not stand up to your leadership and protect Montana jobs and mail service?

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it’s a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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