Recently, I wrote an article titled “What’s Good for the Goose not so Good for the Gander”concerning Senator Feinstein, a Democrat from California, and the sale of the United States Post Offices across the country. I asked whether you believed that it is a conflict of interest for a State Senator’s husband to be given a contract, by our Representatives, to sell Post Office properties around the country that will result in record commissions for he and his wife?
Prior to writing this article, I posted a letter to Democratic Senators Warner and Kaine of Virginia asking this very question. Why would the United States give a contract to a company with financial ties to the husband of one of our Senators? Would this not be considered a conflict of interest? In this economy and weak job market, why not offer individual contracts to Real Estate Firms in the towns where the buildings where to be sold? The Taxpayer did help fund these locations though our taxes. Why not give back to the American people and help create jobs?
Well, I never heard back from Senator Warner, but I did receive the following response from Senator Kaine’s office:
Thank you for contacting me about the sale of United States Postal Service (USPS) facilities. I appreciate hearing from you.
The U.S. government has provided postal services in the United States since 1775. In 1971, the USPS became a self-supporting agency, covering its operating costs through sales of postage and related products and services. Recently the USPS has experienced significant financial difficulty. From FY 2001 through FY 2010, mail volume decreased by 23 billion pieces, or approximately 42%. Additionally, in FY 2012 the USPS operated at a loss of $15.9 billion.
The USPS has proposed several ideas to save money and to improve its financial condition. These proposals include increasing postage rates, recalculating retiree health care and pension payments, closing postal facilities, stopping the current six-day-delivery policy, and selling post office properties. In the Postal Service’s 2012 report to Congress, USPS said it plans to sell approximately 600 buildings.
In 2011, CBRE Group, Inc. was awarded an exclusive contract to sell USPS facilities, with a commission of between two and six percent. This contract was bid competitively.
I appreciate hearing your views regarding this issue. Thank you again for contacting me.
So, do you think he answered my questions? The only thing I know now that I did not know before is that there are actually 600 USPS buildings being sold not 56. That means that CBRE now stands to make even more money then originally expected. What is the total commission to be made on selling 56-600 buildings at 2-6%, in prime locations around the country?
Do you think I received a straight answer? Did he even respond to my concerns about a “conflict of interest?” Did he respond to my question as to why we could not spread the wealth around considering the state of the economy and the high unemployment rate around the country?
Are you tired of our Representatives passing laws that we, the American people are supposed to follow, but they do not? Are you tired that we, the American people are suffering the consequences of Obamacare while our Representatives are not held to that standard but have their Cadillac insurance policies funded by the American taxpayer? Are you tired of the American people being spied on continuously without our consent and against our wishes while our Representatives stand by and say it is what is best for us? But when they realize they are also being watched, it is a violation of THEIR Constitutional Rights? Are you tired of our Representatives getting richer while they serve us while we go broke? Are you tired of our Representatives making a career out of politics as usual?
Is this what was intended by our forefathers? Did they intend for those representing the people to be real everyday Americans? Did they intend for a person to step up and serve in public office and then return to the private sector? Did they intend for the government to be made up by the people? Or do you think they meant by the same people year after year after year?
Do you believe that term limits will solve any of these issues? If our Representatives were actually required to obtain employment out in the world like the rest of us, would they pass laws that were more favorable to the American People? If they were allowed to run for 2 terms only and then return to the private sector, would we, the American people be better served by our Representatives?
Somehow, I think if we asked our Representatives that question, we would not get a straight answer!