Please, Mr. Postman

Posted May 9, 2003 at 5:20pm

Capitol Hill offices will experience some delays in mail deliveries through Wednesday and possibly Thursday because of a problem with the U.S. Postal Service’s irradiation equipment.

In a “Dear Colleague” letter sent last week, Chief Administrative Officer Jay Eagen informed staff that first-class letters and flat mail deliveries would be affected because of a “technical problem” at the irradiation operation in Bridgeport, N.J.

[IMGCAP(1)] Operations were shut down Friday to accommodate repairs, which were scheduled to be completed the same day.

Eagen said the Postal Service “should be fully caught up with their procession by the weekend.”

Stay Put? Noon today marks the deadline for any parties in the ongoing campaign finance litigation to file

responses to the various motions for “stays” that were filed last week.

On Friday the Justice Department and the Federal Election Commission, which are charged with defending the new law, asked the three-judge panel to stay its decision.

Congressional sponsors of the McCain-Feingold legislation made the same request one day earlier.

“The regulated community has had to adapt to widespread changes in the regulatory regime as a result of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, and further adjustments may be required after the Supreme Court rules,” FEC Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub said in a statement.

“To expect people to assimilate and operate under three separate sets of rules within a single election cycle is unreasonable, unrealistic, and invites error. Stability and clarity will be served by a stay of the District Court decision, pending a ruling by the Supreme Court.”

FEC Fixes? Speaking of the FEC, the campaign watchdog agency sent a shorter than usual package of legislative recommendations to the White House and Capitol Hill last week.

In her cover letter, Weintraub stated that the FEC was sending forth “only high-priority recommendations with broad Commission support.”

Among the agency’s recommendations: making permanent the Administrative Fine Program; increasing and indexing for inflation all registration and reporting thresholds; and requiring mandatory electronic filing for Senate campaigns.

The FEC is also proposing to add a provision to the law that would prohibit an FEC commissioner or employee from publicly supporting or opposing a candidate, political party or political committee subject to the FEC’s jurisdiction.

— Amy Keller