Benjamin Bailar, the former Postmaster General, has told Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe that the United States Postal Services is "prostituting" its stamp program. Bailer resigned from the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee, the group that decides what goes on stamps, in a nine paragraph letter.
Linn's Stamp News first obtained the letter, sent July 23rd. In it, Bailar takes issue with the Post Office selecting commercial subjects for stamps, as these images help them earn more money, and the USPS is notoriously broke.
At the September 2013 Committee meeting, members complained that the "agency’s marketing staff was pushing pop culture over more enduring images." A series of stamps featuring Harry Potter were a particular point of contention, because the committee had no input in selecting these. In the eyes of committee members, particularly Bailar, these designs were selected through an outside marketing consultation and chosen purely to boost sales.
In response to this, Bailar wrote, "The stamp program should celebrate the things that are great about the United States and serve as a medium to communicate those things to a world-wide audience." Bailar went further to say, "Suffice it to say that the committee should be a first-class resource for you and the Postal Service, and I believe it is no longer meeting that standard."
While the committee is still around and hosts quarterly meetings, Bailar suggests that it be disbanded, "given the apparent desire of the USPS to commercialize the stamp program."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.