Election Results Leave Uncertainty for DM Issues

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GREENWICH, CT -- Republican control of the Senate as a result of the Nov. 5 elections provides no insight into how the direct marketing industry will be affected, said Mark Micali, the Direct Marketing Association's vice president of government affairs, at the Hudson Valley Direct Marketing Association luncheon yesterday.

He cited privacy as an example of where adversaries can be found on both ends of the political spectrum.

"I'm not certain at this point that the change in the Senate will have a material impact on the privacy issue," he said. "There will be a push next year for major privacy legislation as there was this past year and we will have to deal with it regardless of how last night's election had turned out. We will be fighting a number of battles on the privacy front for some sort of national privacy legislation. And if that day is to come, hopefully it's not onerous legislation."

He also stated that a battle will be waged next year on the sales and use tax issue with the expiration next November of the Internet tax moratorium. Once again he wasn't sure whether the change in control of the senate would "materially impact" the issue since there are "friends on both sides of the aisle."

He concluded with the good news that the U.S. Postal Service will likely not raise rates until 2006 after finding that it had overfunded a postal workers' retirement plan.

"If Congress can affirmatively pass a bill to simply let this overfunding be recognized and allow the Postal Service to not make its normal payments into that fund next year and the following year," he said, "this could be a significant savings of $5 billion to $6 billion for the Postal Service."

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