NALC Chief Outraged at Bush Campaign Allegation

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William H. Young, president of the 300,000-member National Association of Letter Carriers, issued a statement last week regarding an allegation made by a key member of the Bush-Cheney '04 team that letter carriers may be failing to deliver election materials in Florida and other states "from homes that appear Republican."


Thomas J. Josefiak, general counsel of Bush-Cheney '04, sent a letter to postmaster general John E. Potter on Oct. 20. The letter said: "Recently the Bush-Cheney campaign received anecdotal reports that mail carriers in Florida and elsewhere have suggested that they would consider failing to deliver ballot materials from homes that 'appear Republican.' This type of behavior is both morally reprehensible and illegal."


The letter sought Potter's assurance that all USPS employees appreciate the importance of delivering ballot and election materials as quickly as possible, regardless of the perceived political affiliation of the voter.


"Given the large number of absentee ballots expected in this election, it is crucial that individual mail carriers understand their important role in the protection of our democracy," the letter said.


Josefiak asked Potter to issue a reminder to USPS employees that all election and balloting materials should be delivered expeditiously, without regard to partisan affiliation.


The next day, Young released a statement that called the allegations unsubstantiated and demanded an apology.


"I am outraged at the allegation -- without any substantiation -- by the Bush-Cheney campaign that letter carriers may be attempting to influence the presidential election by failing to deliver election material in Florida and other states," Young said in his statement. "Letter carriers for over a century have played a vital role in maintaining the integrity of our nation's election process and have no interest in altering that tradition by attempting to sabotage the results of this election.


"It is a shame the Bush-Cheney campaign chose to denigrate the reputation of hardworking letter carriers across the nation by publicizing these unsubstantiated rumors without any evidence of their validity. The Bush-Cheney campaign owes every letter carrier in America an apology."


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