06-25-2018  4:43 am      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

AG Rosenblum Seeks Info from Oregonians

Oregon Attorney General seeks information on children separated from families at border ...

Community Forum: How Does Law Enforcement Interact With Vulnerable Populations?

Forum will focus on public safety and examine mental health and addiction issues ...

King County Council Recognizes Juneteenth

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Unite Oregon Hosts ‘Mourn Pray Love, and Take Action’ June 20

Community is invited to gather at Terry Schrunk Plaza at 6 p.m. on World Refugee Day ...

MRG Foundation Announces Spring 2018 Grantees

Recipients include Oregon DACA Coalition, Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe, Komemma Cultural Protection Association ...

Teen uses sign language to help blind and deaf man on flight

BOSTON (AP) — A teenager is being credited with coming to the aid of a blind and deaf man during a flight from Boston to Portland, Oregon.Clara Daly, of Calabasas, California, says she and her mother were traveling last week when the flight attendants asked if anyone knew American Sign...

18-year-old driver dies after colliding with log truck

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon State Police say an 18-year-old girl has died after colliding with a log truck on Highway 101 near Beaver.Law enforcement officials say Mikayla Michelle Howard was driving a 2003 Saab when it crossed into the other lane for an unknown reason on Friday morning....

New Mexico residents to testify on atomic bomb fallout

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Residents of a New Mexico Hispanic village near the site of the world's first atomic bomb test say they were long ignored about the lingering health effects and were expected to share their stories with Congress.The Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium plans to...

Small plane hits car after missing runway near Snohomish

SNOHOMISH, Wash. (AP) — A small plane hit a car after overshooting the runway at an airfield near Snohomish.The Seattle Times reports that three people, including a child, were in a single-engine plane when it was approaching the Harvey Air Field on Saturday.Lt. Rick Hawkins of the Snohomish...

OPINION

How Washington’s 'School Achievement Index' Became School Spending Index

New assessment categorizes schools not by quality of education, but level of funding officials believe they should receive ...

Black Mamas Are Dying. We Can Stop It.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly plans to improve access to culturally-competent care with the MOMMA Act ...

Hey, Elected Officials: No More Chicken Dinners...We Need Policy

Jeffrey Boney says many elected officials who visit the Black community only during the election season get a pass for doing nothing ...

Juneteenth: Freedom's Promise Still Denied

Juneteenth is a celebration of the de facto end of slavery, but the proliferation of incarceration keeps liberation unfulfilled ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Anita Baker, H.E.R., Meek Mill shine at BET Awards

The 2018 BET Awards barely handed out any trophies with big stars like Cardi B, Drake and Kendrick Lamar absent, but the show included superior performances by rising singer H.E.R., rapper Meek Mill and gospel artist Yolanda Adams, who paid tribute to Anita Baker and nearly brought her to...

Photographer David Goldblatt, who chronicled apartheid, dies

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — David Goldblatt, a South African photographer who for decades chronicled the harsh fallout of white minority rule in his country, has died at the age of 87.The Johannesburg-based Goodman Gallery says he died "peacefully" at his home in the city early Monday.The gallery...

Ben & Jerry's factory display honors civil rights campaign

WATERBURY, Vt. (AP) — Ice cream maker Ben & Jerry's has unveiled a new display at its Vermont factory dedicated to civil rights.MyChamplainValley.com reports the display revealed at the Waterbury factory Friday honors Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1968 Poor People's Campaign.The display was...

ENTERTAINMENT

The Latest: Prosecutors cancel Stormy Daniels meeting

The Latest on the investigation into the business interests of Trump's longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen (all times local):8:30 p.m.Stormy Daniels' lawyer says the porn actress' meeting with federal prosecutors in New York who are investigating President Donald Trump's longtime lawyer has...

Complete list of winners at Sunday night's 2018 BET Awards

The complete list of winners of the 2018 BET Awards, presented Sunday at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles:— Video of the year: Drake— Best male R&B/pop artist: Bruno Mars— Best female R&B/pop Artist: Beyonce— Best male hip hop artist: Kendrick Lamar—...

US prosecutors cancel Stormy Daniels meeting in Cohen probe

Porn actress Stormy Daniels was scheduled to meet with federal prosecutors in New York on Monday as part of their investigation into President Donald Trump's longtime personal attorney, but the meeting was abruptly cancelled late Sunday after it was reported by news organizations, her attorney...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Anita Baker, H.E.R., Meek Mill shine at BET Awards

The 2018 BET Awards barely handed out any trophies with big stars like Cardi B, Drake and Kendrick Lamar absent,...

US prosecutors cancel Stormy Daniels meeting in Cohen probe

Porn actress Stormy Daniels was scheduled to meet with federal prosecutors in New York on Monday as part of their...

College sports doctors under new scrutiny amid scandals

Allegations of sexual abuse carried out over decades by team physicians at Michigan State and Ohio State are...

Koreas discuss removing North's artillery from tense border

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The rival Koreas are discussing the possible relocation of North Korea's...

The Latest: Spain: Over 1,000 rescued at sea in last 3 days

BRUSSELS (AP) — The Latest on the flow of migrants into Europe (all times local):12:10 p.m.Spanish...

Thai officials believe 12 boys missing in cave are alive

MAE SAI, Thailand (AP) — Multiple attempts to locate 12 boys and their soccer coach missing in a flooded...

Jennifer Liberto

WASHINGTON (CNNMoney) -- The 2012 election season couldn't have come at a better time for the U.S. Postal Service.

While still low on cash, the postal service has enough to avoid insolvency this month, thanks in large part to the mountains of political junk mail and the influx of Super PACs paying top postage rates.

Federal candidates, political parties and special interest groups are mailing out more fliers and postcards via the postal service in 2012 than in previous election cycles. Spending topped $28.9 million through the end of August, compared to $27.9 million for the entire election cycle in 2008, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

The postal service is on track to surpass an original estimate of $285 million, which includes the haul from local races nationwide, said Cliff Rucker, vice president of USPS sales.

It's still not enough to save the postal service. But it's enough to get the agency past an October cash crunch that the postal service had warned about.

"Our liquidity situation remains serious," USPS spokesman David Partenheimer said. "We do expect election mail and the current holiday mailing season to help us get through this month's low point in our cash flow."

The USPS has been teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. A key reason was a 2006 law that required the postal service to make annual payments of about $5.5 billion for 10 years to pay for future retiree health benefits.

The other big issue has been the dramatic drop in regular mail that most consumers use because the rise of technology has enabled electronic bill pay and instant communications like email, skype and texting.

In the three months that ended June 30, the agency reported net losses of $5.2 billion.

Congress has been grappling with different bills to save the postal service, but no consensus has emerged. None are expected before next year. By spring, the postal service could again face the threat of insolvency.

The election season has been a bright spot. Political consultants, who send direct mail, are predicting the 2012 political season to be the best yet for the postal service.

"It's a presidential year, there's more money in the system, there's certainly more direct mail ... than there was two years ago," said Chris Cooper, managing director at SKD Knickerbocker, a political consulting firm that works with Democrats.

Roughly 15 percent of campaign spending goes toward political junk mail, according to the Campaign Media Analysis Group. If $2.5 billion is spent on the 2012 elections, as the the Center for Responsive Politics has estimated, it could push the tally as high as $375 million.

The postal service is more conservative. Spokeswoman Patricia Licata says the USPS is hoping to meet or top its political haul from 2010, which was about $338 million.

One major reason for the large haul is the influx of Super PACs, the independent groups that can raise and spend unlimited amounts of cash on campaigns. Many Super PACs are funded with cash from large corporations and small groups of wealthy individuals.

The Super PACs are also spending more because they don't qualify for postal service discounts of about 8 cents to 12 cents apiece reserved for candidates and political parties. Those can add up.

Political groups also prefer direct mail, because they can "micro-target" certain geographic areas for specific, often negative, messages about opposing candidates.

"Much of the political mail is coming from the Super PACs, because you can send nastier messages about candidates with direct mail than you can in a television ad," said Alan Robinson, a postal policy consultant with Direct Communications Group.

So far, Democrats are outspending Republicans using the postal service -- $17.8 million vs $10.2 million -- according to an analysis of campaign expenditures by the Center for Responsive Politics.

™ & © 2012 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

 

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