Bad Publicity

Posted January 23, 2004 at 6:00pm

Capitol Police are seeking to head off concern over a recent U.S. Cellular Corp. promotional mailing that may resemble a mail bomb. The promotion, sent to more than 280,000 addresses nationwide, is packaged in a 9-inch-long clear plastic tube with blue plastic end caps.[IMGCAP(1)]

“The unusual physical characteristics of the mail piece (resembling a pipe with end caps) have resulted in many phone calls reporting suspicious mail,” the Capitol Police wrote to House and Senate offices.

A statement issued by U.S. Cellular acknowledges “isolated concerns” regarding the promotion. “The company is working closely with the United States Postal Service to help assure the public of the direct piece’s function through correspondence with postal service branches in the affected areas. U.S. Cellular has since discontinued the mailing, and will continue to closely monitor the situation and provide any necessary assistance,” the statement reads.

Election Muscle? House Administration Chairman Bob Ney (R-Ohio) will host a meet-and-greet lunch with World Wrestling Entertainment stars Kurt Angle and Bradshaw on Tuesday to recognize the Smackdown Your Vote Initiative aimed at encouraging youth participation in the political process through voter registration and other civic activities.

The event will last from noon until 1 p.m. in Room B338 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

New Caucus. The Partnership for Public Service will host a reception Tuesday at the Capitol to honor the Congressional Service Caucus, a new caucus designed to highlight the challenges facing the federal civil service.

Max Stier of the Partnership for Public Service said the new caucus will provide a forum for lawmakers to learn about issues affecting “the men and women who do the nation’s work each day.”

Challenges include an aging work force that will see 53 percent of its members eligible for retirement by 2007, according to the Partnership for Public Service. At the same time, only one out of four college-educated workers expresses a desire to work for the federal government, according to the organization.

The bipartisan, bicameral organization has nine co-chairmen: Sens. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.), Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and George Voinovich (R-Ohio) and Reps. Tom Davis (R-Va.), Jo Ann Davis (R-Va.), Danny Davis (D-Ill.), Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Henry Waxman (D-Calif.).

— Jennifer Yachnin, Amy Keller and Elizabeth Brotherton