US Stamps

By Bill McAllister, Washington Correspondent

Globe-trotting Ruth Goldway ousted as PRC chairman

December 08, 2014 12:00 AM

Congressional anger over the global travels of Postal Regulatory Commission chairman Ruth Goldway has apparently ended her reign at the federal agency that regulates postal services.

A PRC staff member confirmed to Linn’s that Robert Taub, a member of the commission, has been tapped by President Barack Obama as the panel’s acting chairman.

First appointed to the PRC by President Bill Clinton in April 1998, Goldway, the former mayor of Santa Monica, Calif., was twice reappointed by President George W. Bush to become the longest serving Senate-confirmed appointee in the executive branch.

To stamp collectors, she was best known as one of the top postal officials to advocate that the United States Postal Service should adopt the forever stamp.

But her international travels angered a number of lawmakers who had been appealing to President Obama to replace her before her latest term ended in November.

Postal Service officials had expected her to remain in office until a replacement was named.

Goldway had been the commission’s chairman since 2009, and she fashioned herself as a consumer advocate, a role she had played in California before moving to Washington.

Two publications had written critical articles about her world travels.

Most recently, the Washington Free Beacon reported that she spent more than $38,000 on trips to Rio de Janeiro; Doha, Qatar; Stockholm; and other locations to attend postal conferences and meet with postal authorities between 2012 and 2013.

In 2012, The Washington Post reported that she had spent more than $18,000 on official trips during the first two years of her chairmanship.

Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Tom Carper, D-Del., and ranking Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, sent a letter in July to the president, urging the appointment of a replacement before her term expired.

Goldway’s travel was funded by postal ratepayers, who fund the operations of the five-member commission.

Sen. Carper praised Goldway “for her 16 years of service on the Commission and her efforts to help the Postal Service navigate its many financial obstacles over the last few years.”

“Robert Taub has served on the commission for nearly four years and is well-prepared for his new role as chairman,” said Carper. “I look forward to working with him and the rest of the commission as we continue our efforts here in Congress to pass comprehensive postal reform.”