Who leaked the plans for upcoming postage stamps?

Courtesy of U.S. Postal Service
Courtesy of U.S. Postal Service

A Washington Post article revealing a secret list of future postage stamps has piqued the interest of one of the nation’s most prominent philatelist publications, which is trying to figure out who might have leaked the information to reporter Lisa Rein.

A writer for Linn’s Stamp News speculated in a recent editorial that the list may have come from Susan McGowan, the U.S. Postal Service’s executive director for stamp services and corporate licensing, who had commented that a new emphasis on pop-culture might help “bring new eyeballs” to the stamp program.

MORE: A gallery of the pop-culture subjects selected for upcoming stamps

“McGowan’s upbeat remarks suggest that the Postal Service might have intentionally leaked the list to the Post as a smart marketing effort: to test the waters on the popularity of future issues and to gauge collector’ and public opinion,” Linns writer Charles Snee said in the editorial article.

Snee also posited that the information may have come from a non-management member of the Postal Service ranks, but he wondered what the motivation would be.

Either way, the author suggests that the Post article ended up a plus. “From where I sit, the Postal Service and stamp collecting are certainly benefiting from the leak, because a major national paper brought attention to the nation’s stamp program,” Snee said.

Rein said there is no chance she will reveal the leaker’s identity. “Protecting sources is important for reporters to ensure that people feel comfortable coming forward and sharing information that’s of public interest,” she said. 

Sorry readers, you’ll just have to continue wondering about this one.

Follow Josh Hicks on TwitterFacebook or Google+. Connect by e-mail atjosh.hicks@washpost.comVisit The Federal Eye, The Fed Page and Post Politics for more federal news. E-mail federalworker@washpost.com with news tips and other suggestions.

Josh Hicks covers the federal government and anchors the Federal Eye blog. He reported for newspapers in the Detroit and Seattle suburbs before joining the Post as a contributor to Glenn Kessler’s Fact Checker blog in 2011.
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