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      Branstad mails protest letters

      Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad

      Gov. Terry Branstad released two letters on Thursday that he sent to Postmaster General Patrick Donohoe. The letters protest plans to close rural post offices and processing centers in Iowa.

      Under the USPS TMs current plan, Iowa would see 17.9 percent of our state TMs post offices closed, compared to 11 percent of proposed closures nationally, said Branstad. I am concerned that the Postal Service TMs current plan is disproportionate and puts too much of the burden on rural Iowans.

      Branstad sent one letter with Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and another with Mayor Donny Hobbs of Lohrville, a town of roughly 400 about 20 miles southwest of Fort Dodge.

      The governor and Mayor Hobbs have encouraged the creation of a commission to reconsider closure recommendations and called for a moratorium on closure of postal facilities.

      Branstad says postal officials should find other ways to save money.

      I would like to personally thank Iowa TMs entire congressional delegation for voicing their constituents TM concerns to federal leaders, said Branstad. Iowans understand the need for fiscal discipline and a balanced budget, but they also believe the Postal Service should consider reasonable alternatives suggested by the people and communities affected by the closures.Postal Service spokesman Dave Partenheimer says he hasn't seen the letters and declined to comment.The Associated Press contributed to this story.View a list of proposed office closures