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Louis DeJoy, the USPS Board of Governors, and Steve Mnuchin Are All Acting as Part of the Trump Reelection Campaign

Recently, Trump openly declared that he would not sign any bill that allots more money to the Post Office because he didn’t want the USPS to be able to process mail-in voting. He also specifically stated that if the USPS effectively delivered mail-in votes, the US would have “levels of voting that, if you ever agreed to it, you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.” Shortly thereafter, he stated that mail-in ballots would, he hoped, “disappear” in post offices.

When questioned during testimony in the Senate last Friday (which was scheduled to allow DeJoy to present a PR narrative in a Republican committee to set the tone for a Democratic House hearing on Monday — reportedly DeJoy was working with a crisis management PR firm the Trump administration contracted), DeJoy feigned umbrage that his integrity was being questioned when a Democrat asked if he was working with the White House.

DeJoy has contributed more than $1.2 million to the Trump Victory Fund, and millions more to Republican Party organizations and candidates.

It is untenable to believe DeJoy is working independently, particularly when he had an Oval Office meeting with Trump in the last couple of weeks and was appointed through the intervention of Trump capo Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. The USPS Board of Governors rejected the candidates recommended by two recruitment firms and chose DeJoy only at the list minute, in all likelihood because he would be a political errand boy.

Upon DeJoy’s appointment on May 15, NPR wrote an article headlined, “New Postmaster General Is Top GOP Fundraiser”:

The New York native was chairman and CEO of New Breed Logistics, which among other things worked with the Postal Service. He is expected to begin serving in his new role effective June 15.

DeJoy has contributed more than $1.2 million to the Trump Victory Fund, and millions more to Republican Party organizations and candidates, according to Federal Election Commission records. He was also in charge of fundraising for the Republican National Convention.

In fact, DeJoy has a record of lavish GOP funding going back to George W. Bush, and he was appointed one of the three deputy finance chairmen of the RNC in 2017.

DeJoy had questionable credentials on three accounts:

  • His status as a mega-donor to Trump and Republicans;
  • His conflict of interest given his own company contracted with the USPS, and that he reportedly has millions of dollars invested in other competitors to the USPS that raises the specter of privatization, and;
  • His lack of knowledge of the USPS and a respect for its independence as a national service written into the US Constitution.

Further reinforcing the theory that DeJoy is the useful tool for what is basically an arm of the Trump campaign are reports that Mnuchin was central to influencing the Board of Governors to take the steps to slow the USPS down and make it fail (as specified in a mysteriously-written manual that DeJoy started implementing when he formally became the Postmaster General) in order to sabotage Democratic mail-in ballots and secondly to move toward privatization.

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Indeed, the entire USPS Board of Governors is a rubber stamp for Trump and Mnuchin to help achieve Trump’s goals of slowing down and making mail-in ballots “disappear,” helping to create doubt and cynicism about mail-in voting, as well as to move toward privatization, and breaking the back of the postal union, which is largely Black and therefore a target for Trump. As far as privatization, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is calling for the Board of Governors to release financial disclosures that could help reveal whether they “have investments or outside responsibilities that potentially pose conflicts of interest.”

Bolstering the perspective of DeJoy just being the end of a Trump reelection campaign effort is the prolific Republican fundraising of Robert Duncan, the chairman of the USPS Board of Governors. According to a CNBC article “most members of the U.S Postal Service’s board of governors have numerous ties to the Republican Party as well as President Donald Trump’s associates and administration.” Duncan, however, like DeJoy stands out:

Duncan, who is often called Mike, is listed as a director of American Crossroads, a super PAC that’s backing Trump in the 2020 election. His position is posted on the PAC’s most recent annual report, which was filed in March. The committee has spent $1.9 million backing Trump this cycle, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics….

Duncan, who was confirmed for his second term to the USPS board in December, is also labeled as a director of the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC helping Republicans defend their majority in the U.S. Senate. The director filings for the committee have yet to be updated since August 2019. Both are run by Steven Law, the former chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who called Duncan a “friend,” after his latest confirmation.

One of the “tells” that the USPS is being used to help Trump get reelected is DeJoy’s refusal, as stated in both his Senate and House testimony, to reinstall the more than 670 high-speed sorting machines. They can each sort 624,000 pieces of mail a day. That amounts to nearly 42 million pieces of mail every day for the 670 machines. DeJoy says they are no longer necessary because first class mail has decreased during the pandemic. However, it only makes sense if one is attempting to slow the mail down so that ballots will not get delivered on time, either to the voter or back to the board of elections. The additional work —and remember we are talking about 42 million pieces a day — will have to be done manually, which will only create more backed-up mail and ballots, many of which are at risk of never arriving to the voter or the board of elections, and just piling up with the daily backlog that DeJoy has mandated.

It will also increase overtime costs for manual sorting, if DeJoy actually follows through and restores overtime, In addition, millions of dollars in sophisticated sorting machines were destroyed for partisan objectives, an act of vandalism amounting to felony destruction.

Not coincidentally, many of these high-speed sorting machines now decommissioned are in swing states necessary for Trump to win:

None of this is happening because Louis DeJoy thought the actions he took to make the Post Office fail both on ballot delivery and in its operational processing of the mail would help the Postal Service. DeJoy’s changes were first of all designed to make mail-in ballots “disappear” as the USPS becomes increasingly dysfunctional. Just disregard as a blatant lie DeJoy’s claim he will treat ballots as first class mail and that he personally favors mail-in voting. That’s just a duplicitous talking point from his crisis management PR firm. This is one of the financial honchos who was overseeing finance for the RNC, Trump’s reelection convention and giving millions of his own dollars to Trump and the GOP up until he became Postmaster General. Wouldn’t his interests be to aid Trump in his reelection? Isn’t that why he was hired at the last minute with Mnuchin’s blessing?

The process that it takes to ensure hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots are not delivered is the same game plan that will precipitate a call for privatization by Republicans, in which DeJoy and some members of the Board of Governors will profit.

Mnuchin is the key Trump henchman overseeing that the Board of Governors condones DeJoy’s insidious actions that, per Trump’s lawlessness, violate the boundaries of operational separation between the USPS and the executive branch. There will be no one to enforce that the ballots are treated first class when they come down the pike, no one to ensure that DeJoy ensures election integrity (because he was hired to do the opposite), particularly as an email was recently sent to all postal employees not to talk to the media under any circumstances.

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) says that a subcommittee of the Board of Governors is going to investigate the recent assault on the Post Office. This is typical of Democrats to think that investigations and studies lead to enforcement, with mail-in voting beginning in September in many states.

At this point, our last best hope may be open defiance and revolt by USPS carriers and sorters, who might become our modern-day Paul Reveres, rising up against the tyranny of turning a treasured US institution into a Trump campaign appendage by personally ensuring ballots are not tossed into piles of third class mail that get discarded or held up in a week’s back up of postage. Otherwise, DeJoy will continue to read the PR script he has been given, and will sabotage the vote and the independence of the USPS.

The USPS Board of Governors should be reining DeJoy in, but do you ever see the Senate Republicans revolting against the demagoguery of Trump?


Mark Karlin