News Release

Behind the Attacks on the Post Office

LISA GRAVES, via Evan Vorpahl, evan at truenorthresearch.org, @itstruenorth
Graves is the executive director of the policy research group True North. A month ago, she wrote the brief “The Billionaire Behind Efforts to Kill the U.S. Postal Service,” about Charles Koch. Now she is pointing to connections in the Post Office itself that brought us to this point. She said today:

1) “Donald Trump is obstructing any infusion of funds to help the Postal Service have enough staff and staff time to process ballots in this election because he said so. He and Mnuchin have opposed the HEROES Act provision that would give the Postal Service $25 billion as part of Covid relief and any additional funding to help ensure there is enough staff time available to handle the potential surge in mailed ballots from people choosing this method of voting due to the deadly pandemic, in the states that allow vote by mail.

 

  • “We know that the Trump administration went to bat for private industry, including the airline industry, to get massive bailout funds in the first rounds of Covid relief this spring — while the Postal Service got none, even though it is funded primarily through the sale of stamps and contracts with businesses. (Congress did approve a $10 billion loan, which Mnuchin dragged his feet on until last month, but the previous Postmaster General detailed to Congress that it needed at least $25 billion in the near term and $75 billion total to survive due to revenue losses during the pandemic — like almost every other business, except the Dow.)
  • “We know that one of the provisions the administration and GOP included in the CARES Act resulted in oil companies getting billion dollar refunds by allowing them to carry back losses from this year to offset taxes paid on revenues in prior years. So there’s plenty in the budget to bail out private, for-profit oil companies but not our Postal Service, and this is on top of the Trump tax cut which took nearly a trillion in tax revenue away.

 

2) “We know that the current Postmaster General is the most partisan political person to hold this position in our lifetimes.

 

  • The new Postmaster, Louis DeJoy gave Trump’s campaign more than $360,000 earlier this year after the opening to become Postmaster was announced. It was a substantial set of gifts over just five weeks. DeJoy gave an additional more than $400,000 to [Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell and leadership PACs, as well as four U.S. Senate candidates between the announcement last December and his appointment.
  • “DeJoy has hosted personal fundraisers at his home for Trump during his presidency, raising at least $2 million at one of them which included a six-figure sum he contributed. …
  • “DeJoy also holds millions in stock in competitors of the Postal Service, like his former firm XPO Logistics, UPS, and more. He previously ran a shipping company that his private equity partners arranged to merge with XPO Logistics; he is still invested in that private equity firm, which has been helping other package delivery firms acquire expanded operations, such as UPS.
  • “DeJoy is the first Postmaster General who never worked in the Postal Service. (His companies were contractors of the U.S. Postal Service.)

 

3) “We know that DeJoy was chosen by a Board of Governors entirely nominated by Donald Trump.

 

  • “That was made possible by McConnell, who blocked President Obama’s nominees so that the Board did not have a working quorum for more than five full years.
  • “With all the openings available due to the McConnell obstruction and partisan-packing playbook — which he has also fully deployed to pack our federal courts with unqualified extreme partisans — Trump was able to install a Chairman of the Postal Board to preside over the hiring process that chose DeJoy. The majority of Board members are Republicans.
  • “That man’s name is Mike Duncan and he raised more than $100 million to help keep McConnell in power (through the Senate Leadership PAC), which gave Trump and the GOP control of the Senate — helping to protect his administration from accountability (and facilitating the packing of our Supreme Court and lower courts, too), as David Sirota reported.
  • “Chairman Duncan also helped start and lead Karl Rove’s American Crossroads PAC as well as the GOP Data Trust, which has data on more than 200 million Americans.”