Louis DeJoy, the controversial Trump-allied Postmaster General whose policy and operations changes have led to some mail slowdowns across the country, gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to Republican causes in the weeks before he got the job, according to a researcher who testified to a subcommittee of the House Oversight Committee on Tuesday. The donations in question, which totaled about $600,000, were spread across eight weeks after the opening for the position of Postmaster General was revealed. Was he hoping to get some kind of kickback for the donations via an appointment as Postmaster General? If so, he was successful.
Bloomberg reports that “DeJoy… gave President Donald Trump’s campaign and the Republican National Committee more than $600,000 over eight weeks after the opening [for the Postmaster General job] was announced, Lisa Graves, executive director of True North Research, which investigates the influence of money on public policy, said in written testimony submitted to a panel of the House Oversight Committee in advance of a hearing Monday.” Across the entire 2019-2020 cycle, DeJoy has donated in excess of $1.5 million to Republican causes, according to Graves.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations over a small period time is far from insubstantial, but it preceded the appointment of the current Postmaster General. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), who chairs the panel to whom Graves was set to speak on Tuesday, characterized DeJoy as “a crony at the helm of our nation’s Postal Service, a man rife with conflicts of interest and potential violations of law.” Recently, a report came out from The Washington Post claiming that at DeJoy’s old company, New Breed Logistics, employees were pressured into donating to GOP causes and then reimbursed for their donations via increases to their bonuses. Reimbursing political donations along those lines is illegal.
DeJoy’s policy and operations changes at the Postal Service haven’t just threatened the effective handling of mail-in ballots, although that’s been a hot button topic amidst the turmoil. The slowdowns have also threatened things like the prompt delivery of medication to ill and injured veterans along with other vulnerable populations who might receive their health supplies through the mail. What are they supposed to do if the medications that they were relying on simply don’t show up?