Trump’s War on the Post Office and Mail-In Voting

Barbara Malmet on Twitter: "This man's picture should be up on the walls of  every post office in America. Because DeJoy is tampering with the mail  which is a federal offense. Wanted:

An avalanche of lawsuits may bury Trump and DeJoy’s effort to privatize the post office and suppress the vote in the November election.  Many former Trump associates are convicted felons and DeJoy may be the next followed by Steven Mnuichin.  

The list of lawsuits filed by state attorney generals, postal workers, and voters concerned about Trump and DeJoy’s action to purposely delay the mail so many ballots won’t be delivered in time to be counted in the November election is growing.

The New York State lawsuit against Trump and DeJoy was joined by Hawaii, New Jersey, New York City, and San Francisco.  

https://ag.ny.gov/sites/default/files/doc_1_complaint_usps.pdf

The Washington State lawsuit includes Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.  

A Pennsylvania lawsuit against DeJoy and the USPS Board of Governor’s chair Robert Duncan includes California, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and the District of Columbia.

These lawsuits argue that the Postal Service broke the law by making operational changes without first seeking approval from the Postal Regulatory Commission.

“The mission of the Postal Service is more vital than ever today, with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing many Americans, especially seniors and the medically vulnerable, to quarantine at home and to rely increasingly on receiving material through the mail. The pandemic has also prompted many States to take steps to make it easier for their residents to vote by mail so that no American is forced to choose between risking their health and exercising their fundamental right to vote,” according to the Washington State lawsuit.

One lawsuit states that Maine postal workers said they were forced to leave 80,000 letters behind rather than being allowed to wait 10 minutes for it to be processed, and Milwaukee has seen dozens of trailers filled with packages that are left behind everyday, among other complaints.  

Trump has expressed his opposition to increased mail-in voting over 70 times and has repeatedly stated that universal mail-in voting would harm Republicans’ ability to win elections.   

In a Fox Business interview, Trump said, “If we don’t make a deal [on USPS funding] that means they don’t get the money, and they can’t have universal mail-in voting.”

The Trump administration has been orchestrating a campaign against mail-in voting and funding for the USPS, with the help of Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuching, they plan to take over the postal service.  

Mnuchin sought to select new Governors that were aligned with his vision and recommended the appointment of John Barger to the Board of Governors.  Barger was tasked with leading the committee to select a new Postmaster General.  They picked Louis DeJoy who has no experience running the postal service.

Trump appointed loyalists to the USPS Board of Governors to do his bidding.  Don’t know if they had to kiss his ring to get the job.  Now the fix was complete with DeJoy as the icing on top of the rigged cake.

According to a CNBC review of public documents and disclosures, five of the six members of the board, including Chairman Robert Duncan, are linked to GOP and Trump circles through various campaigns, legal and financial connections.

Accountable US, a governmental watchdog group, sent a letter to Robert Duncan, demanding his resignation because of his extensive history of voter suppression efforts.

https://www.accountable.us/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/20200824-AUS-Letter-to-Robert-Duncan-FINAL.pdf

 “The United States Postal Service (USPS) has become a political football set to undermine a federal election….The USPS removed hundreds of collection boxes and high-speed sorting machines; cut or curtailed overtime; prohibited needed late trips and extra trips……the policy changes produced serious delays across the country… Around July 31, 2020 the USPS sent letters to 46 states warming that the timely delivery of mail-in ballots for the November 3, 2020 election ” cannot be guaranteed,” according to the New York State lawsuit.

In April 2020, David Williams resigned from the USPS Board of Governors and later testified before Congress that Mnuchin had been directly interfering with the agency’s operation in the months prior to Williams’ resignation.  Mnuchin ordered operational changes at the agency in line with those he had recommended to the President in a 2018 report, according to the New York lawsuit.

In June and July 2020, the USPS adopted new policies that align with Trump’s campaign against mail-in voting.  These new policies were adopted without seeking an advisory opinion from the Postal Regulatory Commission and without an analysis of negative impacts on workflows and delivery outcomes.

These postal policy changes have reduced access to postal service by removing hundreds of collection mailboxes in many states.  Secretary Mnuchin ordered the removal of the collection boxes, according to William’s testimony to Congress. 

The USPS has removed approximately 670 of mail-sorting machines responsible for processing 21.4 million pieces of paper mail per hour.  Several cities are seeing sorting capacity reductions of over 300,000 pieces of mail per hour.  Postal technicians estimate that it would take 30 employees over their entire shift to replicate the work of a single mail-sorting machine.

HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE HEARING ON THE POSTAL SERVICE 

Here are a few highlights from several House Representatives:

Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT)

“Since 2016 you have donated $3.2 million to Republican candidates and committees, contributed $1.2  million to Trump’s Victory Fund and $1.3 to the Republican National Committee,” Rep.Welch said  

“That sounds about right, I’m a Republican and I give a lot of money to Republicans,” DeJoy replied.

“From January to April you provided about 18 contributions of $650 thousand dollars to various Republican Committees.  How do you square being a major supporter of the President, Republican Committees, and other Republican members, and have the independence required as Postmaster General?  Can you really do both?”

“Absolutely,” DeJoy said.

Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN)

“This is what your reforms have done in 70 days.  A woman paid $5 on July 22 to send a certified letter to the Tennessee Social Service office only 20 miles away and it took 12 days.

It is a felony for any employee to delay delivery of mail, a postal employee can be fined or imprisoned up to 5 years for delaying the mail, but you can delay all the mail and get away with it,”  Rep. Cooper said.  

“As a mega-donor for the Trump campaign, you were picked, along with Michael Cohen and Elliott Broidy, two men who have already pled guilty to felonies, to be the third  Deputy Finance Chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC).  Did you pay back several of your top executives for contributing to Trump’s campaign by bonusing or rewarding them,” Rep Cooper asked.   

“That is an outrageous claim and I resent it,” DeJoy said.

“Answer the question,” Rep. Cooper said.

“No,’ DeJoy said.

According to the Washington Post, “DeJoy’s prolific campaign fundraising was bolstered for more than a decade by a practice that left many employees feeling pressured to make political contributions to GOP candidates – money DeJoy later reimbursed through bonuses, former employees say.”

Reimbursing employees for political contributions is a violation of North Carolina and federal election laws.   DeJoy lied to Congress when Rep.Cooper asked about those contributions.

Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA)

“Throughout history, the USPS has never allowed itself to be in a position like it is today under your leadership.  The mail was always reliably delivered during the Civil War, the 1918 flu, the great depression, World War I, and II, and 911.   After 240 years of reliable mail delivery, how can one person screw this up in just a few weeks,” Rep. Lynch wanted to know.

“The only conclusion I can come to is either gross incompetence on your part…or you are doing this on purpose and deliberately dismantling this once proud tradition.” Rep Lynch said.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI)

“In the private sector you serve your own self-interest but the job of Postmaster General is not to serve your own profit schemes on the taxpayer’s dime – you are to serve the USPS workers and the American people.

“This impeached president has a track record of employing crooks who end up in trouble for their illegal activities: Rick Gates, Paul Manfort, Michael Flynn, Roger Stone, Michael Cohen, Steve Bannon.  You are not in good company, so do the right thing and resign,” Rep. Tlaib warned DeJoy to get out before he too gets investigated and indicted for illegal actions.

Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA)

“When you started these changes, did you read an independent analysis of the major overhaul plans before you ordered them to take effect?

“I will repeat again that I did not order major overhaul plans,” DeJoy said 

“Can you tell me who ordered these changes?”

“The plans existed prior to my arrival that were implemented,” DeJoy said.

“If you did not order these actions, please tell the committee who did.” 

“I do not know,” DeJoy said.

“Will you commit to reserving these changes?”

“No,” DeJoy said. 

“Do you own any financial interest either options, stocks, or covered calls bought or sold – do you own today any financial interest in Amazon.” 

“I do not,” DeJoy said.

MORE LIES AND CONFLICT OF INTEREST

According to financial disclosures, on the same day in June that DeJoy divested large amounts of Amazon shares, he purchased stock options giving him the right to buy new shares of Amazon at a price much lower than their current market price, reported by CNN Politics. 

DeJoy did essentially the same thing with his XPO stock, he divested and turned around and bought options to buy additional shares of XPO in the future  

“This is pretty outrageous, to come into government and then buy conflicting (interests).  DeJoy partially eliminated a conflict of interested then bought a new on the same day,” Walter Shaub, a senior adviser at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, said 

VOTE EARLY

Here is a link to every voter ballot drop box in Georgia where you can deposit your ballot safely and securely.  No need for postage or the post office.

https://www.georgiademocrat.org/voting-information-and-resources/find-my-countys-ballot-drop-boxes/
Check to see if you have been wrongly removed from the voter list.  Georgians can look up to see if they are on the purge list at SaveMyVote2020.org.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s