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GOP Senators Silent On Trump Administration Undercutting USPS After Taking Thousands from DeJoy [Salon]

“Current Postmaster General is a Fountain of Money for Republican Candidates, Who Don’t Seem Eager to Criticize Him”

A new report in Salon today looks at how Postmaster General Louis DeJoy “is a fountain of money” for Senate Republicans, who have largely been silent as Trump blocks funding for the Postal Service and his administration’s policies not only delay delivery of important mail like prescriptions and Social Security benefits that millions of Americans rely on, but could potentially disenfranchise voters in 46 states.

While Democrats have prioritized USPS funding in the next coronavirus relief package, Senate Republicans are blocking that funding and refusing to negotiate. Among the vulnerable Republicans on the ballot this year who’ve taken campaign cash from DeJoy are Senators Lindsey Graham, Thom Tillis, and Martha McSally and failed politician John James. DeJoy has also “regularly maxed out with tens of thousands of annual contributions” to the National Republican Senatorial Committee. 

“Republican Senators don’t want to hold a political donor accountable for policies that are delaying deliveries of prescription drugs and other crucial mail, and could even put the election at risk,” said DSCC spokesperson Helen Kalla. “And Mitch McConnell – who sent Senate Republicans home for summer recess without passing additional coronavirus relief – is insisting that the USPS will ‘be just fine.’ Once again the GOP-controlled Senate is failing Americans by refusing to conduct the oversight needed and ensure that essential services can continue without interruption.”

Salon: DeJoy donated big to GOP senators up for re-election; they’re still silent on USPS

By Roger Sollenberger

Key Points:

  • Recently appointed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a top donor to Donald Trump and until earlier this year the head fundraiser for the Republican National Convention, has given tens of thousands of dollars to Republican Senators up for re-election this November, according to Federal Election Commission records reviewed by Salon.
  • FEC records also show that DeJoy regularly maxed out with tens of thousands of annual contributions to the official GOP committees dedicated to electing Republican lawmakers: the National Republican Congressional Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
  • DeJoy’s political fundraising and donor records have come under scrutiny since his appointment to the head of the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors. He caught fierce backlash last week from Democrats and Postal Service employees after reports broke that USPS warned 46 states that their mail ballots might not be delivered on time for the November election, potentially disenfranchising millions of voters.
  • A number of of DeJoy’s GOP beneficiaries are facing tight races this year: Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Sen. Martha McSally of Arizona and Michigan Republican candidate John James, who is running against Democratic Sen. Gary Peters. None of these Republicans have spoken publicly about DeJoy or his recent actions as postmaster general.
  • DeJoy gave a total of $8,100 to McSally — $2,500 for her losing 2018 Senate campaign against Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, and $5,600 to her current race. While a recent poll showed McSally pulling slightly closer to Democratic opponent Mark Kelly, husband of former Arizona Rep.. Gabby Giffords, Kelly still leads by about 7.4 percentage points, according to a Real Clear Politics average of polls.
  • “I disagree this close to an election [with] states or at the federal level having some sort of mass mail-in ballots to everyone on the voter roll. I have some real concerns about that,” McSally said last week.
  • A spokesperson for the McSally campaign declined to comment.
  • DeJoy, former head of the freight company XPO Logistics, a major player in the supply chain sector and a chief USPS competitor, donated $11,000 to John James, the GOP nominee in Michigan — $5,400 for his failed 2018 run against Sen. Debbie Stabenow and $5,600, the maximum amount, for his current campaign.
  • James is head of the supply chain company James Group International and its affiliate Renaissance Global Logistics, which received between $1 million and $2 million in federally-backed Paycheck Protection Program loans during the first months of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Recent polls in Michigan, a key swing state in November, show James consistently trailing Peters, who is ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, which conducts oversight of the Postal Service. He is currently investigating USPS delays related to mail-in ballots.
  • James does not appear to have spoken out publicly about DeJoy or voting by mail, and his campaign did not provide comment for this article.
  • Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina and his affiliated committees have taken a combined $48,500 from fellow state residents DeJoy and his wife, Aldona Wos, former head of the North Carolina Health and Human Services Department. The couple have contributed to Tillis’ election efforts since his 2014 campaign.
  • DeJoy also gave to the John Bolton Super PAC, which has spent heavily for Tillis and, like Tillis, has ties to the shadowy data firm Cambridge Analytica, the subject of subpoenas during special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into 2016 election interference.
  • The Tillis campaign did not respond to questions about the donations or the last time Tillis and DeJoy spoke.
  • DeJoy also gave $5,000 to Graham’s 2014 campaign, per FEC records. Graham, who as Salon recently reported has voted by mail on several occasions, has also made false claims that the practice is prone to fraud.
  • Graham has apparently not commented on DeJoy specifically. A campaign spokesperson did not reply to Salon’s request for comment.
  • Manuel Bonder, a spokesperson for the South Carolina Democratic Party’s coordinated campaign, criticized DeJoy’s decisions and Graham’s lack of response. “The current threats to the USPS are not only undermining Americans’ voting rights ahead of this election; they endanger the health and well-being of communities and small businesses across South Carolina,” Bonder said. “The fact that Sen. Graham has not taken any action to protect this essential service is yet another failure in leadership, and it is hurting South Carolinians.”

Read the full story here.

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