Postmaster DeJoy’s Days of Flying Under the Radar Are Ending

Amid all the perfidy, cronyism, and disregard for democracy and the rule of law the former Trump administration is guilty of, one good thing that came out of four years of the most corrupt regime to occupy 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in recent history is the exposure average Americans got to previously obscure federal agencies.

One such agency is the United States Postal Service (USPS).

The mail is just one of those things most probably take for granted.

We just expect it to keep showing up in our mailboxes daily no matter the political environment.

But it’s important for citizens to understand the current Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, is a Trump appointee, which means that even under the auspices of the Biden administration, there is a Trump-era grifter undermining the industry for which Benjamin Franklin served as the first Postmaster General.

The latest grift involves DeJoy purchasing hundreds of thousand of dollars worth of publicly-traded bonds from an investment firm for which Ron Bloom is a managing partner.

Who is Ron Bloom?

He is chair of the Postal Service Board of Governors, also a Trump appointee.

According to the Washington Post, DeJoy “purchased 11 bonds from Brookfield Asset Management each worth between $1,000 and $15,000, or $15,000 and $50,000” between October 2020 and this past April.

The Post detailed:

“The new contract will deepen the Postal Service’s relationship with XPO Logistics, where DeJoy served as supply chain chief executive from 2014 to 2015 after the company purchased New Breed Logistics, the trucking firm he owned for more than 30 years. Since he became postmaster general, DeJoy, DeJoy-controlled companies, and his family foundation have divested between $65.4 million and $155.3 million worth of XPO shares, according to financial disclosures, foundation tax documents, and securities filings. But DeJoy’s family businesses continue to lease four North Carolina office buildings to XPO, according to his financial disclosures and state property records. The leases could generate up to $23.7 million in rent payments for the DeJoy businesses over the next decade.”

This comes on the heels of news that the USPS is planning to slow down some first-class deliveries in its efforts to “slash spending,” a move some say will disproportionately effect small businesses, middle- and low-income Americans, and senior citizens.

That 10-year reform plan is expected to also cut post office hours and increase prices for customers, a move former Postmaster General Ronald Stroman asserted is “strategically-ill conceived, creates dangerous risks that are not justified by the relatively low financial return, and doesn’t meet our responsibility as an essential part of America’s critical infrastructure.”

“Slashing spending” might sound fiscally prudent, but not when the agency is paying $120 million over the next five years to a major contractor called XPO Logistics on which DeJoy previously served as an executive and to which he still maintains connections.

While DeJoy has so far ignored demands to resign over these conflicts of interest, U.S. District Judge John D. Bates last week granted Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) a full summary judgment (pdf), and ordered the USPS to provide CREW seven documents it requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

CREW Communications Director Jordan Libowitz explained in a press release on the advocacy agency’s website:

“Over the past seven years, the USPS has reportedly paid approximately $286 million to XPO Logistics, DeJoy’s ex-employer, and has “ramped up its business” with the company since DeJoy’s appointment as Postmaster General. After his appointment, DeJoy continued to hold financial interests in XPO totaling between $30 and $75 million. DeJoy also held a significant amount of stock in Amazon, a major USPS competitor.”

Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) urged President Joe Biden in a letter to fire everyone former Donald Trump appointed to the USPS board, tweeting:

These recent discoveries are bad enough.

But they are just part of DeJoy’s wave of corruption.

CREW notes:

“DeJoy and his wife, a former U.S. ambassador to Canada, got their jobs after contributing $2 million to Trump’s campaign coffers;

“DeJoy is the first person in decades to lead the USPS without any previous experience in the agency;

“DeJoy is under federal investigation for allegedly operating a scheme where he asked employees of his former company to make campaign contributions, then arranged for bonus payments to reimburse the employees; and

“DeJoy apparently violated federal criminal laws by commanding the USPS to make policy changes at the agency that would depress or delay voting by mail in the 2020 election.”

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), House Subcommittee on Government Operations chair, demanded DeJoy’s dismissal:

Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.) echoed that sentiment:

“14-month run as postmaster general has been a masterclass in cronyism and deception. The amount of suspicion I had about him and his efforts to intentionally undermine delivery times at [USPS] could have filled the Grand Canyon. The Board of Governors should #FireDeJoy.”

One year ago, Donald Trump admitted to Fox Business’s Maria Bartiromo he was blocking Postal Service funding in a new coronavirus relief bill to hamper Democrats’ mail-in voting efforts.

Ronald Stroman, warned “major operational changes” in the postal service, like mail sorting machines being removedovertime being curtailed, and carriers being ordered to leave behind undelivered first-class mail, could disenfranchise voters.

In 2006, the Republican-led Congress passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA), which required the postal service to calculate all its anticipated pension costs for 75 years and set aside five billion dollars per year to cover future employees.

That’s five billion dollars each year for employees who haven’t even been born yet.

In May, NY Rep. Carolyn Maloney introduced HR 3076, “the Postal Service Reform Act of 2021,” intended to “provide stability to and enhance the services of the United States Postal Service, and for other purposes.”

While that proceeds through the legislative process, though, which is glacial at best, Congress can put pressure on President Biden to lean on the Postal Board of Governors to fire Louis DeJoy.

Image credit: Tareq Ismail via Unsplash 

Ted Millar is writer and teacher. His work has been featured in myriad literary journals, including Better Than Starbucks, The Broke Bohemian, Straight Forward Poetry, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices Project. He is also a contributor to The Left Place blog on Substack, and Medium.