Special Interests in the Time of DeJoy
Last week our mailman delivered this very glossy brochure, telling me what a great selection Louis DeJoy was as our 75th Postmaster General. I don’t remember getting any USPS retiree newsletters, much less a quarterly one.
The newsletter describes Louis DeJoy as a “business executive with more than 35 years of experience” and mentions that he previously served as chairman and chief executive officer of New Breed Logistics and XPO Logistics. Robert M. Duncan, chair of the Postal Service Board of Governors, is also quoted as saying that “The board appreciated Louis’ depth of knowledge on the important issues facing the Postal Service and his desire to work with all of our stakeholders on preserving and protecting this essential institution.”
DeJoy certainly has deep financial connections with the Postal Service. New Breed and XPO Logistics have held transportation and logistics contracts with USPS for decades. What the newsletter doesn’t mention is that DeJoy continues to hold a multimillion-dollar stake in XPO Logistics, an obvious conflict of interest.
Senator Elizabeth Warren and eight other Democratic lawmakers have requested that the USPS Office of Inspector General examine DeJoy’s compliance with federal ethics rules. There’s no information on that audit yet although the OIG is currently reviewing DeJoy’s controversial operational and distribution policies changes. That investigation is not complete, but I’ve scribbled the project number on top of his photo (#20-292) in case you are a nerd like me who wants to keep track of it. And full disclosure--I worked for USPS OIG for ten years.
The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act requires that members of the board of governors be chosen “to represent the public interest generally and not be representatives of special interests. Not more than five of the nine governors may belong to the same political party.” Currently there are only six members on the board, all Trump appointees, four Republicans, two Democrats. Louis DeJoy is also a Republican.
Robert Duncan, current chair of the USPS Board of Governors is a kind of an uber Republican. He was Chairman of the Republican National Committee from 2007 to 2009, is currently a director of two Republican Super Political Action Committee, and is a longtime donor to the Trump, Mitch McConnell, and Rand Paul campaigns. Mitch McConnell recommended Duncan to Trump for a position on the board of governors.
Duncan’s son, Robert M. Duncan Jr, currently serves as the United States attorney for the eastern district of Kentucky. McConnell and Rand Paul recommended Junior and Trump appointed him. It’s all very cozy.
I don’t do math anymore, but I count five Republicans on the board which is not in violation of the "no more than five" rule. However, five out of seven leads this former auditor to the conclusion that the special interests of the Republican Party are very well represented in management of the Postal Service. The interests of the public (including current and former employees)? Not so much.
Please make sure you are registered to vote and please vote early.