Postmaster Blows It, Then Backpedals

Ballot Box with US Postal Service logo

Ballot Box with US Postal Service logo
Sometimes newspaper headlines can be misleading, even inaccurate. Sometimes they can be confusing or taken out of context. Sometimes, though, you can glean a lot about an on-going story by simply stringing the headlines together. For example: “Biden Leads Trump by Double Digits”; “COVID Spurs Increase in Mail-in Ballots”; “Democratic Voters Requesting Ballots 2 to 1 Over GOP Voters”; “Trump Opposes Funding Post Office Because of Mail-In Voting”; “Postmaster was Major Fundraiser for Trump”; “Postmaster Cuts Overtime, Eliminates Mail Boxes”; “Greensboro’s Mail Center Flagged for Late Trips”; “USPS Warns 46 States That Some Mail-In Ballots Will Not Arrive in Time to Be Counted for November Election”; “DeJoy Says He is Not Beholden to Trump”; “Inspector General Reviewing DeJoy’s Policy Changes and Potential Ethics Conflicts”.

So there you have it. An upper crust, GOP fundraising businessman from Greensboro is picked to be Trump’s Postmaster General, and before you know it, Louis DeJoy has disrupted, defunded, and demoralized the United States Postal Service just in time to set up a contested Presidential election. Kinda makes you embarrassed to say that you’re from the Triad. Speaking of which, our image can’t seem to catch a break. First there was the bathroom bill, then ballot harvesting, then confederate monuments, then police brutality, and now one of our own flock is screwing with the mail, and allegedly tried to systematically suppress votes.

As I began writing this column, Congress was poised to deal with DeJoy and, hopefully, block some of his counter-productive reform measures, which, in addition to removing mailboxes and ending over time, include such things as removing high speed letter sorters, and mandating that mail-in ballots no longer receive priority status. Then on August 18, DeJoy backed down and announced he was suspending his hare-brained policy changes until after the November election. However, his flip flop could be a PR stunt, because there’s no guarantee that the Senate or the President will approve Pelosi’s bill to immediately infuse the USPS with extra funds. Meanwhile, the Postal Service Inspector General is looking into DeJoy’s possible ethics violations and conflicts of interest. For one thing, according to CNN, DeJoy’s company, New Breed Logistics, which had been providing supply chain services to USPS for a quarter century, was purchased by XPO Logistics in 2014, with DeJoy occupying a seat on the new Board ever since. That in itself concerns the IG.

Despite the controversies, allegations, and investigations, Mr. DeJoy seems almost tone deaf to the effect his mis-management of the Postal service has had on the delivery of mail now, and to the potential damage his so-called reforms could have had on the integrity of our electoral process this Fall. In that regard, he shares the President’s proclivity for apathetic denial.

According to a recent study by Catawba College, there have been eight times the requests for absentee ballots in North Carolina this year, than at the same time four years ago. As of August 1, a total of 200,000 people have requested ballots, 48% of who are registered Democrats, and 18% are registered Republicans. In 2016, that break-out was 37% for each party. That should tell you why Trump is panicked, and was seemingly determined to do whatever he could to impede or obstruct the tally of mail-in ballots. DeJoy may not have been the architect of Trump’s twisted strategy, but he was the project manager who carried it out.

 
 

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