‘Dereliction of Duty’: Outrage as USPS Board Issues Gushing Praise for DeJoy Amid Mail Slowdowns, Medicine Delays, and Straw-Donor Scandal

Yves here. This is all so vile, chronicling the debasement and prostitution of the once proud mail service that knit America together. But if we don’t pay attention, the abuse will only get worse.

By Jake Johnson, staff writer at Common Dreams. Originally published at Common Dreams

Brushing aside widespread alarm over mail slowdowns, prescription medicine delays, potential election sabotage, and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s reported role in an illegal straw-donor scheme, members of the Republican-dominated U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors on Wednesday said they are “thrilled” by DeJoy’s performance thus far as head of America’s most popular government institution.

After meeting with DeJoy behind closed doors to discuss several ongoing congressional investigations into his actions as USPS chief and previous work as a GOP fundraising powerhouse, two Republican board members gushingly praised the postmaster general and said there are no plans to discipline him over his destructive policy changes or possible criminal actions.

“The board is tickled pink, every single board member, with the impact he’s having,” board member John Barger—who, like DeJoy, is a Republican donor—told the Washington Post in an interview following the private meeting. “He’s an excellent leader. He’s an excellent supply-chain logistics savant. And I’m very, very pleased with his performance since coming on board.”

William Zollars, another GOP member of the board, said DeJoy has the full support of the panel, which currently consists of four Republicans and two Democrats—all appointed by President Donald Trump. Zollars told the Post that DeJoy insisted during the closed-door meeting that “he feels like he has done nothing wrong.”

“From a logistics and operations standpoint, Louis DeJoy is as good as it gets,” said Zollars. “He has support on both sides of the aisle.”

The board members’ comments drew outrage from lawmakers and watchdogs who have been urging the body to exercise its authority to remove—or, at the very least, suspend—DeJoy over policy changes that have significantly disrupted Postal Service operations just weeks ahead of an election that could be decided by mail-in ballots.


Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Government Operations, tweeted late Wednesday that “when given the opportunity to restore confidence in the USPS, the Board of Governors today chose instead to continue their dereliction of duty.”

“Mr. DeJoy’s term as postmaster general has been defined by conflict, sabotage, incompetence and politicization,” said Connolly. “Anything short of his immediate removal is a total failure in oversight and accountability.”

The USPS Board of Governors unanimously appointed DeJoy—a former logistics executive with zero prior Postal Service experience—in May following a search process that Democratic lawmakers have deemed “highly irregular.”

David Williams, a former board member who resigned in protest in April, told the Congressional Progressive Caucus last month that he believes it was Barger who suggested DeJoy as a postmaster general candidate “late in the process.” Williams also alleged that Barger assisted DeJoy in job interviews with the board, helping him “finish a number of sentences where he got stuck.”

Members of the board have come under closer scrutiny in recent weeks as they’ve remained largely silent about DeJoy’s policy changes, which have altered longstanding USPS practices and required postal workers to leave mail behind, significantly delaying package deliveries across the country.

As Common Dreams reported earlier this month, documents show that Robert Duncan, the chairman of the USPS Board of Governors, is serving on two major Republican super PACs, one of which is closely aligned with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Duncan, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee, also briefly appeared in a GOP convention video clip in which he backs Trump’s reelection bid.

According to the New York Times, Republican members of the USPS Board of Governors have “helped raise more than $3 million” to support Trump and “hundreds of millions more for his party over the past decade.”

“It’s appalling,” Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) said of the board members’ ties to Trump and the GOP. “The Postal Service is respected and revered because it has a single job: delivering the mail, not serving the partisan interest of whoever happens to be president at the moment.”

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26 comments

    1. Mr. Magoo

      All Trump appointees. Whodathunk?

      There is no way there should not be some postal carrier representation on that board.

      Reply
    2. run75441

      Rev:

      If we appointed Nicholas Sandmann to the USPS Board of Governors, this would begin to give the Board a sense of balance? It is not the age, it is the political balance in question.

      Reply
  1. DSB

    It seems the US Postal Service has been in need of reform the entirety of my adult life. The staffing I encounter are all personable and provide good service. I believe this is the result of efforts I became aware of in the 1990’s. However, that is not the problem today. The world they operate in has changed.

    The New York Times in 2012 called for drastic changes.

    In 2015, with a new Postmaster General, “President Obama renewed his longstanding call to overhaul the U.S. Postal Service in his fiscal 2016 budget, saying the agency must be reformed to ensure its future viability.

    Just one day after the Postal Service swore in its new postmaster general — Megan Brennan — Obama called for sweeping changes to modernize the cash-strapped agency, which the White House said would save a total of $36 billion over 11 years. Obama’s recommendations borrowed from recent legislative proposals that have failed to make their way through Congress, pulling no punches on the most controversial elements of postal reform.

    Obama proposed the Postal Service cut Saturday mail delivery after volume declines to a level the White House expects USPS to hit in late 2018, a structure similar to the one put forward last Congress by Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., and former Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla. The president’s plan would also allow USPS to phase out to-the-door delivery in favor of centralized or curbside delivery, while codifying the current policy of not closing rural post offices.”

    Reply
  2. jcmcdonal

    Seems like the Democrats should kick some people out of their party if they actually believe this is a problem… Would that get them kicked off the board since it’s supposed to be bipartisan? And then continue kicking people out of the party if they don’t stand up for, again, what Democrats supposedly believe?

    Reply
  3. chuck roast

    It may be time to amend the statute governing the Board structure to include two or three members of the USPS workforce. Although the Dems would probably see more democracy as the wrong answer.

    Reply
  4. DJG

    Are the quotes from the board members in the first five paragraphs taken from The Onion? Or do the board members celebrate their exploits with a round of pan galactic gargle blasters and then stumble toward journalists to slur out some meaningless bizness slogans?

    If those quotes are real, it is a further sign of the, errrr, hebetude of our elites. Every one of these board members should be discharged and sent home so as to avoid further damage to the body politic.

    “Thrilled.” Indeed.

    Reply
    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      “Damage to the body politic” is the exact specific task which these Postal Service Boardmembers were installed specifically to accomplish. So they are doing exactly what they were installed to do. Which means they are being completely successful so far in achieving their real actual marching-orders agenda.

      Will Kamalabiden run on purging and replacing the Board with members who unanimously wish to restore the USPS to complete viability and servicibility as a public goverservice? If Kamalabiden doesn’t run on doing exactly that, it is because Kamalabiden exactly supports the Privatization agenda against USPS.

      The Overclass already views America as a “teardown” . . . in Lambert Strether’s word for what the Overclass already views America as.

      Reply
  5. shinola

    “The board is tickled pink, every single board member…” Really? Hope they didn’t dampen their panties.

    DeJoy is doing exactly what he was appointed to do – run the Post Office (into the ground).

    Reply
    1. ChrisPacific

      From the language it’s obvious that they wanted to make that abundantly clear. It’s a big middle finger to anybody who wants a functional Postal Service.

      Reply
  6. Tom Doak

    The kicker is that they have timed the downsizing during the pandemic, when package volume is way UP compared to the historical downward trend, due to so many people mail-ordering everything from Amazon.

    I have worked with my local post office for years and they have been a great help delivering books, until this summer when things went completely haywire. At the same time, other services offered us sizable discounts to switch over our deliveries. I was feeling bad about the move, but when I went to the P.O. to talk about it, they said they were so overwhelmed by volume right now that I should not feel bad about switching.

    Same playbook as every other neoliberal intrusion — complain about the system, defund it, complain about it more.

    Reply
    1. JBird4049

      Same here. I always get my books eventually. Weeks instead of days. I can often pay extra for the more expensive UPS/DHL or even that USPS tracked, special delivery, whatever it’s called, which bumps up the speed of delivery of course. Regular first class is now the snail mail.

      Reply
  7. drumlin woodchuckles

    This would be a good time for the BidenHarris ticket to run on Postal Service Restoration, including an evocative description of the past and present sabotage, and a true-reversal plan to reverse the sabotage.

    Absence of such a running campaign-issue emphasis would reveal the Feinstein’s Husband Democrats to be equally devoted to Postal Service extermination followed by privatization of the lucrative pieces.

    Once again, the Catfood Democrats pretend to care just enough to fool people into thinking they intend to “save” the Postal Service when their real agenda is still extermination of the Postal Service.

    And I will repeat yet again, again . . . . if the Postal Service does not matter to Black Lives Matter, then the Postal Service does not matter in any politically important way. Because only Black Lives Matter can MAKE the Postal Service matter in the teeth of the Two Party Conspiracy to exterminate the Postal Service.

    Better move all your mail-order purchases forward if you have the money, to get stuff by mail while there is still any mail to get stuff by. Because when the Postal Service is gone, it is gone for good. And you will pay Pirate Enterprise rates to get anything by Pirate Parcel Delivery, if Pirate Parcel Delivery even delivers anything to your neighborhood at all whatsoever.

    Reply
  8. Arizona Slim

    Last month, I participated in a “Save the Post Office” demonstration here in Tucson. And, let me tell you, our USPS is very popular in the Old Pueblo. We were honked at, waved at, cheered at, and honked at some more.

    Reply
  9. EoH

    A friend who lives in Connecticut ordered a small item, shipped USPS. Luckily, the vendor tracked it. It was mailed in Reno, NV, and proceeded to Springfield, MA. So far, so good. Then the package went to New Jersey then Brighton, MA, then Boston, MA, and back to Springfield, MA, and finally to Connecticut. Seventeen days transit. The vendor had to send a second shipment, no charge to customer, because the first was presumed lost.

    All that shipping was costly. The back and forth suggests gaps or new rigidity have been introduced into standard logistical software, or obvious ones have not been fixed. The vendor will have lost any profit. All that taxpayer money to aid a failure remain president. The USPS board has managed to make CalPERS’s seem almost competent.

    Reply
    1. cnchal

      Before the near quadruple shipping price increase by USPS, when that happened I would tell my customers their package was caught in the great postal gyre.

      DeJoy is actually working for UPS. After that brutal rate increase on the tiniest pinpricks of capitalism, the message from USPS was phuck off and ship with UPS.

      Reply
  10. EoH

    I think it was English historian Alan Bullock (or possibly Hugh Trevor-Roper) who described Adolf Hitler as just an average German. Caused a stir. The Austrians kept mum.

    Louis DeJoy and Robert Mike Duncan are demonstrating that they’re just the average CEO and board chairman, describing their Enron-like attitudes towards customers and small shareholders.

    Reply

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