Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds,” has long been the motto of the most popular institution in America.

The Postal Service is as American as voting and is old as our democracy--it was founded along with the birth of our country, with Benjamin Franklin serving as the first Postmaster General.

It is a vital public service that serves all Americans equally. It plays a crucial role in our economy (as the nation's second largest civilian employer and the most diverse) and in our supply chains. It brings vital medicines at low cost to Americans in tiny towns and big cities.

And it is essential to one of the core structural components of our democracy: voting, which is our only means of securing representation in our representative democracy.

The USPS has withstood every war, economic downturn and challenge that our country has faced. And yet, while we are facing an historic election during a global pandemic, there are forces trying to kill the USPS and threaten the integrity of our election.

BF logo Don’t Mess With the USPS

In just a few weeks we've seen:

  • Dozens of very expensive, high volume mail sorting machines suddenly removed from Post Offices in numerous states;
  • Orders by the new Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, commanding mail carriers to leave mail behind and depart on their routes without all the mail processed, which will cumulate daily and which is already causing massive delays in the delivery of vital, life-saving medicines from the VA and other pharmacies;
  • Dictates by the Postmaster General to cut hours of operations of Post Offices, including remaining open during high-use lunch hours.
  • Restrictions by the Postmaster General limiting the use of overtime to ensure that mail is promptly processed and delivered--even though many workers have been working extra during this pandemic because co-workers are out sick and aiding family members (more than 60 Postal Workers have died from Covid-19); and
  • Notice from the Postal Service to states that ballots need to be requested and mailed earlier because the Post Office may not be able to process mail--as it has for decades--in time to meet statutory deadline for votes to be delivered in time to count in this election.

BF logo Fire the Postmaster General

The recently appointed Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy is the most partisan political person to hold this position in nearly 50 years.

  • The new Postmaster, Louis DeJoy gave Trump's campaign and the RNC nearly $600K earlier this year, just before he was tapped to become Postmaster. It was a substantial set of gifts over just five weeks. DeJoy also gave money to Senator McConnell’s leadership PAC, as well as four Republican US Senate candidates between the announcement of Postmaster General position being open last December and his appointment to the role in June.
  • DeJoy is the first Postmaster General since the 1970 reforms who never previously worked in the Postal Service.
  • There are recent allegations in the news media, made by several former DeJoy employees about fundraising practices he undertook, are – if true -- both unethical and illegal.
  • DeJoy has hosted personal fundraisers at his home for Trump during his presidency, raising at least $2 million at one of them which included a six-figure sum he contributed.
  • DeJoy was tapped by Trump after the 2017 Inauguration to be one of three Deputy Finance Chairs for the RNC. The other two men were very close to Trump: Michael Cohen, his personal lawyer; and Elliott Broidy. The New Jersey Attorney General announced in September 2002 that he was convening a grand jury to investigate DeJoy's activities to disrupt the mail service.
  • DeJoy holds millions in stock in competitors of the Postal Service, like his former firm XPO Logistics, UPS, and more. He previously ran a shipping company that his private equity partners arranged to merge with XPO Logistics; he is still invested in that private equity firm, which has been helping other package delivery firms acquire expanded operations, such as UPS.

BF logo Playing Politics with the Post Office

  • DeJoy’s appointment was made possible by a post office board – that is the entity that makes these decisions – completely made up of appointees by the current president.
  • With all the openings available due to the McConnell obstruction and partisan-packing playbook has created a majority of board members who are Republicans and chairman Mike Duncan, who is the former chairman of the Republican National Committee. Chairman Duncan also helped lead Karl Rove's American Crossroads PAC as well as the GOP Data Trust, which has data on more than 200 million Americans.

BF logo Don’t Let Them Undermine & Overturn the 2020 Election

Earlier this year, the USPS was processing hundreds of millions of pieces of mail a week, and it can easily process even a hundred million ballots if it is fully staffed and its operations are not undermined.

A recent report by the right wing think tank, The Heritage Foundation, gave a sneak peak into their potential strategy around contesting vote-by-mail results. This report outlined several elections that were overturned by contesting vote-by-mail ballots in court – enough to change the results of the election.

BF logo Save Our Postal Service

  • We need Congress to demand that the people's mail be the priority of our Postal Service and for Congress to protect this priority.
  • We need Louis DeJoy's actions to be investigated by Congress, by the Postal Service Inspector General, and state Attorneys General.
  • We need major reforms of the Postal Service to prevent this situation from every happening again.
  • DeJoy needs to be removed and term limits.. The Postal Board needs to be removed and re-constituted. Legislation that weakened the Postal Service needs to be repealed (as described below).

BF logo Long History of Undermining the US Postal Office

The effort to destroy our Postal Service is by design and goes back years. Billionaire Charles Koch has played a singular role in undermining this 200-year-old American institution.

  • Koch's political arm, Americans for Prosperity, ran digital ads in the summer of 2020, targeting Senators to pressure them not to give additional funds to the Postal Service
  • Koch politicians and operatives in Koch-funded non-profits have been pushing the line that the Postal Service doesn't deserve a "bailout," even though big corporations got billions in funding.
  • Koch started staking efforts to privatize the Postal Service in the 1970s with Reason magazine and the Libertarian Party, which expressly called for abolishing the Postal Service.

BF logo About Us

The Ben Franklin Project is an initiative of Patriot Majority USA. Lisa Graves of True North Research serves as a chief strategist and partner.