Trump ally Louis Dejoy Making ‘high-risk’ changes at USPS
“Trump ally making ‘high-risk’ changes at USPS, says former postal service deputy,” The Guardian, Sam Levine, August 12, 2020
I received a message from former NC Postmaster Mark Jamison and Angry Bear contributor about a brief interview he did with The Guardian for part of its story on the changes being done at the USPS by the new Postmaster General.
A former top official at the United States Postal Service (USPS) has warned about recent Louis DeJoy mandated changes being implemented just months ahead of the election which could “disenfranchise” Americans just as a record number of them are expected to vote by mail. Ronald Stroman, who stepped down earlier this year as the second in command at USPS, said “he was concerned about the speed and timing of changes that appeared to be implemented after Louis DeJoy took office in June.” Also, due to decreased business and a congressional manufactured liability of prefunding decades of future postal worker retirement now, the USPS faces a financial crisis. Ronald Stroman adds, “while every Postmaster General is interested in cost savings and efficiency, the question is how to balance those risky changes with the public’s needs.
As a supply chain and logistics consultant and manager, I find the timing of these changes to be unnecessary and incredibly dangerous. Processing and delivering mail during a pandemic is difficult enough due to workers becoming ill. Tossing functional changes in on top of the pandemic which people will have to learn is incredibility ignorant when much of the management has been let go or has left due to the politics of the management change. Furthermore, I doubt we will see “Louis” with sleeves rolled up on the line somewhere making sure the mailed-in ballots are clearly postmarked and delivered on time to their destinations. He has spent far too many decades sitting in an office issuing mandates elsewhere.
Angry Bear contributor and retired NC Postmaster Mark Jamison also contributed to The Guardian article stating the idea of leaving first class mail behind for latter processing, as proposed by DeJoy to reduce OT costs, which includes letters with a regular stamp – was anathema to the culture of USPS.
“The rule has always been you clear every piece of first-class mail out of a plant every day, period. There has never been, never, in the 30 years I worked for the post office . . . there has never been a time when you curtail first class mail.”
The impact of these changes has already shown up in cities such as Philadelphia, Minneapolis, and in Wisconsin where some citizens did not receive their ballots in time to vote due to delays in receipt of the ballot. This smacks of a manufactured political crisis during an already tumultuous time. According to NPR, at least 65,000 ballots were rejected in primaries this year because they arrived too late.
USPS spokesman David Partenheimer said, there was no blanket ban on overtime. The agency declined to say whether employees were being instructed to leave mail behind. Congressional Democrats have opened an investigation into the delays and asked the USPS inspector general to probe the matter also.
Mark as well as others have expressed a concern over the delays in delivery and I have heard it in my own neighborhood said sarcastically. To those comments I would say, you do not know what you have till it is lost. There has been an all-out political effort to privatize the USPS and also congressional efforts to raise rates for packages. Both efforts will result in increased cost being passed on to consumers not only by the USPS but also by FedEx, UPS, and Amazon as they raise their rates to match the USPS.
The denials of slowing down delivery have been made by both DeJoy and the USPS. With Louis DeJoy adding to the denials, “While I certainly have a good relationship with the president of the United States, the notion that I would ever make decisions concerning the Postal Service at the direction of the president, or anyone else in the administration, is wholly off-base.”
First Class mail is delivered at a faster pace (three to 10 days) than Marketing or Standard Mail and mostly occurs within 5 days. Where I live and if you mail your ballot in to the township, it is plainly written on the ballot envelop a First Class stamp must be used to mail the ballot. Some municipalities already have the ballot envelopes preprinted postage affixed. Typically, this postage is at a marketing or standard rate. Both of these rates are delivered at later date which can be as long as 20 days out. Usually, USPS has moved official election mail quickly and regardless of the class of service; however, in recent weeks, the agency has signaled it will not expedite election mail and election officials will get the service for which they have paid.
If First Class mail is delayed, we can be assured the lesser costs delivery mail will be even more delayed as a higher priority will be given to those items generating more revenue. Given the volatile political nature of this election and the blatant verbiage being tossed around by trump and Republicans, we can be assured “something” will occur to delay votes. Fortunately, we can take our mail-in ballots to the township hall.
The timing of Louis DeJoy directed changes are problematic as they not only could delay ballots and voting; the changes will also delay bills being received by people and subsequent bank and commercial payments, commercial mail-order medicines and VA – ordered medications, etc. Art Sackler a manager of the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service,
“If there’s a takeaway from the business side of this (and I will add the public side of this) it would be the timing of this is problematic. In the teeth of a national emergency, voting is coming up in November, well sooner, their peak season comes up after that. A lot of folks are saying: why not do this in January?”
A good question for trump and his new Postmaster General.
It would be a good question if they cared at all about maintaining the postal system. They are only interested in ratfucking the election. And they stand a good chance of doing it.
I think there are two steps the Dmes need to do to preempt these criminals First, the House needs to separate Financial Aid to the Post Office from the Relief bill. Make it a bill totally dedicated to the Post Office. They could call it the “Veterans and Active Military Personnel Postal Service Relief Act”.. Doubt the Senate would approve of it, but valuable pr before the election.
Second, and more doable and important, as the election is decided state by state, this abuse by trump and his lackey heading the Post office must be attacked at the state level.
That is where all of the Democrats attention and action must be focused.
” First, states should pass statutes making clear that vote-counting must be done not by December 8, but by January 6—and ideally by December 23, which still provides crucial additional time. This will ensure that a state legislature can’t claim voters “failed to make a choice” simply because vote-counting necessarily continued past Election Day, and that
Congress can’t disregard results from states simply because they arrive after December 8, or after December 14, the statutory (but not constitutional) date set for the Electoral College to meet and to send vote counts to the Senate and archivist.
Second, states should adopt a postmark rule, whereby every ballot postmarked on or before November 3 is included in the tally. If the question isn’t whether ballots are received by November 3 but instead whether they’re sent by that date, a deliberately tardy Postal Service no longer poses the same threat. Of course, not all states may be able to accomplish this through legislation, but state courts may provide another promising path. One example is the set of voters in Minnesota who sued their secretary of state to challenge the state law that said absentee ballots would be counted only if received by 8 p.m. on Election Day. A Minnesota court approved a settlement with the voters that requires all absentee ballots to be postmarked on
or before November 3 and arrive no more than seven days after Election Day to be counted. This decision indicates that any rule to count only
ballots received by Election Day during this pandemic is an unlawful burden on voting rights, in violation of the equal-protection provisions of state constitutions and the U.S. Constitution.
Third, states should start the mail-in and early-voting processes well before November 3, and as soon as the candidates up and down the ballot are known. This will help states count the unprecedented wave of mail-in ballots they’re about to receive.
Fourth, states should invest in vote-by-mail infrastructure, such as what Colorado has in place, including dedicated drop boxes for ballots that bypass the postal system entirely. What’s more, states should urge loudly that federal money to help with this task be included in the next coronavirus-relief package.
And fifth, states should, in every way possible—including by litigation—erase any doubt that they mean to count every legitimate ballot, even if counting needs to continue not just until December 8 but until December 23 and, if necessary, until January 6. The difference could be between losing
American democracy and saving it.”
Michigan already sends out absentee ballots a month early.
The timeline laid out as potentially okay by Tribe and others is also a timeline potentially provoking massive turmoil, rejection and if unlucky, very active subversion. Vote in-person if you can. Apply for your absentee ballot right now if you haven’t yet Give up the last week and a half of the campaign and execute and mail it 10 days before Election Day. If you believe that there may be important information the final days of the campaign, act accordingly.
Voter suppression good, voter fraud non-existent.
very much so.
it appears that 500 mail sorting machines were “destroyed or thrown in the dumpster” to deliberately slow down the mail…
Pull Back the Curtain on Efforts to Kill the U.S. Postal Service and Out Pops Koch Money
By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: August 14, 2020 ~
Today, Aaron Gordon at Vice is reporting that he’s gotten his hands on internal documents from the Postal Service which show that orders have come down from above to destroy approximately 500 mail sorting machines – which cost millions of dollars. Witnesses have told Gordon that they’ve seen the machines “destroyed or thrown in the dumpster.” Gordon’s latest report follows yesterday’s news that mail service has been slowed down in multiple parts of the country.
Thank you. I passed it along.