Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a major donor to President Trump and fund-raiser for the Republican Party, cultivated an environment at his former company that left employees feeling pressured to make donations to Republican candidates, and rewarded them with bonuses for doing so, according to former employees.
The arrangement was described by three former employees at New Breed Logistics, Mr. DeJoy’s former company, who said that workers would receive bonuses if they donated to candidates he supported, and that it was expected that managers would participate. A fourth employee confirmed that managers at the company were routinely solicited to make donations. The four former employees spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of professional retaliation.
The former employees did not say how explicit Mr. DeJoy was about linking the campaign contributions he was encouraging to the extra compensation, but three of them said it was widely believed that the bonuses were meant to reimburse the political donations, an allegation first reported by The Washington Post. Federal campaign finance law bars straw-donor schemes, in which an individual reimburses someone else to donate to a political campaign in order to skirt contribution limits. But it is legal to encourage employees to make donations, as Mr. DeJoy routinely did.
A review of campaign finance records shows that over a dozen management-level employees at New Breed would routinely donate to the same candidate on the same day, often writing checks for an identical amount of money. One day in October 2014, for example, 20 midlevel and senior officials at the company donated a total of $37,600 to the campaign of Senator Thom Tillis, Republican of North Carolina, who was running to unseat a Democratic incumbent. Each official wrote a check for either $2,600, the maximum allowable donation, or $1,000.
Although employers can encourage workers to make donations, reimbursing them for those contributions is a violation of North Carolina and federal election laws. These types of reimbursements, known as a straw-donor scheme, allows donors to avoid individual contribution limits and hide the ultimate source of money used to influence elections.“It is against the law to directly or indirectly reimburse someone for a political contribution,” North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein said in a statement Sunday. “Any credible allegations of such actions merit investigation by the appropriate state and federal authorities,” said Stein, a Democrat, adding that he would not comment further on the matter.DeJoy, a major donor to Republicans and President Donald Trump, took over the U.S. Postal Service in June. Policy changes under his watch have delayed mail and sparked concern over the agency’s ability to process mail-in ballots this fall.
Tillis’ opponent, Cal Cunningham (D. NC), has wasted no time slamming Tillis on this:
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