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9.7.20

ICYMI: Senator Tillis Received Hundreds Of Thousands In Campaign Donations From Alleged Straw Donor Scheme Involving Louis DeJoy

Yesterday, the Washington Post reported that Senator Thom Tillis received hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations from employees of Postmaster Louis DeJoy as part of an alleged straw donor scheme, a major violation of state and federal campaign finance laws.

Yesterday, Cal, who took on corruption as a prosecutor in the U.S. Army Reserve, called on Tillis to return the donations in question saying: “North Carolinians know political corruption when we see it and this report shows corruption in action, like the corruption I took on in Army service and will take on in Washington. As veterans in our state aren’t getting their mailed prescriptions on time, this news and the tens of thousands in donations Senator Tillis has taken from DeJoy over his political career offer a clear explanation for Tillis’ defense of DeJoy. Tillis should both condemn these findings and refund the donations in question.” 

In addition to the hundreds of thousands of dollars Tillis received from employees of DeJoy, Tillis has received almost $50,000 from DeJoy and his wife, and DeJoy has donated to super PACs that have spent heavily in favor of Tillis. Tillis also skipped a Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing on veteran suicide to rub elbows with DeJoy at a GOP fundraiser at DeJoy’s Greensboro home

Tillis has refused to criticize DeJoy amid cuts and rollbacks to the USPS which have led to major mail delivery delays and have especially hurt veterans who rely on the postal service for their prescription medication. Tillis has failed to demand accountability from DeJoy in response, at times even defending his donor. 

Read more coverage below. 


New York Times: DeJoy Pressured Workers to Donate to G.O.P. Candidates, Former Employees Say

  • 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. 
  • 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.
  • Josh Stein, North Carolina’s attorney general, said in a statement that “it is against the law to directly or indirectly reimburse someone for a political contribution” and that “any credible allegations of such actions merit investigation by the appropriate state and federal authorities.”

Raw Story: Senator Thom Tillis linked to new scandal forcing postmaster general’s staff to donate to his campaign: report

  • The Washington Post reported allegations against Postmaster General Louis Dejoy in a report in which former employees of his claim they were forced to donate to Republican candidates and were given bonuses for doing so. But according to a New York Times update to the story, Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) is one of those who overwhelmingly benefited from DeJoy’s alleged scandal.
  • “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,” said the Times. “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.

Fox 8: Former employees of Postmaster General DeJoy say they were pressured to donate to GOP, Senator Thom Tills

  • Three former employees at New Breed Logistics, DeJoy’s former company, described the arrangement by saying that if workers donated to political candidates that DeJoy supported, then they would receive bonuses. Managers were expected to participate, according to the report.
  • Twenty senior and mid-level New Breed Logistics officials donated $37,600 in total on a day in Oct. 2014 to Senator Thom Tillis. Each New Breed official wrote a check for the maximum allowable donation, $2,600 or $1,000.
  • At that time, Tillis was running to unseat a Democratic incumbent.
  • Three of the former employees said it was believed that the bonuses were compensation for donating to political candidates.
  • A person reimbursing someone else who donated to a political candidate in order to get around contribution limits is called a straw-donor scheme and is prohibited by federal campaign finance laws. 

Washington Post: Louis DeJoy’s rise as GOP fundraiser was powered by contributions from company workers who were later reimbursed, former employees say

By Aaron C. Davis, Amy Gardner and Jon Swaine – September 6, 2020

  • Louis DeJoy’s prolific campaign fundraising, which helped position him as a top Republican power broker in North Carolina and ultimately as head of the U.S. Postal Service, was bolstered for more than a decade by a practice that left many employees feeling pressured to make political contributions to GOP candidates — money DeJoy later reimbursed through bonuses, former employees say.
  • A Washington Post analysis of federal and state campaign finance records found a pattern of extensive donations by New Breed employees to Republican candidates, with the same amount often given by multiple people on the same day. Between 2000 and 2014, 124 individuals who worked for the company together gave more than $1 million to federal and state GOP candidates. Many had not previously made political donations, and have not made any since leaving the company, public records show. During the same period, nine employees gave a combined $700 to Democrats.
  • One of the biggest beneficiaries of donations from New Breed employees has been GOP Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina, whose campaign committees collected nearly $300,000 from people at the company in 2014, campaign finance records show.
  • The month the deal closed, New Breed employees made a slew of political donations in a two-day period — more than $407,000. Almost three-quarters of that went to support Tillis’s Senate bid.
  • Clarke, Hauck and DeJoy were among 10 New Breed employees who led the giving. On Sept. 29, each gave identical donations of $12,600 to the Thom Tillis Victory Committee, campaign finance data shows. 
  • DeJoy never replied to his note, Young said. One of the last things he heard from anyone at New Breed came about a year after he left. Hauck, who by then was working with DeJoy at XPO, called and asked Young to donate to Tillis and other Republicans. “I said, ‘No, thank you.’ ”