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9.30.20

New Reporting Details USPS Delays Hurting North Carolina, As Senator Tillis Still Can’t Stand Up To His Donor

A new investigative report revealed the real life consequences of the delays caused by Postmaster General DeJoy’s cuts to the United States Postal Service. In Brunswick County, Robert Brunson missed doses on his medication after it was delayed for a week, and is concerned about the consequences of DeJoy’s decisions: “Gets to be real serious, when the mail is being used…For whatever reason – political, whatever – it’s always the people on the side, the fringes, that suffer the consequences.”

Over the summer, Senator Thom Tillis’ donor Louis DeJoy began restructuring the postal system in a way that led to delays and crippling backlogs in the postal service, impacting North Carolina families and veterans who rely on USPS for timely delivery of prescriptions, unemployment checks, and other essentials. 

As reports surfaced of postal delays, Tillis failed to demand accountability from DeJoy in response, at times even defending his donor, which was not surprising when weeks later Senator Tillis found himself at the center of a straw donor scheme led by DeJoy: “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.” On top of that, Tillis has received almost $50,000 from DeJoy and his wife and even skipped a Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing on veteran suicide to attend a GOP fundraiser at DeJoy’s Greensboro home. It’s clear that when North Carolinians are counting on Senator Tillis to speak up and speak out when they’re getting hurt, he’s too weak to stand up to his donors. 

Cal Cunningham has called on Senator Tillis to speak out against Postmaster General DeJoy’s cuts and reorganization of the U.S. Postal Service that are causing major delays, especially for rural communities and veterans who receive their prescriptions through the mail. In a joint op-ed with Patricia Timmons-Goodson, Cal and Pat wrote: “Both of us come from military families, we know the sacrifices our veterans, service members and their families make to keep our country safe from harm. And we know the pride that our military families take in their service. Our veterans gave us much more than we could ever give back, and all they’re asking in return is that we take care of them like they took care of us. It’s time for Sen. Tillis and Rep. Hudson to do their jobs, demand answers from DeJoy and hold Washington accountable.” 

Read more from NC Watchdog Reporting Network. 


WRAL: In NC, Consequences Of Postal Service Slowdown Extend Beyond The Mailbox

By NC Watchdog Reporting Network – September 29, 2020 

  • By the time headlines across the country began to detail concerns over the U.S. Postal Service, Brunswick County resident Robert Brunson had already suffered the consequences.
  • A diabetic, Brunson regularly ordered his medication online through a mail-order pharmacy. That process normally took two to three days. In August, it took 10.
  • “I ran out,” he said.
  • The delay meant he missed a few doses. Now, he’s decided to get his medications at a local pharmacy, even though it will cost him double every time he needs a refill.
  • “Fool me once, shame on you, but fool me twice, shame on me. So I said, ‘OK, we’ll wait until this mail thing gets straightened out.'”
  • Brunson said he has the means and health to be able to wait. But he worries about others who rely on the mail out of necessity, whether for medication, Social Security checks or the upcoming 2020 election.
  • He worries, he said, about those left behind.
  • “Gets to be real serious, when the mail is being used,” he said. “For whatever reason – political, whatever – it’s always the people on the side, the fringes, that suffer the consequences.”
  • Brunson wasn’t the only one worried. As mail delivery times climbed throughout the summer, the state Attorney General’s Office fielded dozens of complaints and concerns related to medication delivery through the U.S. Postal Service. Many worried whether their medications would be delivered on time.
  • Dozens more fretted about whether the Postal Service could deliver hundreds of thousands of absentee ballots in time for the Nov. 3 presidential election.
  • “It concerns me because it affects, actually, our democracy. I mean, we were always the best mail service in the world. We delivered more mail than any country in the world,” said Eugene Wooster, a retired postmaster who wrote to Attorney General Josh Stein in August and spoke with the NC Watchdog Reporting Network.
  • “If we don’t have a good mail service, we’re in serious trouble.”
  • Shortly after Republican megadonor Louis DeJoy took over in June as postmaster general, he instituted strict limits on overtime, decommissioned dozens of mail sorting machines and ordered mail delivery trucks to depart on time – even if it meant leaving some mail behind, the Washington Post reported.