Earlier today, the Washington Post published a story alleging that US Postmaster Louis DeJoy had previously reimbursed private-sector employees for making political contributions. DeJoy is a longtime Republican megadonor and fundraiser, and led efforts to raise money for the 2020 Republican National Convention.
Reimbursing employees for political contributions is illegal under both federal and North Carolina law. The federal Department of Justice has previously prosecuted actions similar to the allegations described by the Post. Federal Election Campaign Act provisions prohibiting reimbursements to “straw donors” were upheld by a federal appeals court in 2010.
Common Cause and other groups filed a lawsuit against DeJoy less than three weeks ago, alleging that actions undercutting the delivery of mail violate the constitutional right to vote, because of the burden they place on voters choosing to vote by absentee ballot.
Statement of Karen Hobert Flynn, President of Common Cause
It’s illegal for any person to reimburse another person for political contributions. Such “straw donor” schemes demonstrate contempt for our nation’s campaign finance laws, subverting contribution limits, donor intent and transparency laws, among others. By disguising the true source of campaign funding, straw donor schemes perpetrate a fraud on the voting public.
Megadonor Louis DeJoy seemingly broke multiple campaign finance laws, continuing a dangerous pattern of turning our institutions of government upside-down, from the postal service to our election campaigns.
It is extraordinarily disturbing that megadonor DeJoy is abusing his power as Postmaster General to help President Trump win reelection, meanwhile apparently demonstrating disregard for key campaign finance laws designed to promote the integrity of our democratic elections.
Common Cause is exploring the possibility of filing legal complaints to hold DeJoy accountable for these alleged campaign finance violations.
Statement of Bob Phillips, Executive Director of Common Cause North Carolina
If true, the fundraising scheme allegedly perpetrated by Louis DeJoy is extremely troubling. “Big money in politics” erodes public confidence in the integrity of our political system and fuels cynicism. Concealing the source of campaign donations is even worse, because it deprives voters of information they could otherwise use to inform their votes.
These are serious allegations of illegal activity that warrant a thorough investigation, and there must be full accountability from Mr. DeJoy.