The removal of key equipment from Post Offices should be viewed as nothing less than “sabotage,” said one observer.
The head of the Iowa Postal Workers Union alleged Tuesday that mail sorting machines are “being removed” from Post Offices in her state due to new policies imposed by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a major GOP donor to President Donald Trump whose operational changes have resulted in dramatic mail slowdowns across the nation.
Asked by NPR‘s Noel King whether she has felt the impact of DeJoy’s changes, Iowa Postal Workers Union President Kimberly Karol—a 30-year Postal Service veteran—answered in the affirmative, saying “mail is beginning to pile up in our offices, and we’re seeing equipment being removed.”
“I don’t see this as cost-saving measures. I see this as a way to undermine the public confidence in the mail service.”
—Kimberly Karol, Iowa Postal Workers Union
Karol went on to specify that “equipment that we use to process mail for delivery”—including sorting machines—is being removed from Postal Service facilities in Iowa as DeJoy rushes ahead with policies that, according to critics, are sabotaging the Postal Service’s day-to-day operations less than 90 days before an election that could hinge on mail-in ballots.
“In Iowa, we are losing machines. And they already in Waterloo were losing one of those machines. So that also hinders our ability to process mail in the way that we had in the past,” added Karol, who said she is “not a fan” of the postmaster general. Washington state election officials have also raised concerns about the removal of mail sorting machines.
“I grew up in a culture of service, where every piece was to be delivered every day. And his policies, although they’ve only been in place for a few weeks, are now affecting the way that we do business and not allowing us to deliver every piece every day, as we’ve done in the past,” said Karol. “I don’t see this as cost-saving measures. I see this as a way to undermine the public confidence in the mail service. It’s not saving costs. We’re spending more time trying to implement these policy changes. And it’s, in our offices, costing more over time.”
Observers reacted with alarm to Karol’s comments, viewing them as further confirmation that DeJoy is deliberately attempting to damage the Postal Service with the goal of helping Trump win reelection in November.
“It’s a conspiracy to steal the election, folks,” tweeted The Week‘s political columnist Ryan Cooper.
Freelance journalist Erin Biba said there’s “absolutely no way to see” the removal of mail sorting machines from Post Offices as anything other than “sabotage” of the most popular government institution in the U.S.
“It’s so blatant,” added Biba.
Listen to Karol’s interview:
Karol’s remarks come as members of Congress and hundreds of thousands of ordinary Americans are demanding DeJoy’s immediate resignation or removal in the wake of his displacement of nearly two dozen top Postal Service officials late last week—a major leadership overhaul that critics dubbed a “Friday Night Massacre.”
According to internal Postal Service memos obtained by Reuters, DeJoy—a former logistics executive with tens of millions invested in USPS competitors—was aware his operational changes would lead to mail delays. As Reuters reported:
The reorganization, introduced in July, has resulted in thousands of delayed letters in southern Maine, as delivery drivers follow a new directive to leave on time, even if the mail has not been loaded.
Delays have also been reported in at least 18 other states, according to media reports.
“One aspect of these changes that may be difficult for employees is that—temporarily—we may see mail left behind or mail on the workroom floor or docks,” says one memo, dated July 10. The plan hopes to eliminate 64 million working hours nationally to reduce personnel costs, according to another memo.
In a statement over the weekend, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) warned that Dejoy’s “nefarious collective efforts will suppress millions of mail-in ballots and threaten the voting rights of millions of Americans, setting the stage for breach of our Constitution.”
“It is imperative that we remove him from his post,” said DeFazio, “and immediately replace him with an experienced leader who is committed to sustaining a critical service for all Americans.”
NYT bombshell on Trump’s taxes proves his philanthropic claims ‘don’t always add up’
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Trump wrote in his book, Trump 101: The Way to Success, “If you don’t give back, you’re never ever going to be fulfilled in life," but his philanthropic endeavors do not seem to add up. According to his tax records, The New York Times reported Friday that Trump has given back "at least $130 million since 2005, his second year as a reality TV star on NBC's The Apprentice. But of that amount, "the vast bulk of his charitable tax deductions, $119.3 million worth, came from simply agreeing not to develop land — in several cases, after he had shelved development plans."
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Southern Poverty Law Center said the hand signal is "used ironically by a number of Trump supporters at far-right rallies. It’s been particularly prominent among far-right street protesters such as the Proud Boys and the Northwest-based Patriot Prayer, whose members have prominently displayed the sign in group photos and during street protests."