Skip to main content

Common Dreams. Journalism funded by people, not corporations.

There has never been—and never will be—an advertisement on our site except for this one: without readers like you supporting our work, we wouldn't exist.

No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news and opinion 365 days a year that is freely available to all and funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

Our mission is clear. Our model is simple. If you can, please support our Fall Campaign today.

Support Our Work -- No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. Please support our Fall Campaign today.

Robert Duncan, chairman of the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) stand on stage on day two of the Republican National Convention on September 2, 2008 in St. Paul, Minnesota. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

'The Corruption Is Bottomless': Documents Reveal Chair of Postal Service Board Is Director of McConnell-Allied Super PAC

"Can the GOP's takeover of USPS be any more blatant?"

Jake Johnson

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's deep and longstanding ties to U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors chairman Robert Duncan are coming under heightened scrutiny after corporate paperwork filed Monday listed Duncan as a director of a major GOP super PAC closely aligned with the Kentucky Republican.

The new filing (pdf) with Virginia's State Corporation Commission—an independent regulatory agency that oversees political action committees—names Duncan as one of three directors of the Senate Leadership Fund, a massive super PAC that has spent nearly $18 million in support of Senate Republicans thus far in the 2020 election cycle.

"What a coincidence—the USPS chair's other job is at Mitch McConnell's super PAC, while Mitch kills Postal Service funding to secure our elections with his 'Senate Graveyard.' We have to take his gavel away this November."
—Swing Left

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the Senate Leadership Fund has recently received multi-million dollar donations from casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman, and other right-wing billionaires.

Duncan—who raised more than $400 million for the GOP during his tenure as chairman of the Republican National Committee from 2007 to 2009—was nominated to the USPS Board of Governors by President Donald Trump in 2017 confirmed by the McConnell-led Senate in August of 2018. A McConnell spokesperson told the Louisville Courier Journal last month that the GOP leader recommended Duncan to Trump.

"As a businessman, a public servant, and a dedicated mentor to young people, Mike is an outstanding choice to help oversee the world's largest postal organization," McConnell said in an April 2018 Senate hearing considering Duncan's nomination.

News of Duncan's current high-level role on a super PAC closely linked to McConnell added fuel to growing concerns that recent USPS operational changes imposed by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy—a Republican megadonor to both McConnell and President Donald Trump—are a ploy to influence the outcome of the November election in the GOP's favor and, ultimately, privatize the Postal Service.

The sweeping changes—many of which DeJoy vowed to suspend last month in the face of immense public backlash—have dramatically slowed package deliveries across the nation and intensified concerns about the timely arrival of mail-in ballots in November. Last month, Democratic lawmakers urged the Board of Governors to remove DeJoy over his mail service changes and conflicts of interest, but members of the board—which unanimously appointed DeJoy in May despite his lack of USPS experience—have remained supportive of the postmaster general.

"Can the GOP's takeover of USPS be any more blatant?" economist Robert Reich asked Monday in response to the new filing.

"The corruption is bottomless," added Renee Graham, a columnist for the Boston Globe.

During a House Oversight Committee hearing last month, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) called attention to Duncan's ties to the Senate Leadership Fund and American Crossroads, another major Republican super PAC. Duncan confirmed that he on the boards of both GOP organizations while also serving as chairman of the USPS Board of Governors.

Lawmakers and progressive commentators suggested that McConnell's close relationship with the top official on the USPS Board of Governors could have something to do with the Republican leader's refusal to consider House-passed legislation providing $25 billion in emergency funding for the Postal Service. In a tweet last month, McConnell dismissed widespread concerns about mail slowdowns across the U.S. as "overblown conspiracy theories."

"Is this why the Senate Majority Leader refuses to pass legislation to protect the USPS?" Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus,  asked Monday night in response to the new document.

Advocacy group Swing Left tweeted late Monday that the fresh details surrounding Duncan's ties to McConnell further highlight the need to oust the Kentucky senator, who is set to face off against Democratic challenger Amy McGrath in November.

"What a coincidence—the USPS chair's other job is at Mitch McConnell's super PAC, while Mitch kills Postal Service funding to secure our elections with his 'Senate Graveyard,'" the group said. "We have to take his gavel away this November."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

'Outrageous and Shameful': Dems May Cut Paid Leave Due to Manchin's Opposition

Decrying the plan, advocacy groups vowed that "the American people are not going to allow that essential human need to be ignored and negotiated away behind closed doors."

Jessica Corbett ·


Open Letter Warns Trump's 'Big Lie' GOP Poses Existential Threat to Democracy

"Now is the time for leaders in all walks of life—for citizens of all political backgrounds and persuasions—to come to the aid of the republic."

Brett Wilkins ·


Ahead of Historic House Hearing, Fresh Big Oil Misinformation Campaign Exposed

"It's always helpful to remember that big fossil fuel companies (besides being overwhelmingly responsible for carbon pollution) are also skeevy disinformation hucksters."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Very Welcome' Progress as Iran Agrees to Restart Talks on Nuclear Deal Sabotaged by Trump

One peace advocate urged all sides to reconvene negotiations "as soon as possible and with renewed urgency" to avert "disastrous" consequences for Iran and the world.

Brett Wilkins ·


House Progressives: 'When We Said These Two Bills Go Together, We Meant It'

"Moving the infrastructure bill forward without the popular Build Back Better Act risks leaving behind working people, families, and our communities."

Andrea Germanos ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo