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Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) (R) and Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI) listens as Chairman of the United States Postal Service Board of Governors Ron Bloom speaks during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing February 24, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Photo: Jim Watson-Pool/Getty Images)

Bloom's Exit Offers a Chance for Much-Needed Change at the Beleaguered Postal Service

A number of public interest groups sent a letter to Biden asking him not to reappoint Bloom, who is the vice chair and managing partner of the Brookfield Asset Management investment firm.

Sue Sturgis

 by Facing South

Date on which the terms of Ron Bloom, chair of the U.S. Postal Service's Board of Governors, and board member John Barger end: 12/8/2021

Number of organizations that are part of a coalition urging President Biden to replace Bloom, a Democrat, and Barger, a Republican—both Trump appointees—because of their support for Trump-appointed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a wealthy North Carolina businessman and major GOP donor whose tenure has been marked by numerous conflict-of-interest controversies: over 300

Besides that coalition, number of other public interest groups that sent a letter to Biden asking him not to reappoint Bloom, who is the vice chair and managing partner of the Brookfield Asset Management investment firm: 77

Between October 2020 and April 2021, value of bonds DeJoy purchased from Brookfield, raising new conflict-of-interest concerns: $305,000

When DeJoy took office as U.S. postmaster last year, number of companies doing business with the USPS in which he held investments: 14

Estimated value of holdings in USPS competitors and contractors DeJoy and his wife, former N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos, reported at the time of his appointment: $30.1 million to $75.3 million

Rank of XPO Logistics—a USPS mail processing contractor that acquired DeJoy's firm New Breed Logistics in 2014—among their biggest investments at that time: 1

Number of months into his tenure as postmaster general before DeJoy agreed to divest his financial holdings in XPO Logistics—and transferred some of them to his children, raising concerns among ethics watchdogs of a sham divestiture: 4

Value of USPS contract XPO Logistics landed in August of this year, while DeJoy's family maintained ties to it: $120 million

Month when the U.S. Justice Department announced it was investigating DeJoy over possible campaign finance violations at New Breed Logistics, where employees said he or his aides would ask them to write checks for congressional and presidential campaigns and that the company would then reimburse them through bonus payments—a felony violation of the law prohibiting what are known as "straw donors": 6/2021

According to a September 2020 complaint filed with the Federal Elections Committee by the nonprofit Campaign Legal Center, value of political contributions DeJoy obscured through the alleged straw donor scheme: more than $1 million

Month in which the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a criminal complaint against DeJoy for undermining voting by mail, apparently for the political benefit of President Trump, whose nominating convention got almost $700,000 in contributions from DeJoy: 8/2020

Percent of mail that was being delivered on time at the start of this year, down from 92% in the spring of 2020 before DeJoy took office: 61

Date on which DeJoy officially implemented a mail slowdown, which is disproportionately affecting large portions of Florida and South Texas, while also hiking prices: 10/1/2021

Date on which the attorneys general of 19 states including North Carolina and Virginia along with the District of Columbia filed a complaint against the USPS for implementing the slowdown without first requesting an advisory opinion from the Postal Regulatory Commission: 10/7/2021

In addition to his salary of $305,681, amount DeJoy received last fiscal year in bonuses and perks: about $131,000

According to a recent Center for Public Integrity investigation, number of postal managers nationwide who have been caught illegally changing time cards for mail carriers—whose mean annual wage is just over $53,000—to show them working fewer hours than they did, a form of wage theft that preceded DeJoy but has continued under his watch: hundreds

Date on which the Washington Post reported that Biden is expected to replace Bloom on the nine-member USPS board, which currently has four Democrats, four Republicans, and one independent, only three of whom have been appointed by Biden: 11/19/2021

© 2021 Institute for Southern Studies
Sue Sturgis

Sue Sturgis

Sue Sturgis is the Director and regular contributor to the Institute for Southern Study's online magazine, Facing South, with a focus on energy and environmental issues. Sue is the author or co-author of five Institute reports, including Faith in the Gulf (Aug/Sept 2008), Hurricane Katrina and the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement (January 2008) and Blueprint for Gulf Renewal (Aug/Sept 2007). Sue holds a Masters in Journalism from New York University.

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