Postal Service Busted Violating Campaign Laws
The United States Postal Service broke the law by permitting their employees to engage in union-funded work for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign while on leave from their jobs, a new investigation shows.
The Office of Special Counsel report – first obtained by Fox News – shows that the USPS engaged in “systemic violations” of the Hatch Act, a law that bars certain political activities of federal employees. While the law permits some political work while they’re on leave, the investigation showed the USPS showed a distinct “bias” in favor of the union’s pro-Hillary 2016 campaign operation.
The investigation started months ago by Sen. Ron Johnson, who heard from constituent complaints through the Office of Special Counsel back in October. The constituent – who was identified as a postal employee – said that the USPS “incurred unnecessary overtime costs” and “improperly coordinated” with the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) when it released members for several weeks of “union official” leave without pay to participate in campaign work.
“The Labor 2016 program sought to ‘elect Hillary Clinton and pro-worker candidates across the country,’” the report said, citing campaign work like door-to-door canvassing, phone banks and other get-out-the-vote efforts.
According to the report, roughly 97 NALC members requested the leave without pay to participate. The NALC, which endorsed Clinton last June, compensated those USPS workers using the Letter Carrier Political Fund, the union’s PAC.
According to the report, 82 percent of the work took place in 2016 battleground states: Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
It wasn’t just a “ground-level game,” either – the report shows that officials at all levels were involved. OSC Special Counsel Adam Miles said that he had lists of letter carriers who were designed to participate in campaign activity directly from USPS labor relations officials, who then forwarded the lists to other USPS officials around the country.
These lists were “interpreted as directives” from USPS headquarters to release the carriers on union official leave without pay.
“We concluded that the USPS practice of facilitating and directing carrier releases for the union’s political activity resulted in an institutional bias in favor of NALC’s endorsed political candidates, which the Hatch Act prohibits,” Miles said in prepared testimony before the Senate Homeland Security Committee, which is set to hold a hearing Wednesday on the matter.
But USPS Postmaster General Megan Brennan said that “senior postal leadership did not in any way guide union leadership in selecting the candidates for whom NALC employees could campaign” and that USPS “did not approve or choose candidates for the unions to support” or “ask the union to advocate for political candidates on behalf of the Postal Service.”
The question is, who will actually be held accountable for this blatant violation of the law?
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