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Common Cause NC files complaint calling for investigation of DeJoy’s alleged ‘straw donor’ scheme

As was noted in this post on Monday, one of the big political revelations of recent days involves the alleged illegal laundering of campaign contributions in years past by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy (pictured at left in a screenshot taken during recent online congressional testimony) via the North Carolina-based company he long ran before joining the Trump administration.

As the Washington Post reported:

Five people who worked for DeJoy’s former business, New Breed Logistics, say they were urged by DeJoy’s aides or by the chief executive himself to write checks and attend fundraisers at his 15,000-square-foot gated mansion beside a Greensboro, N.C., country club. There, events for Republicans running for the White House and Congress routinely fetched $100,000 or more apiece.

Two other employees familiar with New Breed’s financial and payroll systems said DeJoy would instruct that bonus payments to staffers be boosted to help defray the cost of their contributions, an arrangement that would be unlawful.

Today, in response to this troubling news, advocates at Common Cause North Carolina have filed complaints demanding formal, public investigations. This is from a release the group distributed today:

RALEIGH – U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy should be investigated immediately for an alleged campaign donation scheme that may have violated North Carolina law, according to a complaint filed today by Common Cause NC with the State Board of Elections and also sent to Attorney General Josh Stein requesting a criminal investigation.

While CEO of High Point, NC-based New Breed Logistics from 2003-2014, DeJoy pressured employees of his company to make political contributions and later reimbursed those contributions through bonuses, according to former employees recently interviewed by The Washington Post.

Such a ploy would violate North Carolina campaign finance laws, which prohibit making contributions in the name of another person, and may have been a means to illegally circumvent donation limits. State law also prohibits corporations from donating to campaigns, a provision that DeJoy may have violated by using his company’s funds to reimburse employees for making contributions to political candidates he supported.

While there is a five-year statute of limitations on federal campaign finance charges, there is no such statute of limitations in North Carolina.

The following is a statement from Bob Phillips, executive director of Common Cause NC:

“Our state’s campaign finance laws are designed to protect the fundamental integrity of our elections and guard against undue influence by self-serving megadonors and special interests. Violations of these laws undermine public trust in our democracy and must be treated with the utmost seriousness. No one is above the law, no matter the size of their bank account.

Voters deserve to know who is funding politicians’ campaigns. But straw donor ploys hide the true source of political donations and make it impossible for voters to make fully-informed choices. This troubling fundraising scheme allegedly perpetrated by Louis DeJoy has the appearance of bypassing North Carolina’s campaign finance limits in order to illicitly buy political access and curry favor with elected officials. These allegations should be thoroughly investigated and, if true, Mr. DeJoy must be held accountable.”

The full complaint filed by Common Cause NC with the State Board of Elections can be read here.

The letter to Attorney General Josh Stein can be read here.

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