Longtime ally to Trump’s postal chief was paid by RNC

Politics

FILE – In this Aug. 24, 2020, file photo, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testifies during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on the Postal Service on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Donald Trump says he’s open to an investigation of DeJoy after some of DeJoy’s former employees said they felt pressured to donate to GOP candidates.(Tom Williams/Pool via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A former executive who worked in the private sector for Postmaster General Louis DeJoy was recently paid by President Donald Trump’s reelection effort, according to a new campaign finance disclosure.

Joe Hauck, who was formerly vice president of sales and marketing for DeJoy’s New Breed Logistics, was paid $3,000 by the Republican National Committee in August for “management consulting,” records filed on Sunday with the Federal Election Commission show.

DeJoy faces an investigation by House Democrats who are exploring allegations that he encouraged employees at his former business to contribute to Republican candidates and then reimbursed them in the guise of bonuses, a violation of campaign finance laws.

Hauck helped his then-boss in the endeavor by soliciting donations from employees, The Washington Post reported. He and DeJoy have previously denied that employees were pressured to donate.

Hauck did not respond to a request for comment Monday.

RNC spokeswoman Mandi Merritt said Hauck was hired to help the party organize fundraising events in North Carolina. She also noted that he has helped Republicans with fundraising for years.

Hauck worked for DeJoy at New Breed’s North Carolina headquarters for over a decade and donated over $45,000 to candidates DeJoy supported between 2002 and 2014, when the business was sold, record show.

His contributions were part of more than $1.7 million that DeJoy and his employees steered to Republican candidates for federal and state office during those years, campaign finance disclosures show.

He drew scrutiny after taking a leave of absence from New Breed to assist DeJoy’s wife, Aldona Wos, who was appointed in 2013 to lead North Carolina’s health department under then-Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican.

Wos, a physician, hired Hauck under a lucrative contract that paid him as much as $310,000 a year to help clean up the agency’s finances. He held the job for just 11 months, The Associated Press reported at the time.

Wos resigned in 2015, which came after a grand jury subpoenaed records from her agency, including her correspondence with Hauck.

Dejoy and Wos have been prolific donors to Republican causes for years, including $1.2 million they gave to Trump. That’s drawn a spotlight to the transactional appearance of some of his contributions. Wos, who donated over $30,000 to Trump, is now his nominee for ambassador to Canada.

DeJoy’s brief tenure leading the U.S. Postal Service has also drawn fierce criticism from Democrats, who argue that efficiency measures he implemented were actually an attempt to hamstring mail delivery to benefit Trump’s political fortunes.

A record number of ballots are expected to be cast by mail because of the pandemic, though Trump has argued without offering evidence that it will lead to widespread voter fraud.

He has encouraged his supporters to vote in person on Nov. 3.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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