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Boilermakers Officials Continue High Living with Member Dues

By: | April 20, 2017

Labor unions rarely skimp on salary and benefits, especially for those at the top. Yet for sheer audacity, few are the equal of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers. An investigative report published this past Saturday in the Kansas City Star, a follow-up to an expose of several years ago, is an apt reminder. The author of each, Judy Thomas, plumbed publicly-available financial records of the union, concluding that officials and support staff have continued to indulge expensive tastes at members’ expense. National Legal and Policy Center Chairman Ken Boehm, quoted in the new article, had this to say: “This is so over the top. It really tells you that there aren’t the kinds of checks and balances that are supposed to be there.” A number of local affiliates aren’t so happy about this either.

When it comes to compensation for union office jobs, nobody does it quite like the …

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Melgen Trial Heats Up But Where is National Media?

By: | April 11, 2017
Melgen and Menendez in happier times

Indicted Senator Robert Menendez’ biggest donor, Dr. Salomon Melgen, is on trial in West Palm Beach for on 76 charges of defrauding Medicare of $105 million. These charges are separate from those that Melgen bribed Menendez, on which the duo will be tried in New Jersey later in the year.

Of course, there is a connection between the two proceedings. Melgen wouldn’t have been able to shower favors on Menendez, or kick in $700,000 to a super PAC that spent most of the money to re-elect Menendez in 2012, if he wasn’t getting gobs of money from somewhere. And that somewhere was you and me, the taxpayers.

But it’s being treated like two separate local stories, one in Florida and one in New Jersey. Despite increasingly colorful — and disturbing — testimony at Melgen’s trial, it has not broken through to the national media, …

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Ruling in Perry Capital Appeal Shackles Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac Shareholders

By: | April 4, 2017

One buys stock with an understanding that the rules affecting profit and loss won’t change without warning. The U.S. Court for Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, apparently believes otherwise. On February 21, the court ruled 2-1 that investors in shares of secondary residential mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as managed by Perry Capital LLC, a New York hedge fund, have no right to realize their accrued profits. The decision continues the federal conservatorship of the two companies established in 2008. The case was triggered by the “sweep rule” issued by the Treasury Department in August 2012. That rule confiscated dividends as repayment for $187.5 billion in emergency loans even though the corporations have repaid far more than that. The case, one of many such suits, is a lesson on the perils of government bailouts.

National Legal and Policy Center on many occasions has analyzed the Fannie Mae and …

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