Heath Care Task Force Showed Hillary’s Penchant for Secrecy

hillary health careOnly time will tell just how damaging the current email controversy is to Hillary Clinton. But looking back, it was the same penchant for secrecy, and disregard for rules that others must follow, that doomed her attempt to overhaul the nation’s health care system in the early Nineties, the most ambitious project of her life next to running for president.

NLPC was a plaintiff in the successful 1993 lawsuit to open the meetings and records of the task force. A good historical account of the task force, and the fight over its proposals, can be found in a 1996 book titled The First Lady: A Comprehensive View of Hillary Rodham Clinton, that I co-wrote with my brother Timothy. Here is Chapter Nine titled “Health Care:”

Calling it a tour-de-force would be an understatement. There she was, the First Lady of the United States with the media and the entire …

Federal Judge Blocks Crackdown on Hiring of Illegal Immigrants; AFL-CIO Applauds

That labor unions have become champions of the right of illegal (also known as “undocumented”) immigrants to remain in this country is hardly news.  In 2000, the AFL-CIO, pushed by President John Sweeney, issued a formal statement supporting unconditional amnesty for illegal workers and their families.  But Sweeney and other federation officials want to do more than issue press releases and pass resolutions.  Last month, they went to federal court in San Francisco to block implementation of a Bush administration plan to enforce the law.  On August 31, they scored an initial victory.  U.S. District Judge Maxine M. Chesney, a Clinton appointee, issued a temporary restraining order barring the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from mailing notices to 140,000 employers, covering about 8.7 million workers, warning them about suspicious Social Security numbers.  These “no-match” letters, as they are known, would point out the penalties for failing to resolve paperwork discrepancies.

ACLU Gets on Board in Support of Union Democracy in Wash. State

Seeking to uphold union democracy, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington and Public Citizen filed suit on April 14 backing the free speech rights of a union member running for office.  The suit was filed on behalf of Joseph Hughes to secure his right to speak with fellow members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).


Hughes is running for Business Manager in the June election of IBEW Local 46, in the Seattle area.  Hughes is challenging a Local 46 rule that forbids candidates from discussing the union election or having political paraphernalia – including buttons or bumper stickers – anywhere on the union’s premises, including the hallways of the union hall or even in the union parking lot.  Because the union runs a hiring hall to which members come daily from surrounding counties in order to secure work, the rule limits a candidate’s

Union Seeks Dues for ACLU Support

Officials of the Public School Employees in Sunnyside, Washington, have ordered a part-time school bus driver and Pentecostal pastor to send his annual dues to the American Civil Liberties Union, despite his religious objections to the national organization and its opposition to school prayer.

The Rev. Ivan Poisel, pastor of the Church of God Pentecostal congregation, has asked the union to donate his $15 in dues to a local food bank called Second Harvest.  But union officials have rejected his request.  Both parties are expected to appear at a hearing next month before the state’s Public Employee Relations Committee (PERC), which will decide where Mr. Poisel’s money will go.  PSE has gone before the state’s employee relations committee several times.  In most cases, PERC has ruled in favor of the employees, allowing them to send their dues to a county food bank, a local Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program …

SEIU Teams Up With ACLU to Overturn Federal Baggage-Screen Law

The Am. Civil Liberties Union and the Service Employees Int’l Union filed a suit Jan. 17 challenging the citizenship requirement for airport baggage screeners in the recently enacted Aviation & Transp. Security Act, which requires virtually all airport baggage screeners to be federal employees within one year. Applicants must be United States citizens to qualify for those federal jobs.  In addition to the suit, ACLU and SEIU are calling on Congress to remove the citizenship requirement from the statute. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Cal.) has introduced a bill (S. 1829) to allow permanent foreign residents to be eligible for federal screener jobs if they are in the process of becoming U.S. citizens. However, a spokesman for SEIU told BNA that while the union supports Feinstein’s measure, the bill would affect less than 10% of the legal immigrants who hold baggage screening positions.

About 25% of baggage screeners nationwide are legal, noncitizen …

Rhode Island Governor Puts Bosses above the Law

In 1995, R.I. Gov. Lincoln Almond (R) went on a campaign to get no-show state employees back to work. He publicized that his predecessor allowed 246 union bosses to spend up to 100% of their state-paid time on undocumented “union business.” Annual cost to taxpayers for the diverted time: $1.2 million. But now he is refusing to disclose the amount of state-paid time off his administration is giving union bosses unless the bosses give him permission.

The issue came to a head in response to questions about the recent promotion and $10,000 raise given to Louis Roccabello, a state-employee who spends at least 50% of each state-paid work week on business for AFSCME Dist. Council 94.

Even R.I. leftists were outraged. “The governor is elected by all the people, not just the public employee unions,” said a Common Cause spokesman. An ACLU spokesman said, “It is extremely disturbing that the …