Six of the top 10, and 12 of the top 20 campaign contributors over the past 14 years are unions. And with 94% of their donations going to Democrat candidates, these unions have given the Dem. party a 20% edge in contributions from the "Top 100," acc. to a non-partisan study released Oct. 22. The study by the Center for Responsive Politics chronicles both direct contributions to candidates by political action cmtes. (PACs), and "soft money" donations to political parties from 1989-90 to the current campaign cycle.
The top contributor, of $30,671,426, was the Amer. Fed. of State, County & Municipal Employees, followed by the Natl. Educ. Assn. with $21,116,383. Also in the top 10 are the Intl. Bhd. of Teamsters at no. 6, the Intl. Bhd. of Electrical Workers at no. 7, the Serv. Employees Intl. Union at no. 9, and the Comm. Wrkrs. of Amer. at no. 10. Of the top 100 contributing organizations since 1989, Dem. candidates received 60% of their total donations, thanks to the 94% of union contributions that went to the Dem. party. The study can be read at the CRP's web site, http://www.opensecrets.org
Keeping the heat on the union-owned Ullico, under fed. investigation for insider stock trading, the National Right to Work Legal Defense Fndtn. filed charges against the Ullico Board on Aug. 13 with the Natl. Labor Relations Bd. (NLRB)
As reported in previous issues of UCU, a fed. grand jury in Wash., D.C. is investigating allegations that from 1999 to 2001, several intl union presidents used their positions on the Ullico Bd. to sell their personal Ullico stock at a dramatically higher price than its worth, but would not allow larger shareholders such as union pension funds to sell their stock during the same period. As a result, those shareholders were stuck with Ullico's stock, heavily leveraged in the telecom firm Global Crossing, which rode the wave of the telecom bubble to bankruptcy in 2001.
The Fndtn. charges that as an employer providing financial support to several unions through their presidents, Ullico violated Sec. 8(a)2 of the Natl. Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which bars employers from "domina[ting] or interfer[ing] with the formation or administration of any labor organization or contribut[ing] financial or other support to it..." [NRTWLDF]
United States Attorney John K.Vincent announced on July 19 that Mary Dolores Anderson pled guilty to embezzling nearly $90,000 as a union officer from 1993 to 1999. Anderson faces a sentence of up to five years imprisonment and up to a $10,000 fine. Her sentencing is scheduled for October 4, 2002 before U.S.District Court Judge Garland E. Burrell,Jr. (E.D. Calif., G.H.W. Bush)
According to Asst. U.S.Attorney Christopher P. Sonderby, who is prosecuting the case, Anderson served from 1993 to 1999 as the Secretary-Treasurer of the Communication Workers of America Local 9417, a Stockton union made up of about 700 Pacific Bell employees in San Joaquin County. In FY 2000, the Local had $189,307 in receipts, 94% of which came in the form of members' dues, acc. to the union's LM-3 financial disclosure form filed with the U.S. Labor Dept.
On July 3, 2002, in the Superior Court of the State of Arizona, Maricopa County, Mary Katherine Johnson, former treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees Local 2552, was sentenced to incarceration for four months followed by five years probation and was ordered to make full restitution to the union of $28,853.69. She had pled guilty on June 3, 2002, to attempted theft following an investigation by the OLMS Los Angeles District Office. [DOL]
Indiana Official Admits to Forgery On June 25, 2002, in Marion County (Indiana) court, Mack Dykes, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 1411, pled guilty to two counts of forgery in the amount of $7,100. He had been indicted on March 21, 2002, following an investigation by the OLMS Cincinnati District Office. [DOL]
U.S. Dist. Judge. J. Thomas Greene, Jr. (D. Utah, Reagan) sentenced Jill C. Gonzales, the spouse of an ex-secretary-treasurer of Bhd. Maintenance of Way Employees Local 1227 in Ogden, Utah, May 23 to six months home confinement and 24 months probation (concurrent with the home confinement) for stealing $49,709.46. She pled guilty to mail fraud on Mar. 13. Green also ordered her to pay full restitution; $27,861 in of the total embezzlement amount was outstanding at sentencing. [DOL 5/23/02]
On May 30, Jimmy Reed, ex-secretary-treasurer of Communications Workers of Am. Local 3295 in the Atlanta area, pled guilty to a one-count information charging him with false recordkeeping. He was charged Apr. 18. Reed was sentenced to six months home confinement to run concurrently with six months probation. [DOL 5/30/02]
Union corruption watchdog, the Nat'l Legal & Policy Ctr., has demanded the resignation of several Ullico, Inc., board members allegedly involved in the growing insider trading scandal. NLPC sent a open letter May 16 to three board members of the union-dominated insurance firm: Robert Georgine, Ullico chairman, Morton Bahr, Communications Workers of Am. president, and Douglas McCarron, United Bhd. of Carpenters president. Each potentially made huge profits at the expense of union members, whose pensions invested in Ullico stock.
U.S. Dist. Judge Lewis T. Babcock (D. Colo., Reagan) sentenced union embezzler Bobby R. Putnam Apr. 23 to five years probation, including six months in home detention with electronic monitoring, and was ordered to pay $18,026.95 in restitution. Putnam, ex-secretary-treasurer of Communications Workers of Am. Local 14708 (a.k.a., Denver Mailers Union No. 8) in Denver, was charged Oct. 31 in a 40-count indictment with embezzling $7,808.26 and falsifying union records. He later pled guilty. The reason for the $10,218.69 difference between the indictment and the restitution amounts was unavailable.
As reported in the last issue, a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., is probing stock transactions by directors of a union-dominated insurance firm ULLICO linked to the now bankrupt firm, Global Crossing. The Wall St. Journal reports that internal documents reveal that ULLICO officers and board members cashed in on some 71,000 ULLICO shares between Jan. 2000 and Sept. 2001, possibly at the expense of the very union pension funds to which they owed a fiduciary duty. The profits were potentially huge. For example, Martin J. Maddaloni, president of the United Ass'n of Plumbers & Pipe Fitters, allegedly reaped a $184,000 profit from timely selling of a mere 2,000 shares of his ULLICO stock back to ULLICO in 2000.
More than two dozen union presidents were reportedly invited to buy shares in Global Crossing, as the Bermuda-based telecom was first offering its stock to the general public. Now a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., is probing stock transactions by directors of insurance and investment firm ULLICO (f.k.a. Union Labor Life Ins. Co.), a union-dominated firm founded by the AFL. ULLICO's board is chaired by ex-AFL-CIO Building & Construction Trades Dep't president Robert A. Georgine and includes many current and ex-union presidents.
Reportedly, the investigations focus on trading privileges that allegedly allowed ULLICO's board members to profit from the purchase and sale of its shares. The transactions were lucrative because the privately held company's stock price was reset each year based on its book value and the board members could anticipate the change. ULLICO's shares had risen on the strength of several deals, including a $500 million profit on a $7.6 million investment in telecom firm Global Crossing, which declared bankruptcy in Jan. 2002.