Mary Jo White is a poor choice to head the SEC. As a U.S. attorney, she demonstrated a lack of political independence and competence.
In the late 90's prosecution of the Teamsters money landering scandal, White won several guilty pleas from low-level has-beens, but gave a pass to prominent union figures who played a key role in the Democratic political campaign of 2000, and every one since. The magnitude of White's dereliction of duty can be seen in who was not prosecuted- Richard Trumka, Andrew Stern and Gerald McEntee.
In Barack Obama, organized labor knows it has its man in the White House. Arguably more than any U.S. president in history, President Obama supports the union domestic agenda, ever and always anchored in aggressive government intervention in the economy. And union officials support him, having provided indispensable financial and logistical support for his campaign last year. To show his appreciation, Obama was in downtown Pittsburgh today to address the AFL-CIO's quadrennial convention. His speech is the highlight of the labor confab at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, which will run through Thursday.
By a wide margin yesterday, Virginia voters nominated State Senator R. Creigh Deeds as the Democratic Party candidate for governor. In so doing, they rejected the candidacy of former Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Terry McAuliffe, a top Clinton confidante with a long history of influence-peddling. With roughly 75 percent of the ballots counted, Deeds had received about 50 percent of the tally, with McAuliffe and State Delegate Brian Moran each with roughly 25 percent. Deeds will face Republican Attorney General Bob McDonnell, who ran unopposed, in this November's general election. But the real news may be the defeat of McAuliffe, a powerful and ethically-challenged party fundraiser. Former President Bill Clinton, among other party stalwarts, actively had stumped on his behalf.
He arrived in Washington under a glow of reform.And he left under a cloud of scandal.It’s a narrative that describes all too many careers in American politics – and organized labor.Ron Carey, general president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters for a crucial period during the Nineties, was a classic case.Carey died of lung cancer this past December 11 at age 72, his federally-imposed lifetime ban on Teamster activity still intact.The union has been James P. Hoffa’s for the last decade.But the Carey era in a real sense made it possible.
The UCU has now learned that the two last unaccounted for defendants in the Teamsters money-laundering scandal were sentenced in Mar. 2002, at two hush hush court hearings, which that have gone unreported by major daily newspapers. When the UCU previously reported that scandal figure Jere Nash was sentenced on Apr. 9, it incorrectly reported that the two other defendants who pled guilty with Nash, had not yet been sentenced. Both were sentenced some 54 months after they pled guilty on Sept. 18, 1997. The three engaged in a series of schemes which led to the embezzlement of some $885,000 from the Int'l Bhd. of Teamsters and to $538,100 in illegal campaign contributions to the failed 1996 reelection campaign of expelled IBT president Ron Carey.
Oversight of the Int'l Bhd. of Teamsters' financial affairs by an outside auditor will end later this month as the result of an order signed Dec. 20 by U.S. Dist. Judge Loretta A. Preska (S.D.N.Y., H.W. Bush), who has ongoing oversight of the consent decree that in 1989 settled the racketeering suit against IBT. On Jan. 10, IBT said an agreement had been reached with the Dep't of Justice to eliminate the independent financial auditor (IFA) first put in place in 1997 following discovery of the illegal money laundering schemes that help finance the re-election of then-president Ron Carey. Federal officials said at the time that lack of adequate internal union controls enabled Carey operatives to siphon off union funds for his reelection and "were an invitation to improper and illegal conduct."
The Int'l Bhd. of Teamsters $3 million RICO suit against its ex-boss Ron Carey for allegedly defrauding IBT to finance his 1996 re-election campaign was dismissed Oct. 1 by the U.S. Dist. Judge Laura T. Swain (S.D.N.Y., Clinton). IBT charged that Carey conspired with other individuals and groups to unlawfully swap union contributions to various liberal advocacy groups for reciprocal unlawful payments by those groups to Carey's 1996 campaign. Swain found that IBT failed to present facts sufficient to prove the "existence of a pattern of racketeering activity" and dismissed the suit.
On Sept. 6, in the perjury trial of expelled president of the Int'l Bhd. of Teamsters, Ron Carey, the defense apparently got a big boost. Convicted felon William W. Hamilton, IBT's ex-political director, testified that he had never told Carey that a series of political contributions were linked to a money-laundering scheme to generate funds for Carey's 1996 campaign. Currently serving a three-year prison sentence after his Nov. 1999 conviction on charges that he embezzled IBT funds in the scandal and then lied about, Hamilton was called by the prosecution. But his testimony appeared to support the defense's contention that Carey was unaware that the donations were linked to his campaign. He reportedly stated he was testifying without a grant of immunity or any other deal from the prosecution.
The perjury and false statements trial of expelled Int'l Bhd. of Teamsters boss Ron Carey began Aug. 28. He allegedly lied about matters in several complex schemes in which $885,000 of IBT funds were embezzled and some $538,000 was wrongfully funneled into his failed 1996 campaign. Five others have pled guilty and one has been convicted in the scandal. Carey faces up to thirty-five years in prison. U.S. Dist. Judge Robert L. Carter (S.D.N.Y., Nixon) said at jury selection on Aug. 27 that the trial is expected to last three weeks.
Corruption still hangs over last year's event, but union organizers say a complaint over funding won't stop this year's Labor Day parade in Georgetown County, S.C. Sec'y of State Jim Miles recently said his office will soon decide whether the Georgetown County Labor Council violated S.C.'s Charitable Funds Act when it received tax funds to hold the 2000 parade. In 2000, the County Council voted give GCLC $3,000 to hold the parade and "labor rally." "When one solicits from the public, the reason for the solicitations must be correct, one must not misrepresent. That is an issue...we looking at," said Miles.