Democratic Candidates Line Up for Al Sharpton’s Call for Reparations

It’s hard to imagine a more ill-conceived idea than forcing one race of people to pay reparations to another race for acts occurring more than 150 years ago. Yet after decades of languishing on the margins in this country, the touchy issue of forcing whites to pay blacks reparations for slavery has taken center stage. Early this month, about 15 Democratic presidential hopefuls spoke at Manhattan’s Sheraton Times Square Hotel as part of the annual conference of Al Sharpton’s National Action Network. Coaxed by Sharpton and a partisan audience, the candidates happily obliged, oblivious to the high likelihood that a reparations program, far from repairing anything, would be a divisive, nonstop shakedown. Black “civil rights” demagogues such as Sharpton, most of all, would reap the benefits.

For decades, prominent black civil rights leaders and elected officials in this country have advocated the creation of a massive federal program to force … Read More ➡

Insulators Business Manager in Iowa Pleads Guilty to Ripping Off Union, Charity

When it came to stealing, Theodore Watson was a double-dipper. That may cost him extra time behind bars. On April 15, Watson, former business manager for International Association of Heat & Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 74, pleaded guilty in U.S. District for the Southern District of Iowa to one count of embezzlement, two counts of mail fraud and one count of making a false statement in the financial records of the Des Moines union. The plea follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. He faces up to five and 20 years, respectively, for embezzlement and mail fraud at sentencing on August 23.

According to prosecutors, Watson, now 54, a resident of Des Moines, during 2007-16 embezzled funds in an unspecified sum from his union. He used the Local 74 credit card without authorization to make purchases and receive cash advances, altering monthly statements … Read More ➡

Oregon Independent Union President Sentenced

On April 10, John Burgess, former president of Pacific Stainless Products Employee Association Local 304, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon to five years of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution totaling $10,621 and a $25 assessment for concealing or destroying records of the St. Helens-based union. He had pleaded guilty in December after being charged in September on one count of embezzling about $35,000 from the union and one count of concealing the thefts in financial records. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Virginia IATSE President Sentenced for Fraud and Embezzlement

On April 9, Benjamin Wisecarver, former president of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 264, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to five months in prison, five months of home confinement and two years of probation for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and embezzlement in the amount of $57,310 from the Hampton-based union. He also was ordered to pay $53,704 in restitution. Wisecarver had pleaded guilty last December after being indicted on multiple counts in October. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.… Read More ➡

NTEU President in San Francisco Indicted for False Record-Keeping

On March 26, Jonathon Ortino, former president of National Treasury Employees Union Chapter 165, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California with making false statements in the San Francisco union’s financial reports for fiscal years 2014, 2015 and 2016. The indictment follows an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

ILWU Secretary-Treasurer in Hawaii Indicted

On April 11, Charles Kimo Brown, former secretary-treasurer of International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 142, Hawaii Longshore Division, was indicted in Honolulu federal court on two counts each of embezzlement totaling $1,575 from the union and concealment of the thefts in union financial records. According to prosecutors, Brown, now 60, a resident of Mililani, during December 2009-April 2014 received “lost time” reimbursements from the local when in fact these were hours during which worked for his regular employer. The union represents about 1,000 Hawaii dockworkers. The indictment follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Proposed Oregon Law Would Subsidize Public-Employee Unions

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 5-4 Janus decision last June, which barred public-sector unions from forcibly exacting dues from nonmembers, various states have gotten creative in circumventing the ruling. Oregon is emerging as a leader. Early in the year, a state lawmaker, acting on a request by a school employees union, introduced House Bill 2643, authorizing the establishment of a special fund from which public employers would collect dues and then pass them along to unions. A dissenting worker would have no way to opt out. Aside from showing contempt for worker liberty, the measure runs contrary to the law. The bill for now is in committee, but given the Democratic Party (i.e., pro-union) majority in both legislative houses, passage is a distinct possibility.

Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 31 was the most significant Supreme Court decision on … Read More ➡

New Orleans-Area UFCW President Charged with Theft

Mark Douglas billed his union for reimbursements for nonworking hours. Unfortunately for the union, that amounted to theft. Yesterday, April 9, Douglas, president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1101, was charged in an information count in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana with embezzling $7,078.35 in funds from the Arabi (near New Orleans)-based union related to his alleged filing of fake “lost time” claims over a more than three-year period. The union represents employees of Domino Sugar. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

According to court documents, Douglas, now 71, a resident of New Orleans, during November 11, 2011-January 17, 2015 filed “lost time” claims for a variety of unauthorized purposes. Normally, only business-related activities such as arbitration, visits to an attorney, or negotiations with Domino Sugar are eligible for reimbursement. These claims were unrelated to work. … Read More ➡

Massachusetts IATSE Local Treasurer Pleads Guilty to Theft

Ivar Carlson apparently pushed his luck too long. On March 26, Carlson, former business agent and treasurer of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local B-935, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts to one count of embezzling funds from the now-defunct Worcester union in the sum of $37,014. He had been arrested and charged in December following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

IATSE Local B-935 represented about 30 workers at the DCU Center in downtown Worcester. With Ivar Carlson handling their dues money, those workers were ripped off. Court records indicate that Carlson, 58, a resident of Auburn, Mass., during March 2007-September 2016 used his positions to write checks from the union bank account, cash the checks, and use the funds for unauthorized purposes. Eventually, the Department of Labor traced the shortfall of funds to Carlson and referred … Read More ➡

Did Rep. Ilhan Omar Use Campaign Funds for Personal Expenses?

Representative Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., doesn’t hesitate to express her scorn for America, Jews and capitalism – not necessarily in that order. Indeed, her most enduring legislative achievement to date has been to send a February 10 tweet referring to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee as being “all about the Benjamins” (i.e., $100 bills). Yet it appears the Somalia-born Muslim freshman congresswoman, now 37, has ethics issues that are coming back to haunt her. They might not jeopardize her political career, but they just might dim the halo over her head in the eyes of her admirers.

At the start of this month, news reports surfaced that the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board has been zeroing in on Omar for possibly diverting nearly $6,000 from her campaign war chest to personal uses while serving as a member of that state’s legislature. Among the cited unauthorized purposes were travel to Boston and … Read More ➡