President Donald Trump and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka would seem to have nothing in common, save for the first four letters of their last names. Yet each shares a conviction that government must protect domestic industry. This common interest became clear on Monday when Trump signed an executive order withdrawing the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement and later met that day with union officials. Trumka, who during the 2016 campaign had called Trump a “fraud,” now praised his nemesis though without mentioning his name. Teamster President James Hoffa called Trump’s order “the first step toward fixing 30 years of bad trade policies that have cost working Americans millions of good-paying jobs.” One asks: Is there an alliance in the making? The answer: Probably not.
Former New York State Senator John Sampson, a Democrat of Brooklyn, was sentenced yesterday to five years in prison following his conviction in July 2015 on three counts, including obstruction of justice.
In 2009, Sampson was elected Leader of the Democratic Conference of the State Senate. He served in leadership alongside former Majority Leader and Temporary Senate President Malcolm Smith, who is serving a seven-year prison sentence after his 2015 conviction on corruption charges.
Between 1998 and 2008, Sampson allegedly embezzled approximately $440,000 from the foreclosure sales of four Brooklyn properties on which he was a court-appointed referee. The embezzlement charges were thrown out because the state of limitations expired. The charges on which he was convicted relate to the cover-up.
When it comes to organizing rallies on short notice, Al Sharpton has few peers. The ability of Reverend Al to generate a crowd through his New York City-based nonprofit National Action Network (NAN) was in evidence last Saturday morning, January 14, in the nation’s capital. Billed as the “We Shall Not Be Moved March on Washington,” the rain-soaked event (see photo) drew thousands of participants, overwhelmingly black, many of whom arrived by chartered bus. The stated purpose of this grievance convention, timed for Martin Luther King Day and the Donald Trump inauguration, was to pressure Congress into resisting the new administration. Accordingly, the march offered a platform for ritual denunciations of enemies of blacks, Hispanics, gays and other “disenfranchised” groups, and calls for new laws to protect their members. If lawmakers are smart, they’ll take a pass.
Benefit scams, especially involving health plans, grabbed the lion’s share of union corruption stories in 2016. Scammers came from outside as well as from inside the unions, a fact highlighting the need for trustees to exercise greater due diligence in choosing outside parties. There were also the usual cases of six-figure (or more) embezzlement and fraud against union general funds. Labor officials, meanwhile, expanded their misguided campaign to enact a $15 an hour minimum wage. They also tried to undo Right to Work laws in three states, temporarily achieving success in two by way of court action. And a deadlocked Supreme Court enabled state and local public-sector union bosses to retain their authority to coerce dues payments from unwilling workers. In other words, there was plenty to write about. Here were the ten stories that mattered most:
Some House Republicans — apparently led by Rep. Robert Goodlatte (R-VA) — are attempting to emasculate the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE). The House Conference reportedly voted last night 119-74 to place control of OCE under the Ethics Committee, effectively destroying it. The full House is scheduled today to vote on the larger Rules package of which Goodlatte’s amendment is part.
This is an incredibly stupid start to the new Congress, and badly undercuts President-elect Trump’s efforts to “drain the swamp.”
Media reports suggest that Speaker Paul Ryan opposed the move, but there have been reasons for skepticism about the House leadership’s commitment to OCE. It doesn’t matter what happened last night. It is now up to Ryan to save OCE. He must act with strength and decisiveness.
After a tumultuous election year in which homosexual activist groups targeted battleground state North Carolina over a law that stifled inappropriate public restroom usage for self-declared transgenders, two northern California tech companies are strategizing with LGBT activists to further immerse themselves in state policies and politics over gay issues and religious freedom.
The violence may be a memory, but there is now a welcome reminder of the consequences. Last Thursday, December 8, a St. Louis County, Mo. jury found a young black male, Jeffrey Williams, guilty on six criminal counts related to the malicious gun wounding of two unnamed police officers in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson in March 2015. The incident occurred during a street rally organized by the radical social media network, Black Lives Matter, to protest the shooting death of an “unarmed” black male, Michael Brown, by a white Ferguson cop the previous August. A grand jury months later had decided the evidence was insufficient to indict the officer, an announcement that triggered destructive rioting. Reprehensible as the rioting and shootings were, the Obama administration tacitly encouraged this behavior.
“Google will pay very well and the benefits will be wonderful, but any conservative who takes this job will have to sell his or her soul. Anyone with an ounce of personal integrity should not even consider it.”
“Google is not trying to hire a free-market advocate because it suddenly believes in free markets. It is a monopoly and it intends to stay that way. Google wants to buy off and defuse critics who have been emboldened by the election of Donald Trump.”
National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), today sent a letter to President-elect Donald Trump responding to Silicon Valley’s recent suggestions that President-elect Trump “engage” Silicon Valley’s tech elite for key government posts, while preserving many of the digital initiatives started by the Obama Administration.
Trump is holding a meeting with tech leaders next week. With the exception of billionaire Facebook board member and Trump supporter Peter Theil, it is unclear whether representatives of Facebook, Google, Twitter and other tech giants will be there.
In its letter, NLPC slams Silicon Valley’s recommendations as a sure way to undercut Trump’s commitment to “drain the swamp” of corporate lobbyists and DC powerbroker influence, while undermining his commitment to restoring American jobs and the economy.