Among union officials on the corruption radar screen, John T. Coli Sr. long has ranked among the most prominent. But the powerful Chicago-area Teamster boss’s luck finally appears to have run out. Last week, on July 12, Coli, now 57, was indicted by a federal grand jury on five counts of extortion and one count of attempted extortion from a local film production company. During July 2016-April 2017, allege prosecutors, Coli (in photo, on right), as head of Teamsters Local 727, received cash payments from the firm totaling $100,000, threatening economic retaliation if the money was not forthcoming. By no coincidence, Coli announced his retirement from Teamster activity that day, though without mentioning the indictment. A bench warrant for his arrest has been issued, but the date of his arraignment has yet to be set.
Teamsters Local 727 is a longtime Coli family business, a reality that Union Corruption Update … Read More ➡
A family of Democratic Congressional IT staffers is under investigation for stealing equipment from Congressional offices, possible money laundering, and potentially compromising the House of Representatives’ IT network.
The Capitol Police are investigating Imran Awan, his wife Hina Alvi, and two brothers Abid and Jamal Awan following a data breach this past February, and have barred them from accessing the House network as of March. IT staffers are shared across offices, meaning that the Awans were not employed by any single office.
Between 2009 and 2017, the Awans were paid roughly $4 million. Yet, according to Luke Rosiak, an investigative reporter for the Daily Caller , there is no sign of this money. Imran Awan and Hina Alvi lived in an unremarkable apartment and did not have any significant outward trappings of wealth.
In addition to the income they received from the House of Representatives, … Read More ➡
Over 1.3 million additional pro-net neutrality comments submitted to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) appear to be coming from non-U.S. filers from foreign countries, according to a new analysis released today by the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), a leading government watchdog.
A forensic analysis of comments received between July 3rd and Net Neutrality “Day of Action” on July 12th shows that the FCC was flooded with 1.3 million comments from addresses in France, Russia and Germany. This time the comments came almost exclusively from the email domains Pornhub.com and Hurra.de (Germany). As with NLPC’s previous analysis, thousands of the comments appear to come from fake email addresses and fake physical addresses overseas.
NLPC’s latest analysis of foreign comments flooding the FCC docket matches similar patterns found in our previous analysis and some new patterns as well:
Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) today filed an article of impeachment against President Trump, and was joined by Rep. Al Green (D-TX). Notwithstanding all the impeachment talk in some quarters, this is the first time an impeachment article has been introduced in the House.
“If they had a good case based on real information, I think they would mention it by now and put their cards on the table,” Boehm, a former Pennsylvania state prosecutor and former counsel for the board of directors at the Legal Services Corporation, told The Daily Signal. “They don’t have high crimes and misdemeanors. They don’t have low crimes and misdemeanors.”
Sherman is the Congressman who claimed that Russia manipulated the Electoral College to elect Trump. On CNN’s Newsroom on January 9, he said, “The fact is that … Read More ➡
In recent years, as Union Corruption Update has noted, the National Labor Relations Board might be called the National Organized Labor Relations Promotion Board. This assessment soon may need some revision. Last month, President Trump nominated Marvin Kaplan and William Emanuel, each an experienced labor lawyer, to fill two vacancies at the normally five-member NLRB. The board is primed to revisit such contentious issues as the appropriate time frame of a union election campaign and the applicability of micro-unit bargaining. If approved, the nominees are likely to shift the NLRB back toward its traditional role of impartial arbiter and away from its current unofficial role of union partisan. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., who will chair the hearings, has vowed to move quickly.
Today in the New York Times, Yamiche Alcindor reports on the “odd new celebrity” of Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) after years of being considered as one of the most corrupt House members by both liberal and conservative ethics groups. From the article:
Ken Boehm, the chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center, a right-leaning, ethics-in-government group, called her a grandstander.
“It’s odd that you would come out for impeachment like right at the gate,” he said. “The guy takes his hand off the Bible and it’s like, ‘Impeach him.’”
A pro-life organization has caught Twitter in the act (again) of censoring yet another conservative policy advocate, while allowing the controversial Planned Parenthood to conduct its messaging on the social media platform unfettered.
The accusation – with proof – came from Lila Rose, president of Live Action, who said on several occasions she has tried to expand messaging to Twitter users via paid advertisements and has been denied. At the same time, she says, Planned Parenthood has boosted its Tweets freely.
“I think it’s clear that Twitter is discriminating against the pro-life voice,” Rose told the Washington Times. “Planned Parenthood is allowed to promote their pro-abortion and misleading messages, while Live Action is barred from promoting any content exposing abortion and Planned Parenthood.”
Live Action is an extremely effective organization that has exposed the excesses and extremity of Planned Parenthood’s pro-abortion advocacy and its ghoulish … Read More ➡
Traditional grocers and retailers are in a state of shock over what Amazon’s proposed acquisition of Whole Foods might portend for their businesses. The economist Joseph Schumpeter’s characterization of capitalism as “the perennial gale of creative destruction” seems to fit.
While this process may be thought inevitable by anyone who believes in the virtues of free markets, like I do, it is also true that the increasing economic power of big technology firms represent a new and serious threat to our civil liberties.
Constitutional government — or limited government — is still government. It still relies on the state as the ultimate authority even as it permits most economic transactions to remain between private parties.
Government’s real service is not in its regulation of economic activity, which is often counterproductive, but in its guarantee of … Read More ➡
Illinois Representative Luis Gutierrez recently referred to President Trump as a “con artist” on CNN’s “State of the Union”program. Gutierrez’s comments were in reference to allegations that the President Trump asked former FBI director James Comey to halt a federal investigation into then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
“[The President] knew exactly what he was doing,” Gutierrez said. “I know a con artist when I see one, and I saw a con artist that day.”
The twelve-term Democratic congressman has a history of trying to garner media attention. In March, Gutierrez participated in a sit-in at an ICE office to protest the Trump administration’s deportation policies, and was briefly placed in plastic restraints before the officers decided not to arrest him. “They threatened us with arrest. We said ‘We’re ready to go to jail,'” said Gutierrez. “We stood up to the bullies here…Unfortunately, tonight and tomorrow they will continue to prey … Read More ➡
There are few things quite as expensive in this world as “free health care.” And the nation’s most populous state may be about to find out the hard way. On June 1, the California Senate voted 23-14 in favor of a bill, the Healthy California Act (SB 562), to authorize the state to act as a “single payer” in place of insurance carriers in negotiating prices with doctors, clinics, hospitals and other service providers. The measure covers all residents regardless of financial ability or immigration status. Annual costs may reach $400 billion – and that’s just for starters. As existing state and local Medicare and Medicaid programs would pay for around half that, new business taxes most likely would cover the rest. It’s fitting that this prescription for economic disaster and, indirectly, illegal immigration is driven by a union, the California Nurses Association.