The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners long has had corruption problems. The union’s St. Louis-Kansas City Regional Council might well qualify as its corruption leader. Two years ago, Jonathan Gould, a union member and former compliance officer for the council, filed a civil racketeering suit in Missouri state court accusing council officials of “embezzling money from members to inflate their own pensions and cash in on travel perks for spouses,” plus acts of sexual harassment, assault, drunk driving, and drug abuse. The council, which consists of 34 unions in Kansas, Missouri and Illinois representing about 22,000 members, has responded with a blitz of counterclaims. Matters have yet to be settled.
The roots of this legal tug of war go back several years. Jonathan Gould, a floor tile layer from Edwardsville, Ill. who still describes himself as a “strong union man,” during the summer of 2014 had accepted the nomination … Read More ➡
In the annals of American labor relations, history sometimes reverses course. That certainly was true yesterday in Missouri. By a 2-to-1 margin, voters overturned a law passed and signed early last year to protect private-sector workers under union contract from being forced to pay dues in order to keep their jobs. The referendum, known as Proposition A, had been placed on the ballot via petition. Union leaders now are serving notice that the Missouri vote is the beginning of nationwide campaign to repeal similar “Right to Work” laws in 27 other states. “The defeat of this poisonous anti-worker legislation is a victory for all workers across the country,” crowed AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. His declaration seems a case of myopia.
Union Corruption Update described this tug of war in the Show Me state early in February 2017. The Right to Work movement at the time was on the upswing. In … Read More ➡
The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, has done a lot of heavy lifting over the past few decades for the Democratic Party Left. Launched in 1970 and still run by Service Employees International Union Local 100 chief organizer Wade Rathke, the massive nationwide nonprofit network of anti-poverty activists has been focusing much of its firepower lately on voter registration. They play hardball and are proud of it, regardless of whether their tactics are legal. Results are what matters. And last year in Missouri, the group delivered results. By a less than 50,000-vote margin, State Auditor Claire McCaskill, a Democrat, was elected as the state’s newest U.S. Senator over GOP incumbent Jim Talent. In the process, ACORN unwittingly set the stage, especially in Kansas City, for indictments and guilty pleas against several of their former workers.
On May 17, Carmen R. Davis became the latest casualty of … Read More ➡
The new 110th Congress convened at the start of this month with something it hadn’t had in a dozen years: a Democratic-controlled House and Senate. But amid the party’s hoopla over Nancy Pelosi’s ascent to House Speaker is the reality that its Senate majority is a thin 51-49, allowing for the fact that the two “Independent” senators, Joe Lieberman (Conn.) and Bernie Sanders (Vt.), are Democrats all but in name. That edge could be the result of a close 2006 race in Missouri, where Democratic challenger Claire McCaskill defeated incumbent Republican Senator Jim Talent. Her margin of victory of slightly less than 50,000 votes very likely in part was the result of voter registration fraud. And the culprit is an operator familiar to the radical political landscape: the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN. Investigative reporting by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Wall Street Journal… Read More ➡