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2 comments | July 20, 2007 | 10:13 AM | posted by Ryan

While Democrats want to increase the Department of Labor’s budget by nearly $1 billion, they are leaving the little agency that oversees union transparency out. Why? Because union bosses are call the shots on Capital Hill and they don't like that little agency.

The agency currently receives $47.7 million and President Bush wanted to increase the budget to $56 million. Instead, Democrats have set funding at $45.7 million.

  • Example One: Only the agencies unions can use to bully employers, such as those tasked with employer accountability and worker safety, are getting the increased funds. The singular subject on which Dem’s are exercising fiscal restraint is the agency that, from 2001 to 2006, “investigated more than 2,000 criminal cases that secured some 650 indictments of union officials who had engaged in everything from embezzlement to extortionate picketing. The [agency] has also implemented a 2004 rule requiring unions to file expanded disclosure reports, obliging them for the first time to disclose how much dues money they spend on politics and union salaries.”
  • Example Two: The Hill wrote yesterday, “In an op-ed e-mailed to reporters, Chao criticized Congress for being ‘all for boosting the Securities and Exchange Commission’s [SEC] budget so it can ride herd on businesses.’ In contrast, she said, Congress had singled out the one federal entity charged with protecting union members from corruption for budget cuts.”
  • Example Three: Democrats are succumbing to pressure to renege on promises to keep the free trade agreements with Panama and Peru alive. Charlie Rangel has been persuaded to visit the two countries and tell them that if they want the agreements to pass (i.e., Democratic support of the agreements.) to make their labor laws more union-friendly.

Predictably, unions take a “Who? Me?” approach, raised eyebrows and all. “The statistics are cooked,” associate general counsel to the AFL-CIO, Deborah Greenfield, said to The Hill. She said DoL double-counts convictions (If one union boss is convicted of 5 different crimes, the agency counts five convictions, not one.).

Greenfield also told The Hill that an AFI-CIO study on union bosses says that less than four-one hundredths (4/100 or .04) of 1 percent of union officials are guilty of crimes against their unions."

Also note: Democrats who voted for the Kline amendment were Reps. Dan Boren (Okla.), Bud Cramer (Ala.), Lincoln Davis (Tenn.), Brad Ellsworth (Ind.), Tim Mahoney (Fla.), Mike McIntyre (N.C.), Harry Mitchell (Ariz.) and Heath Shuler (N.C.). Sixteen Republicans voted against the Kline amendment, including Reps. Mark Kirk (Ill.), Ray LaHood (Ill.) and Christopher Shays (Conn.).

Read the Wall Street Journal editorial here: Congress's Union Dues
Read The Hill’s news report here: Sec. Chao criticizes House for cutting union oversight funds

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Blogger ragtopcaddy said...

I first heard about this despicable activity by the dems back when the bridge collapsed out in the midwest. It was discussed in the context of Obey and his control of the purse-strings in congress. Not mentioned in this article was that, at least back then, part of the publicly stated Orwellian argument for cutting the budget for this agency was that the agency was actually remarkably successful in it's mandate - something as rare as hen's teeth in the comic-opera world of govt bureaucracies. and something to be scrupulously avoided! "Don't give them money. They'll actually put it to good use. What do you want to do - reward achievement?! We can't have that!"

The "reasoning" went something like, "Well, this agency is doing so well with the funds they have, they can take a reduction and very likely still continue to be productive, while all the other bureaucracies [such as the one charged with bridge maintenance] that are doing such a poor job require increased funding to help them to succeed." The tragedy is, the public has been hearing such Alice-in-Wonderland logic from these twits for so long that, like the old Loony Tunes character, they are starting to respond with, "Duh, that sounds logical."

The frightening thing for unions and their dem enablers, is that this agency was limited by their budget to investigating only about 10% of what they could be investigating. Ten times the number of convictions would likely result if they were given the budget to fully pursue their mandate. This has the potential to fatally cripple unionism in America, and not a moment too soon.

I suspect that, until the dems manage to remove the effective management of this agency and replace them with cronies, they will continue to starve them of funds.

8:34 AM

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4:31 AM


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