Union Dough and Bribery

Pages: 1 2

Last week saw a “man bites dog” story.  Only this time, it wasn’t man bites dog — it was Democrats bite unions.

After watching their state brought to the brink of fiscal disaster by public unions run amok, House Democrats in Massachusetts turned on their union masters, Darth Vader style, voting to limit their bargaining power.  (Apparently, there are benefits to a one-party state – the public has no choice but to hold responsible those in power for their incompetence.)  “By spending less on the health care costs of municipal employees, our cities and towns will be able to retain jobs and allot more funding to necessary services like education and public safety,” House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo rightly announced.

Robert J. Haynes, president of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, predictably ripped into DeLeo and his fellow Democrats.  Miffed that his Chester A. Arthur clone had bucked him and his Stalwart cronies, Haynes announced, “It’s pretty stunning.  These are the same Democrats that all these labor unions elected.  The same Democrats who we contributed to their campaigns.  The same Democrats who tell us over and over again that they’re with us, that they believe in collective bargaining, that they believe in unions …”  Then he concluded with typical union thuggery: “We are going to fight this thing to the bitter end.  Massachusetts is not the place that takes collective bargaining away from public employees.”

There is no point in singling out the Massachusetts Democrats for their hypocrisy on the union issue – hypocrisy is a way of life in Massachusetts.  There is a broader point to be made here, however, about the nature of politics across the country: as government grows, there is no way to prevent the domination of bribery in the political system.

In this instance, for example, it is obvious that Haynes expects bang for his buck, a little backscratching for his fundraising.  He is incredulous that the same Democrats “who we contributed to their campaigns” [sic] would now turn on the unions.  And why shouldn’t he expect better treatment?  After all, unions across the country have spent hundreds of millions of dollars “converting” politicians to their way of thought.  Take, for example, the state of Michigan, where unions spend millions on Republican politicians in order to buy their support.  Again, this is man bites dog stuff – unions supporting Republicans? — except that such out-and-out greasing has been the union model for a century, both internally and externally.

Internally, unions run on graft.  The ties between organized crime and organized labor are no secret – from Jimmy Hoffa in the 1950s and 1960s to the Laborers International Union of North America in the 1980s, unions and the mob have been tight.  As former Gambino Family Boss Paul Castellano said in the early 1980s, “Our job is to run the unions.”

That pattern continues today.  In 1990, prosecutors indicted the New York District Council of Carpenters and Joiners of America for bribery, among other charges.  That case ended with a consent decree and a “corruption monitor.”  It wasn’t particularly effective: in August 2009, Manhattan prosecutors brought charges against the New York City carpenters’ union leadership for racketeering, bribery, fraud and perjury.  Not surprisingly, the leadership of the union had endorsed Mayor Michael Bloomberg just weeks before, and Bloomberg had championed the endorsement in a press release.

Pages: 1 2

  • Cuban Refugee

    What a cozy "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" relationship there is between union thugs and politicians! The original intent in the forming of unions has been lost in the muck of corruption, the creeping, increasingly blatant communism, and mountains of union dues squandered to line the filthy pockets of criminals who craft our laws. We have already seen ugly shades of our future during recent demonstrations in the United States and abroad: union members will be sent out like hypnotized foot soldiers for their fat, powerful, rich union bosses to channel the brownshirts who will keep fascists in power. To quote Andy Stern, "Workers of the world unite — it's not just a slogan anymore."

  • StephenD

    I happen to know Bobby DeLeo from Massachusetts. I'd have you look at his home town of Revere. In a town less than 4 sq. miles you have a little less than 100K people. They have a school system with less than 10 schools. Teachers work about 180 days. A Superintendent worth nearly $200,000 and an Assistant Supt. worth nearly as much; Teachers that are paid $99,000 for those 180 days, 3rd year police officers getting $103,000 PLUS detail pay. The list goes on and on. I likened this to the frogs placed in a cool pot with the heat being turned up little by little until they are eventually boiled without ever trying to leap out. The taxpayers of this little town are forever getting increases in their rates and receiving less services. The streets are decaying, bridges crumbling, etc. All so the public union folks can get more and more. I am glad this is being exposed. I am glad I no longer live there. I am sad for those that have to pay the way for this corruption. We are asked to "Support the middle class (unions)." But I ask, which middle class should we support, the one paying the bill or the one asking for more? Enough is enough!

  • bill

    While I agree with this article, it's not the end of the corruption story in government due to bribery. Just look at the income tax code – totally inscrutable, and it sends companies and jobs overseas. It's that way due to campaign contributions by lobbyists hired by companies to give them an 'edge' against their competitors. That's the reason for the corporate tax; it gives the Congressmen and Senators something to trade in return for campaign cash. Businesses don't "pay" taxes; their customers do. Then those tax costs are embedded in prices. Bye, bye, U.S. jobs!

  • Spider

    First Unios destroyed the industries that made our country wealthy and great by rendering them un-competitive. For example the steel, electronics, appliance, computer and hundreds of other industries including 50% of the auto industry were all rendered un-competitive and either moved overseas or went out of business – all the jobs they created also went away. Now the same Unions are bankrupting all of our States and Municipalities. Now we not only have pay the Unions exorbident wages and retirements with our lower wages we also pay for the social services for the millions of people they have un-employed over the years How did this happen ?

  • Abe F

    Like the corporate money isin’t buying politicians? Get real

  • Amused

    How did it happen ? Your politicians in Washington , make laws and trade policy ,. based on who 'contributes to their coffers. You are naive if you think Unions alone are responsible for the present situation , but being a Repo-con , you will undoubtably pick out scapegoats , and turn the other way on corruption in your own political party and corruption , malfeasance and avarice on the part of big corporations . Btw , that's called HYPOCRISY one of the Repo-Cons stronger points .

  • http://www.hotexchangerates.com/ exchangerates

    Unions, unfortunately, while initiated for collective bargaining by the underpaid, overworked many, many years ago, have now become the Original Gangsters. They have done more damage to this country than the Mafia. They need to go the way of the brontosaurus.