The propriety of the chief executive meeting privately with the head of the largest Federal union is already debatable. But the timeline makes it even more troubling.
According to the White House Visitors Log, provided here in searchable form by U.S. News and World Report, the president of the anti-Tea Party National Treasury Employees Union, Colleen Kelley, visited the White House at 12:30pm that Wednesday noon time of March 31st.
The White House lists the IRS union leader’s visit this way: Kelley, Colleen Potus 03/31/2010 12:30. In White House language, “POTUS” stands for “President of the United States.”
The very next day after her White House meeting with the President, according to the Treasury Department’s Inspector General’s Report, IRS employees — the same employees who belong to the NTEU — set to work in earnest targeting the Tea Party and conservative groups around America. The IG report wrote it up this way:
“April 1-2, 2010: The new Acting Manager, Technical Unit, suggested the need for a Sensitive Case Report on the Tea Party cases. The Determinations Unit Program Manager Agreed.”
In short: the very day after the president of the quite publicly anti-Tea Party labor union — the union for IRS employees — met with President Obama, the manager of the IRS “Determinations Unit Program agreed” to open a “Sensitive Case report on the Tea party cases.
Moving something like this through the unions would allow for the kind of vertical avoidance of legitimate authority that Obama Inc. has thrived on. Federal officials can be subpoenaed and with enough pressure, usually spill the beans. However union leaders are part of a different political infrastructure and usually have to be dragged into court in order to talk. They are less invested in government than in their own union.
And the paper trail is much less.