The Washington Times details the Obama Administration’s efforts to reverse union transparency. The Labor Department is rolling back rules on financial disclosure requirements for labor unions and their officials.
One of the rescinded regulations is the LM-30 rule, which was the basis of an AFL-CIO lawsuit against the Labor Department last year. Incidentally, one of the labor attorneys working on the lawsuit, Deborah Greenfield, is now working at the Labor Department and also worked on the Obama transition team on labor issues.
According to The Washington Times, the Labor Department decided that “it would not be a good use of resources” to enforce the law against union officials who failed to comply with conflict of interest reporting rules passed in 2007. Union bosses can now file less detailed conflict of interest reports.
The Labor Department also rescinded the expansion of the LM-2 rule, which required unions to provide more information about finances and officials’ compensation in annual reports.
The article goes on to highlight how labor union officials hold prominent spots in the Obama Administration. Greenfield is now in charge of the Labor Department’s executive secretariat office. Patrick Gaspard, who used to work for the SEIU, is the White House Political Affairs director. T. Michael Kerr, formerly an aide to the secretary-treasurer at SEIU, is now the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management at the Labor Department. And just on Friday, President Obama appointed prominent union activist Mary Beth Maxwell as senior adviser to the Secretary of Labor.
With the Labor Department itself disclosing that investigations into union corruption yielded over 1,000 indictments, 929 convictions, and more than $93 million in court-ordered restitution from 2001 to 2008, one would expect a need for greater union transparency, not less, right?