Senate Helps Clear the Way for VEBA Looting

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

The Wall Street Journal reports that the U.S. Senate voted yesterday to cut $2m from the Office of Labor Management Standards' (OLMS) budget. That's the federal agency in charge of collecting and checking LM-2 forms, which force unions to disclose their income and expenditures. Amongst the revelations contained therein: the Food and Commercial Workers Local Union 1 spent $26k on golf, another (unnamed) union forked-out $3m on hotel bills and Don Hunsucker, President of Local 1288 of The United Food and Commercial Workers Union, pocketed a $679,949 annual paycheck. The OLMS also flags corruption; with their help, the Labor Department announced 13 indictments and seven convictions last month (raising their yearly total to 97 indictments and 115 convictions). With over $30b heading for a United Auto Workers-controlled VEBA health care superfund– that's GM alone– you'd think that our representatives would want to beef-up enforcement, rather than pull the rug from under the watchdog's feet. The Senate's 47 to 46 vote to trim the OLMS' budget was almost entirely along party lines; 45 Democrats voted to cut the funding. Make of that what you will.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Hltguy Hltguy on Oct 24, 2007

    Landcrusher: If the media is pro-labor, I am having a hard time then understanding the constant, except for some radio talk show hosts and Lou Dobbs, media appearance of pro illegal immigration into this country, which in its own way is hurting american labor. Two million dollar budget cut in the watchdog agency equals a nano second of time in terms of government spending, so obviously there is a political agenda. Add that, as the article stated, the Democrats voted entirely for it, begs the question are the Democrats really pro-labor? Who stands to get hurt the most from a bazillion dollar fund controlled by a union? Do you think union leaders will put themselves in a position to be financially harmed? It would be the union member themselves. Therefore one could make the argument the Democrats have hurt the worker here. Being the majority of the people in the media are registered Democrats (that is a fact), I would not expect too much coverage on this. As much as I hate more government actions overseeing our lives, I don't know who can be trusted less, a union or a branch of the government. There very well may come a day when the union members will rue the decision to have GM turn over the funds to the union.

  • Luther Luther on Oct 24, 2007

    Bring back King George! Voters are more tyrannical than any dictator could be. One only needs to buy about 270 scumbags in Congress...$30B is more than enough. This vote means "We are ready to accept bribes and we don't want to be audited/caught". Of course their broadcast media will spin the "crime" to the "briber" and the scumbags in Congress (The ones that actually EXCEPT the bribe) will be the victims of the crime. See Jack Abramoff and Enron. A Labor Union is just a Socialist politicain's mini-me...Muggers.

  • Virtual Insanity Virtual Insanity on Oct 24, 2007

    hltguy: The media is pro-organized labor. They get the "pro human freedom" kick by being pro illegal immigration.

  • Shaker Shaker on Oct 25, 2007

    The GM deal with the UAW is a "bailout", once removed. When the union squanders the VEBA cash cow, the Gov't will heve to step in to avert the health care/pension crisis that's sure to develop. However, 401(k)funds will probably go first, of course. These abdications by big business by foisting their future responsibilities onto the workers (who can only rely on unstable investments to have any real chance of a reasonable retiremant income) will turn full circle (in time). The days ahead look bleak... But hey, tomorrow's Friday!