Sunday, June 26, 2011

Transparency, Obama Style

This story is revealing in SO MANY WAYS.

When President Barack Obama and his Administration don't like a court ruling, they ignore it. When they don't like a law, they ignore it, too. When they want a law to do something other than what Congress defined, they change it — unilaterally, and without even bothering to try to get Congress to give them what they want. That sounds a lot more like a dictator than like a traditional U.S. president.

In the present case, the Obama Administration's Labor Secretary is about to change the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act by executive fiat, substantially expanding what a company has to report in relation to any attempted unionization of its workforce. Not coincidentally, this will provide a lot more opportunities for intrusive investigations of any charges, real or imagined, against those companies.

They say they're doing this as a transparency measure, but that is a transparent lie. To see why, just look at another time the Obama Administration changed that same law.

Soon after taking the oath of office, Obama undid union financial disclosure requirements mandated by the very same 1959 law. Before the Obama transparency rollback, unions had to fill out LM-2 forms reporting the total value of all benefits received by union officers, the names of parties involved in union asset transaction, and all union receipts. Now, thanks to Obama, unions do not have to disclose any of these financial transactions to their members.

In 2008 the president of the largest Service Employees International Union in the country, Tyrone Freeman, resigned after it was revealed he stole $1 million from the $9-an-hour home health workers he supposedly represented. Freeman's embezzlement only came to light after the Los Angeles Times delved into the SEIU's LM-2 forms.

It would appear that, by the time the investigation was maturing enough to result in criminal charges, Barack Obama was president and the same thing happened to this case as happened to the voter intimidation case against the New Black Panthers in Philadelphia. (That would be dropped, for — apparently — no legitimate reason.)

Congress passed the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act to protect workers. The Obama Administration twisted it to protect its union leader friends, and is now moving to twist it again to help its union friends even more.

Protection for Obama's friends and supporters, and harassment for those who have to deal with them. These are the actions of a dictator, not a leader.

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