masthead-highres

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Congress Covering Up Crime?

Not their own -- donors'.

As the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports, nearly 800 convictions in si years -- a staggering number -- have occurred as a result of audits and investigations of labor unions conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Labor-Management Standards. So how does the new Congress respond? By cutting its $47.7 million budget!

Normally, I love it when federal budgets are cut, but the Congressional Democrat majority doesn't want to cut the Labor Department's budget overall -- just 20 percent of the part of it that conducts audits on labor unions, which happen to support the Democratic Party.

As Mark Mix notes in this August 6 Washington Times op-ed, Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) had the nerve to claim that auditing labor unions to make sure they keep clean books is "going after... people who are trying to earn a living."

Not at all, Rep. Kennedy. The workers who are "contributing" (often under force of law) to labor unions are not harmed by the audits, but by the loss of their money. The very least labor unions, and those who accept contributions from labor unions, could do is cooperate in the detection and prevention of wrongdoing.

Kennedy is on the side of the criminals on this one.

As Mark Mix notes, even at the present, pre-cut level of funding, the Office of Labor-Management Standards only has the resources to audit 4.6 percent of the unions that file federal disclosure forms. That's less than one-in-twenty. 775 convictions and counting.

It's clear what labor union officials are afraid of, but why should we stand for a Congress that rushes to their aid?

Hat tip: Carter Wood at the NAM blog.
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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:18 PM

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