Barack Obama Sees No Taint in Teamster Brass

Despite a judge's recent finding that Teamster chieftain Jim Hoffa "raided the Teamster treasury to try to buy his own reelection support with jobs and pensions," President Obama continues doggedly courting Mr. Hoffa's support. Credit:

Presidential Pal Jim Hoffa Recently Tried to Bribe Union Rivals

(Source:  January 2012 National Right to Work Committee Newsletter)

For decades, Inside-the-Beltway politicians have again and again sullied themselves and the American public’s view of how Washington, D.C., works by turning a blind eye to Teamster union-boss corruption.

Undoubtedly, the best-known example is the Nixon Administration’s 1971 decision to pardon Teamster czar Jimmy Hoffa well before he had served out his 13-year sentence for mail fraud and attempted bribery of a federal jury.

More recently, the George W. Bush Administration publicly toyed from 2001 to 2003 with cutting an outrageous deal to end federal oversight over the Teamsters, even as major cases of ongoing rampant Teamster-boss corruption and orchestration of strike violence were making national news.

(Thanks largely to the fierce and vocal opposition of citizens who support the rule of law, the Bush Administration never actually cut the deal.)

And now it is Democratic President Barack Obama who is practicing the “old politics” of coddling corrupt Teamster officials in exchange for Teamster forced dues-funded “in-kind” campaign support as Mr. Obama prepares for a potentially tough re-election bid this fall.

Barack Obama and Teamster Kingpin Are ‘Like Tweedledum and Tweedledee’

As opinion writer and blogging maven Michelle Malkin pointed out in one of her syndicated columns early last fall, Mr. Obama and current Teamster President Jim Hoffa (the son of Jimmy, who disappeared in 1975 and is presumed dead) have over time become “like Tweedledum and Tweedledee,” that is, inseparable.

Ms. Malkin was writing shortly after Mr. Hoffa had vowed at a Michigan rally, with the President standing nearby, to “take out” elected officials who disagree with Big Labor’s Tax & Spend and forced-unionism agendas. The Teamster chief also coarsely referred to such supporters of limited government as “sons of b*****s.”

Some observers criticized the White House for subsequently refusing to condemn Mr. Hoffa’s “uncivil tone.” But team Obama could hardly be expected to do that.

After all, the President’s 2012 re-election campaign apparently isn’t concerned that a federal court found early last year that Mr. Hoffa and his cohorts had attempted to bribe two Teamster international officers and another high-level Teamster boss.

According to Ms. Malkin’s colorfully accurate summary, federally-appointed Teamster election judge Kenneth Conboy found that Mr. Hoffa “and his goons [had] raided the Teamster treasury to try to buy his own reelection support with jobs and pensions.”

‘Desist From Using Union Resources to Conduct [Internal Union] Campaign Activity’

Unfortunately, the most significant penalty imposed on the Hoffa campaign for its attempted bribery was to be required to pay for a mailing to all Teamster locals describing the criminal acts and instructing all candidates on the Hoffa slate to “desist from using union resources to conduct [internal union] campaign activity.”

In November, Jim Hoffa won a fourth term as Teamster president, and his entire slate won election with fewer than 20% of eligible union members voting.

“Federal monitors obviously lack the clout to curtail Teamster abuses. And President Obama is obviously so eager to have the Teamsters’ massive forced-dues treasuries deployed for his own re-election campaign he won’t even distance himself somewhat from proven bribe offerer Jim Hoffa,” noted National Right to Work Committee Vice President Mary King.

“What can be done? Of course, the genuine way to break the cycle of corruption and violence in the Teamsters and other unions is passage of national Right to Work legislation.

“That would empower rank-and-file workers to fight union misdeeds by resigning and withholding their dues, without being fired as a consequence.

“The Committee is mobilizing support nationwide for H.R.2040 and S.504, the two national Right to Work measures currently before Congress. Every House member and senator who truly wants to crack down on union corruption should support this legislation.”