Cooking the Books

It will be easier for union bosses to cook the books thanks to the Obama Administration who are one-by-one eliminating transparency rules established to allow union workers to see how their dues money is spent.  

The Examiner newspaper rightfully objects:

President Barack Obama has often talked of the importance of transparency and accountability in government, and he has chalked up some landmark achievements in this area. As a senator, he co-sponsored, with Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., the Federal Financial Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 that established the Web site to enable citizen tracking of federal expenditures. As president, he launched the Recovery.govWeb site to do the same with stimulus spending. 

Both sites have had and will have hiccups, but they are precedent-setters for which Obama deserves great credit. Unfortunately, transparency and accountability go out the window when they conflict with the demands of organized labor and environmentalists, two special-interest groups that are key supporters and contributors to Obama’s political campaigns. 

At the U.S. Department of Labor, Secretary Hilda Solis is moving rapidly to rescind Bush administration reforms that greatly strengthened reporting requirements that enable union members to see, via annual LM-2 reports, how their leaders are spending membership dues. In a recent Federal Register notice, Solis agreed with the preposterous assertion of Big Labor leaders that there was no proof members would benefit by knowing this financial information, and that compiling the report was too costly and time-consuming. 

Former Bush labor officials have also expressed concern about the Obama-Solis approach toward another union disclosure form, the LM-30, which requires shop stewards to report information needed to expose “no-show jobs” that funnel paychecks into union coffers instead of an actual employee’s bank account. Solis is reassuring the Big Labor bosses that she will not enforce the LM-30 reporting requirements.

Then there’s the case of Alan Carlin, the Environmental Protection Agency economist whose critical statistical analysis of a proposal for that agency to assume a leading role in regulating greenhouse gases was blatantly suppressed. Obama’s EPA administrator, Lisa Jackson, and other senior agency officials made it clear to Carlin that his study was not supportive of the Obama administration’s policy and so would be buried in the bowels of bureaucracy. He was also instructed not to talk to the media. 

Carlin is a 38-year EPA veteran and a respected economist. His study pointed out the many flaws in the data used to support the U.N.’s case for human causes of global warming, notably with regard to the use of carbon-based fuels like oil and natural gas. Carlin was muzzled by representatives of the same president who repeatedly bashed President George W. Bush for allegedly “politicizing science.”