Indicted Union Boss’s Message: Vote For Biden, So I Can Continue ‘Business as Usual’

Philadelphia electricians union bigwigs aren’t curtailing their partisan political activism the least bit as they face a federal trial scheduled for January on charges they colluded to embezzle more than $600,000 from rank-and-file workers. Photo credit: John McDevitt/KYW Newsradio (Philadelphia).


Some of Joe Biden’s most politically powerful supporters in the key battleground state of Pennsylvania were charged last year with embezzling more than $600,000 in union funds from rank-and-file electricians in Pennsylvania. As the Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Jeremy Roebuck explained a couple of weeks ago, Local 98 Business Manager John Dougherty (AKA Johnny Doc) and his cohorts allegedly enriched themselves and their cronies “on the backs of union members,” spending the loot on costly “travel” and “home repairs” as well as on “mundane household goods” like diapers and breakfast cereal.

On October 16, FBI agents bearing search warrants conducted their latest raid of Local 98 headquarters, which, as can be seen in the above photo, could easily be mistaken this fall for the Biden-Harris central campaign office in Philadelphia.

Citing sources “who have reviewed the search warrants,” Roebuck reported that the focus of the FBI’s current probe is apparently “alleged threats of violence made to dissident union members who questioned Dougherty’s leadership in the wake of his January 2019 indictment . . . .” Among other things, the warrants sought information on “union dealings with a website,, which was anonymously launched by a Local 98 member in the months after Dougherty’s indictment as a collection of news stories and disparaging comments about the [union official] and his inner circle.”

This site was “abruptly taken down” after Local 98 bosses sued union member Charles Battle this summer. However, “the website reappeared over the weekend with an altered URL, in the wake of Friday’s raid.”

Dougherty is obviously extremely angry about the fact that Battle and other workers subject to Local 98 monopoly control have stood up to him.  According to Roebuck, he has publicly denounced dissent within the ranks as “disturbing” and “a damn shame.”

Even as he and his cronies face the threat of possible convictions and prison time, Dougherty insists that he is not trimming his sails: “It’s business as usual at IBEW Local 98.”

It make perfect sense that Dougherty and the rest of the Local 98 brass are enthusiastic Biden supporters. The Democrat nominee seems to have an affinity for Big Labor bosses who are alleged to have misappropriated workers’ hard-earned dues money. And Biden is pledging, if elected, to sign into law a Big Labor-backed scheme that would federally guarantee forced-fee privileges for union bosses like Dougherty. Forced union fees would remain entrenched even if Pennsylvania lawmakers passed a state Right to Work law.

Dougherty backs Biden because he wants to keep pursuing “business as usual.”  Rank-and-file workers and other Pennsylvanians who are unhappy about the way Dougherty does business should keep that in mind.