Biden Campaign Dodges Questions About Shady Government Union Ally
During a June 23 videoconference with other top officials of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF/AFL-CIO), high-living union President Harold Schaitberger boasted that, if Democrat Joe Biden becomes America’s next President:
“[W]e will have a key to the back door of the White House.”
Of course, many rank-and-file firefighters who are subject to IAFF bosses’ monopoly-bargaining control voted for Republican Donald Trump in 2016. Many will likely vote to reelect Mr. Trump come November.
But Mr. Schaitberger and his lieutenants clearly have no compunction about using dues money extracted from first responders who are forced by law to let IAFF bosses speak for them on matters concerning their pay, benefits, and work rules to elect a presidential candidate those same workers oppose.
IAFF Union Czar Faces Investigation For Misusing Millions in Workers’ Dues
Mr. Schaitberger has long faced accusations of using workers’ forced-dues money for his personal benefit.
A June 25 article in the Wall Street Journal reported that Mr. Schaitberger stands accused of “financial mismanagement, improper pension payouts and misuse of union resources for personal expenses.”
“No one who is familiar with Harold Schaitberger’s history with the IAFF should be surprised by these accusations,” stated National Right to Work Committee Vice President Greg Mourad.
“As far back as 2014, Mr. Schaitberger has faced allegations of financial misconduct and using union members’ dues dollars for his own private ends — dues dollars mostly taken from rank-and-file public-safety employees forced by law under his so-called representation.
“According to Edward Kelly, the treasurer for the IAFF, Mr. Schaitberger has illegally taken over $1 million from the union’s pension system since 2000.
“Mr. Schaitberger’s greed is even more outrageous in light of the fact that IAFF kingpins have often failed to arrange for adequate funding of the rank-and-file firefighter pensions they promise and often use as a key selling point in organizing campaigns.
“In addition to this massive theft, Mr. Kelly also alleges that Mr. Schaitberger has evaded paying about $1 million in taxes on more than $3 million in deferred compensation during his tenure as president of the IAFF.”
Mr. Mourad noted that Mr. Schaitberger’s alleged fraudulent use of workers’ dues money went far beyond these massive scams.
“According to the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Schaitberger has charged to the union thousands of dollars ‘in steak dinners, bar tabs and music downloads.’
“These suspect expenses range from tens of thousands at elite Washington, D.C. restaurants to using ‘a union credit card to download content on iTunes.’
“In fact, former IAFF chief of staff Peter Gorman charges that Mr. Schaitberger ‘runs the union like the members’ dues money is his personal ATM.’
“Now Mr. Kelly is threatening to report the free-spending Mr. Schaitberger’s improper financial dealings to the Internal Revenue Service.”
Joe Biden Has No Comment On Union Boss Ally and Confidant’s Scandal
Mr. Mourad continued:
“All too frequently in cases like this, where shady union bosses manage to stay in power despite crooked financial dealings, it is Big Labor politicians who reap the ultimate benefits through coerced-dues fueled politicking.
“And Harold Schaitberger’s close relationship with presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is a clear example of such a vicious cycle.
Mr. Schaitberger is a longtime supporter and close confidant of Mr. Biden. He directed the IAFF to be the first major union to endorse him back in early 2019.
“According to IAFF officials, Mr. Schaitberger openly admits that his ties to Mr. Biden are at the center of the union’s mission.
“Not surprisingly, Joe Biden has evaded making any statement on the disturbing allegations that Mr. Schaitberger faces.
“The Journal reports that his campaign team ‘didn’t comment’ on the matter.
“When crooked union bosses like Harold Schaitberger use their power and monopoly control over workers to support Big Labor politicians, those same politicians will be in no rush to bring them to justice.
“Joe Biden’s campaign team may be dodging a statement on his ally Mr. Schaitberger’s scandal, but his 36 years in the U.S. Senate and eight years as vice president are comment enough.
“Based on his record, there is no doubt a Joe Biden presidency will side with union-boss special interests over ordinary workers any day.
“This is the time when the majority of citizens who oppose forced unionism can really make a difference.
“The Committee will continue to urge Right to Work supporters to put the pressure on Big Labor politicians like Joe Biden to disavow corrupt union bosses like Harold Schaitberger and renounce support for forced unionism — or face the potential electoral consequences.”