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August 9, 2008
Big Democratic Union Charged with Corruption
The Service Employees International Union supposedly represents the interests of low-wage service employees-health care workers, janitorial staff and such. The Union has become one of the most powerful forces on the political level under its President Andy Stern who takes a large chunk of union dues and uses it to support Democratic Candidates especially Barack Obama.
Obama's ties to the SEIU go back years. Now the local head of the SEIU in California is found to be embroiled in corruption. The union has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to firms owned by the wife and the mother-in-law of the labor organization's president. All under the eyes of Andy Stern.
California's largest union local and a related charity have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to firms owned by the wife and mother-in-law of the labor organization's president, documents and interviews show.
The Los Angeles-based union, which represents low-wage caregivers, also spent nearly $300,000 last year on a Four Seasons Resorts golf tournament, a Beverly Hills cigar club, restaurants such as Morton's steakhouse and a consulting contract with the William Morris Agency, the Hollywood talent shop, records show.
In addition, the union paid six figures to a video firm whose principals include a former union employee. And a now-defunct minor league basketball team coached by the president's brother-in-law received $16,000 for what the union described as public relations, according to the union's U.S. Labor Department filings and interviews.
Most of the 160,000 people represented by the union, a local chapter of the nation's fastest-growing labor organization, the Service International Employees Union, earn $9 an hour or slightly more tending to the infirm and disabled in private homes under taxpayer-funded programs.
Maybe he should focus on his own union and their dollars and less on being a political kingpin?