Obama ditches union financial disclosure rules

I'll bet a lot of union bosses are breathing a sigh of relief these days. It's not just that they have a best friend in the highest possible place - the White House. But it's what that friend can do for them that allows them to retain their lavish, dues-supported lifestyles while feathering their own beds at the expense of their members.

Word is that the new Labor Secretary Hilda Solis will not enforce regulations promulgated during the Bush Administration that force labor bosses running unions with more than $250,000 in receipts to abide by strict financial disclosure requirements.

Kevin Mooney at The Examiner has the story:

The Bush-Chao regulations require union officials to disclose financial information that could aid union members' seeking information on how their union leaders are spending dues money, and to help expose "no show jobs" that put paychecks for ghost employees into union coffers.

Before Bush took office, the reports were mostly ignored by the Labor Department. Now, it's back to business-as-usual. A notice appeared this week on the department's web site saying the Office of Labor Management Standards (OLMS), whose main job is enforcing LMRDA requirements, won't be doing its job under Solis:

"Accordingly, OLMS will refrain from initiating enforcement actions against union officers and union employees based solely on the failure to file the report required by section 202 of the Labor-Management and Reporting Disclosure Act (LMRDA), 29 U.S.C. § 432, using the 2007 form, as long as individuals meet their statutorily-required filing obligation in some manner. OLMS will accept either the old Form LM-30 or the new one for purposes of this non-enforcement policy."

Now that Obama-Solis are giving union officials a choice between the old and new forms, can you guess which one they will choose?

There is only one reason for Solis to take this step; help union bosses hide what they are doing with member's money. And considering the personal and private information the Democrats in Congress and the administration are asking from insurance executives, financial services company employees, car manufacturer executives, and others, any argument that the disclosure forms for union chiefs are too onerous or too personal falls flat.

Friends don't let friends get their hands caught in the cookie jar.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky