Accountability Undermined for Labor Unions

By December 19, 2007Labor Unions

In the omnibus spending bill:

The Office of Labor-Management Standards, which audits unions, would be cut by 6 percent to $45 million.

As Diana Furchtgott-Roth notes in this New York Sun column, the Bush administration asked for $57 million for the agency.

The omnibus spending bill that is close to final passage would increase funds available for every oversight agency in the government except the Office of Labor Management Standards at the Labor Department, the group that oversees union finances. There’s more dollars for the Security and Exchange Commission, the Mine Safety and Health Administration, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. But OLMS gets short shrift.

Hmm. Isn’t 2008 an election year? Let’s see if we can draw an inference.

From the L.A. Times’ political blog:

AFL-CIO budgets $53 million for election cycle

This should pay for a lot of phone banks and door-hangers. The AFL-CIO announced Friday that it would spend a record $53 million in the 2008 election cycle — all of it for grassroots mobilization. And it plans to mobilize an army of 200,000 union volunteers for precinct-walking and other get out the vote efforts. Overall, it expects to spend $200 million on the campaign.

The labor group said it intends to target Ohio, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin — core regions of the country’s traditional manufacturing base.

Increased flow of money in campaigns and get-out-the-vote efforts, with less oversight. Yep, it’s an election year.

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