Ex-Boss Faces Theft Charges

Ex-treasurer of the Lower Saucon Township Policemen Ass’n, Paul Kemp, was fired in Mar. and now faces court action on 7 counts of theft according to the Northampton County, Pa., Dist. Attorney’s office. Court records show he withdrew $400 cash from the union and wrote checks for $28.05, $116, $5.79, $28.61, $91.80 and $144.16 in 1995-97. Prosecutors said he “used the money and checks for his personal use rather than the association’s business.” [Morning Call 11/3/98]

After Probe & Suicide, Kentucky Boss Fired
Morgan Bayless was fired Nov. 2 as political director of the Ky. AFL-CIO. Bayless and other bosses of the state AFL-CIO were suspended in Sep. when the AFL-CIO began investigating alleged financial irregularities (See UCU 1.9). Jo Pressler, overseer of the AFL-CIO probe, declined to say why Bayless was fired and defrayed questions to Paul Raymond, bargaining agent for Laborers (LIUNA) Local 189 in Louisville, which represents the Ky. AFL-CIO office staff. The probe concerns missing money and checks improperly written on the state account. On Sep. 19, Bayless’ wife, Donna, who was bookkeeper for the Ky. AFL-CIO, was found dead with a bullet wound in the side of her head on secluded, wooded property owned by the Bayless family. A  pistol was found near her body, and police said it was an apparent suicide. Police are also investigating a break-in and a probable arson at the AFL-CIO office. [Courier-Journal 11/3/98]

Congress Probes Kentucky Corruption
The House Education & Workforce Committee’s subcommittee investing the Teamsters money-laundering scandal that ousted Ron Carey, expanded its probe to include the union’s 1995 efforts to elect Gov. Paul Patton (D-Ky.).  A Ky. grand jury recently indicted Patton’s chief of staff, a labor aide and two top Ky. Teamsters. (See UCU 1.9) The subcommittee, led by Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.) wants to know what role national Teamsters had in the pro-Patton scam and if it was “a dress rehearsal” for what the AFL-CIO and Teamsters did in 1996 for Bill Clinton. Committee spokesman Matt Tallmer said, “If you look at what is alleged to have happened in Kentucky in ‘95 and what happened in ‘96 nationally, there’s a lot of similarities — same players, same organizations, same groups.” [Courier-Journal 11/8/98]

Don’t Believe the Union Hype
While the AFL-CIO is touting an increase in union voters in 1998, the Voter News Service (VNS), which conducts exit polls upon which the AFL-CIO partially based its claims, says the data doesn’t support that claim. During a Nov. 4 press briefing, AFL-CIO political boss Steve Rosenthal used VNS data to support the allegation that unions turned out in record levels. According to the incorrect data the AFL-CIO claims 23% of all people who voted Nov. 3 were from union households, up from 14% in 1994. VNS says that the numbers for 1994 and 1998 shouldn’t be compared because there were differences in the way voters were surveyed. A VNS spokeswoman said: “to compare [1998] with 1994 [and to claim a] huge increase [is] misleading.” [BNA 11/9/98]

“Make no mistake; we’re on the verge of the biggest upset victory in the history of the American labor movement.”
-Former Ron Carey supporter and Teamsters presidential candidate Tom Leedham Nov. 7 in Milwaukee at a meeting of the Teamsters for a Democratic Union. [BNA 11/10/98]