Bosses Threaten Wall Street over Lobbying

Top AFL-CIO and AFSCME bosses have recently threatened several Wall Street firms with pulling union pension funds from anyone who dares to suggest individuals, rather than the federal taxpayer, be allowed to invest their Social Security dollars. The union threat letters went to nine firms that manage billions in pension assets for union members: Fidelity Investments, J.P.Morgan, State Street Global Advisors, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Am. Express, Chase Manhattan, CitiGroup and Bankers Trust N.Y. [Washington Times 2/19/99]

Ickes Aids Clinton Senate Bid
Fresh off the U.S. Dep’t of Justice’s scandal heap, Harold M. Ickes has reemerged as a political handler of Hillary Clinton’s possible N.Y. Senate candidacy. On Feb. 18, Ickes reportedly began contacting N.Y. union bosses, campaign gurus and county leaders on Clinton’s behalf.  On Jan. 29 Atty. Gen. Janet Reno controversially chose not to appoint an independent counsel to probe possible illegal acts by Ickes on behalf of the Teamsters while he was a Bill Clinton aide.  Ickes, the Clinton Admin.’s DNC liaison in 1996, is also a longtime union attorney whose clients have had severe corruption troubles. [N.Y. Times 2/19/99]

Bosses Get $46 Million for 2000 Elections
Meeting in the luxurious excesses of Miami Beach, corrupt union bosses led by the AFL-CIO’s John J. Sweeney and AFSCME’s Gerald W. McEntee imposed up to $46 million in political expenditures on the backs of AFL-CIO members. The spending-spree was announced Feb. 17 as the AFL-CIO began its winter meetings. The funds will be directed to grassroots mobilization tactics and targeted at Ill., Mich., N.J., Ohio, Penn. and Wis. The two-year plan is the first time the AFL-CIO has kept political operatives running in an off-year. Nat. Republican Cong. Com. ex. dir. Scott Hatch said, “This should be a wakeup call to every working American and every business owner that if they don’t participate in the 2000 cycle, the liberal elite and unions will attempt to buy the next Congress to install their agenda of back-room politics.” [N.Y. Times 2/18/99]

New Jersey Approves Tougher Rackets Law
On Feb. 16, N.J. adopted a tougher law on organized crime. Widely perceived as haven for various organized crime activities, including labor racketeering, N.J.’s legislature and governor will now allow New Jersey prosecutors to pursue racketeering charges for money laundering and seek 30-year sentences for even the lowest-level member of a racketeering conspiracy. [Record 2/17/99]