Hoffa Campaign Already in Trouble

William Wertheimer, Jr., the appointed administrator for the 2001 Int’l Bhd. of Teamsters elections, ruled Aug. 1 that IBT president James P. Hoffa’s campaign violated rules pertaining to the distribution of nomination petitions and other materials. The election officer invalidated petitions gathered before Aug. 1. The ruling, which will reportedly be appealed, requires the campaign to stop using the fax machines of IBT locals to distribute campaign materials and petitions. Since June, the Hoffa campaign has faxed petition forms and other materials to the more than 500 IBT locals.

All IBT candidates for the fall 2001 elections must file their accreditation petitions by Aug. 31, 2000 to obtain space in the October issue of Teamster magazine. Nomination petitions may be submitted through Dec. 15, 2000 under the election rules.

The Hoffa 2001 Unity campaign said the invalidation was a minor setback that will not harm the candidate’s re-election bid.

The campaign office of ex-Ron Carey backer, Tom Leedham, running against Hoffa put out a statement saying: “Right out of the box, Hoffa was caught in major violations.”

Wertheimer said that petitions for Hoffa and the other candidates on his slate “will be valid for accreditation purposes only if it is shown by evidence acceptable to the election administrator that the submitted petition forms do not find their source in petition forms or copies of petition forms that were faxed to local union or other IBT bodies by the Hoffa campaign.”  He added, “Acceptable evidence must prove a chain of custody that completely excludes the fax transmission of accreditation petitions by the Hoffa campaign.”

Wertheimer’s appointment as election administrator was agreed to in Mar. 2000, making him part of the federal court’s oversight of IBT. He was a regional coordinator in Michigan for the IBT election officer in the 1996 election.  [BNA 8/4/00]

Kentucky Indictments for 1995 Elections Revisited
Kentucky Asst. Atty. Gen. Janet Graham is attempting to have Ky. Gov. Paul Patton’s (D) 1995 campaign manager, Andrew “Skipper” Martin; his labor liaison, Danny Ross; and two Int’l Bhd. of Teamsters bosses tried for violating 1995 campaign-finance laws. Graham said there are “unanswered questions about whether Patton subverted” the 1995 “experiment with public financing of elections” to defeat GOP candidate Larry Forgy. The race between Patton and Forgy was the first in which candidates “agreed to limit total spending to $1.8 million in exchange for getting two-thirds of that money in a state subsidy.” The limit also applied to “what the statute defined as coordinated expenditures by others on behalf of a candidate.”  Graham alleged July 19 that the indictments should not have been thrown out last year when a judge ruled the election-finance law as unconstitutional. The indictment in question alleged that, “when the Teamsters hired Ross to coordinate their efforts to get union members to vote, it was done in concert with the Patton campaign.” [Hotline 7/21/00]