Two further data points to underscore the developing trend of the Obama Administration's way to moving Chicago machine politics to the central stage:
This points to an attempt to reduce transparency and hide what unions are spending to influence public opinion and pressure public officials. The law in question, that the Obama Administration wants to get rid of, was put in place 50 years ago in order to fight union corruption. Before leaving office, President Bush pushed for greater accountability for union management - requiring that they document exactly how unions assets were acquired and disposed of - and one of the first things the Obama Administration has done is to delay that. The Office of Labor Management Standards has now declared that it will not enforce the reporting of conflict-of-interest disclosures, claiming that "it would not be a good use of resources".
Huh? Allowing union leaders to have conflicts of interest - for instance, owning buildings that the union decides it wants to buy - and not requiring that these be disclosed is not a good "use of resources"?
This is an invitation for union management to enrich themselves with no danger of being caught. Under the Bush Administration, over 1000 fraud-related indictments of union management were issued, with over 900 convictions: under the Obama Administration...
Less than 8% of US workers are organized via unions; 81% have said that they do not want one in their workplace. Under the grossly misnamed "Employee Free Choice Act", the right to secret ballots are to be taken away from employees, opening them up to intimidation and coercion from unions. Unions used to have around 35% of US workers as members: I guess the unions want the good old days back, when such upright pillars of the community like Jimmy Hoffa helped unions achieve the reputations they enjoy today.
This takes us to the second data point.
It's a political payoff, nothing more, nothing less. But has this not crossed that Rubicon between political payoff and outright corruption? The intervention into corporate insolvency in order to ensure that the unions effectively gain control of what is left of Chrysler, at the clear and direct cost to the bond holders of Chrysler, comes very close indeed to open theft, i.e. taking from private investors, without recourse to a court of law, and giving to political supporters.
If that's not corruption...