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Labor Department makes rules to expose union corruption

Will Obama make it easier for union officials to commit crime?

From Paul Pringle at the LA Times:

The U.S. Labor Department, in the final hours of the Bush administration, has toughened standards to require most unions to publicly report nearly all compensation and expenses for officers and employees, the agency announced Friday.

Also broadened were disclosure requirements for the sale and purchase of property, with the aim of revealing whether any union officers or employees profit from the transactions.

In the alleged SEIU scandal, the Los Angeles-based local’s former president, Tyrone Freeman, has been accused by the union of enriching himself and his family with more than $1 million in misappropriated dues money. The SEIU ousted him after The Times reported on his spending practices last summer.

Los Angeles based Freeman has been at war with Sal Rosselli from the Oakland local of SEIU. Sal thinks the rules are a good thing:

An SEIU dissident, however, said he welcomed further disclosure. Sal Rosselli, president of an Oakland-based local, has feuded with the SEIU’s national leadership over the direction of the union. He said the national office has refused to fully disclose how much money it has spent on the internecine fight.

“Transparency on how unions spend their members’ dollars, from our point of view, is wanted,” Rosselli said. “We let our members look at every check.”

The real question is whether Obama and Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, who represents … Los Angeles and is a close ally of Freeman, will dial these back for their corrupt buddies.

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