Chris Prandoni

ATR Asks Obama to Clarify Administration's Position on a VAT Tax

Posted by Chris Prandoni on Wednesday, April 14th, 2010, 4:12 PM PERMALINK

Given the enormous deficit facing America and the Administration’s calls for additional revenue, Grover Norquist sent the following letter to President Obama asking him to clarify his position on the VAT tax.  

[PDF Document]

Dear President Obama:

During your campaign for President and up until the present day, you have consistently reiterated a promise to the American people: you will not raise “any form” of taxes on families and small businesses making less than $250,000 per year.

You broke this promise by signing your healthcare reform legislation.  Seven of the nineteen new taxes or tax hikes in that law fall directly on working families.  The rest will be passed along to middle-income households in the form of higher prices and lower wages.

Now, it seems that administration surrogates have been laying the groundwork for a European-style value-added tax (VAT).  Just this month, your tax commission chairman, Paul Volcker, said that the VAT is “not as toxic an idea” as it has been in the past.  Deficit reduction commission member Alice Rivlin (a longtime VAT sympathizer) said, “we have to take action on the revenue side as well.”

Since a VAT is a type of sales tax, it would clearly be imposed on all Americans—not just those making more than $250,000. 

You need to make it clear to taxpayers if you believe in your promise not to raise taxes on families making less than $250,000.  You clearly didn’t follow through with this promise when it came to healthcare reform.  Will you again break it by imposing a VAT, or will you rule out a VAT as inconsistent with your campaign pledge?

Grover Norquist

Photo Credit:

More from Americans for Tax Reform

SEIU President Andy Stern Set to Retire

Posted by Chris Prandoni on Tuesday, April 13th, 2010, 5:23 PM PERMALINK

Service Employees International Union (SEIU) President Andrew Stern, labor’s most outspoken leader, will retire, according to an SEIU local president based in Seattle, Diane Sosne. During Andy Stern’s tenure as president, SEIU rose to prominence disaffiliating with AFL-CIO in 2005 and going on to collectively bargain for 2.2 million workers.

In a press release issued by AWF (PDF Document), they stated:

“This year, more than any in recent history, Andy Stern has been the voice of Big Labor – a voice that pushed for less worker freedom and more union control while skirting the law. Stern continued to lobby year after year, even after he terminated his registered status as a lobbyist, possibly violating federal law. I guess now we will never know exactly what happened behind the scenes of Stern’s labor empire,” said Brian Johnson, Executive Director of the Alliance for Worker Freedom.

The past twelve months have been tumultuous for the SEIU and Andy Stern. Currently under investigation by the US State Attorney for potentially violating the Lobbying Disclosure Act, Stern has been the subject of criticism by transparency advocates. In California, SEIU was accused of changing ballots and threatening to report a worker to immigration officials.

“Stern did whatever it took to build his empire. Aggressively pursuing organized labor’s agenda, he often used precarious tactics and utilized contentious relationships, like ACORN, to get what he wanted,” Johnson added. “Stern defined the modern labor movement. It will be interesting to see who picks up the reins and what Stern does to occupy his time. Regardless, I am certain Washington has not seen the last of Andrew Stern.”

Anna Burger, SEIU secretary-treasurer, second-highest executive and head of Change to Win will be challenged by an executive vice president, Mary Kay Henry.

Photo Credit:

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Live Vicariously Through Rep.Garrett's Forceful Letter to Rep. Frank

Posted by Chris Prandoni on Tuesday, April 13th, 2010, 3:46 PM PERMALINK

If one were to pass by my house on a weekday from 8:00-9:00 and hear a flurry of obscenities strung together in unprecedented ways, chances are I’m watching Countdown with Keith Olbermann. Thankfully, I’m not alone. Countdown elicits the same feverous rants from most conservatives and, apparently, even some Members of Congress. After watching Barney Frank’s appearance on Countdown, Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) wrote a vehement, but tasteful, letter to Rep. Frank looking to discredit Rep. Frank’s freight train of disinformation (Q&A with Olbermann).

Rep. Garrett’s letter systematically dismantles Rep. Frank’s mischaracterization of the Republican Party’s financial reform plans. Rep. Garrett has an axe to grind:

“Summarizing your remarks, you stated that Republicans are standing up for the big banks, don’t want any financial regulatory reform, and health care was the reason that every House Republican, as well as 27 members in the Democratic Caucus, voted against your financial regulatory reform bill passed by the House in December.

I believe these comments to be either an early April Fool’s Day joke or politically motivated posturing that is just plain wrong.”

Rep. Garrett keeps on grinding...

“You attempt to categorize opposition to your bill as a defense of big banks, opposition which I might add, includes 27 member of your own caucus in the House. However, you participated in a robust debate we had in the House Financial Services Committee as well as on the floor of the House of Representatives. I know you heard arguments the Members that opposed your legislation, and you must know they did so because it codifies the bailout policy employed during the financial crisis...”

The letter is short and best read in its entirety.
Hats off to Congressman Garrett for confronting Rep. Frank and reaffirming why MSNBC’s ratings continue to plummet.

Photo Credit:

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Consequences of Ever-growing Public Sector Unionization

Posted by Chris Prandoni on Tuesday, April 6th, 2010, 2:27 PM PERMALINK

A recent short paper by the Cato Institute’s Chris Edwards examines the growth of public sector unions over the past 50 years and this trend's implications for the future of American government. Although unions dominate the public sector today, it wasn’t always this way. It was the reinterpretation of the 1935 Wagner Act, legislation that allowed for collective bargaining of workers, in the 1960s and 1970s that allowed for the collective bargaining of public employees, thus beginning a wave of public sector unionization.

Today, public sector workers are unionized at a rate five times that of private sector workers. While the first half of Mr. Edwards' paper is dedicated to the describing the rise of public sector unions and collective bargaining agreements, the second half focuses on the repercussions of such policy. As AWF has previously noted, public sector workers are compensated more generously than private sector workers raising the tax burden for American taxpayers. Annually, public sector workers earn an average of $11,000 more in wages and receive $30,000 more in retirement benefits than their private sector counterparts. Shifting money from taxpayers to politically connected unions hardly seems fair.

Edwards goes on to describe other ways unions foster a non-productive workforce:

Unions tend to protect poorly performing workers, they often push for larger staffing levels than required, and they discourage the use of volunteers in government activities. Further, they tend to resist the introduction of new technologies and they create a more rule-laden workplace.

In the private sector, businesses can mitigate such union-caused inefficiencies. In response to union demands for higher pay, for example, businesses can substitute capital for labor. Unfortunately, public-sector managers have little incentive or flexibility to make such changes.

Teachers unions have been some of the most heavily criticized public sector workers in the country. Earning tenure after two or three years, teachers secure lifetime jobs before proving they are competent. The New Yorker ran an excellent expose last year documenting the lengths at which teachers unions went to protect their own. The story below is a personal account of a troubled teacher, her union, and the New York school system:

On November 23, 2005, according to a report prepared by the Education Department’s Special Commissioner of Investigation, Adams was found “in an unconscious state” in her classroom. “There were 34 students present in [Adams’s] classroom,” the report said. When the principal “attempted to awaken [Adams], he was unable to.” When a teacher “stood next to [Adams], he detected a smell of alcohol emanating from her.

Adams’s return to teaching, more than two years later, had come about because she and the Department of Education had signed a sealed agreement whereby she would teach for one more semester, then be assigned to non-teaching duties in a school office, if she hadn’t found a teaching position elsewhere. The agreement also required that she “submit to random alcohol testing” and be fired if she again tested positive. In February, 2009, Adams passed out in the office where she had to report every day. A drug-and-alcohol-testing-services technician called to the scene wrote in his report that she was unable even to “blow into breathalyzer,” and that her water bottle contained alcohol. As the stipulation required, she was fired.
Randi Weingarten, the president of the U.F.T. until this month (she is now the president of the union’s national parent organization), said in July that the Web site “should have been updated,” adding, “Mea culpa.” The Web site’s story saying that Adams believed she was the “victim of an effort to move senior teachers out” was still there as of mid-August. Ron Davis, a spokesman for the U.F.T., told me that he was unable to contact Adams, after what he said were repeated attempts, to ask if she would be available for comment.

In late August, I reached Adams, and she told me that no one from the union had tried to contact her for me, and that she was “shocked” by the account of her story on the U.F.T. Web site. “My case had nothing to do with seniority,” she said. “It was about a medical issue, and I sabotaged the whole thing by relapsing.” Adams, whose case was handled by a union lawyer, said that, last year, when a U.F.T. newsletter described her as the victim of a seniority purge, she was embarrassed and demanded that the union correct it. She added, “But I never knew about this Web-site article, and certainly never authorized it. The union has its own agenda.” The next morning, Adams told me she had insisted that the union remove the article immediately; it was removed later that day. Adams, who says that she is now sober and starting a school for recovering teen-age substance abusers, asked that her real name not be used.”

Although teachers unions elicit the strongest emotions in commentators—and they should, the thought of children being taught by drunk teachers is disturbing—the U.F.T’s tactics in this short excerpt exemplifies how unions protect poor, unproductive workers. One way to combat public sector unionization is to ban public sector collective bargaining agreements, Virginia already has. Chris Edwards' concludes by writing:

"Like other private groups, unions have free speech rights to voice their opinions about public policy. But collective bargaining gives unions the exclusive right to speak for covered workers, many of whom may disagree with the views of the monopoly union. Furthermore, collective bargaining is inconsistent with the right to freedom of association.17 Individuals are prevented from dealing directly with their employer and they can’t choose to be represented by another organization.

Collective bargaining gives a privileged position in our democracy to government insiders who focus on expanding the public sector to their personal benefit. The special position of unions is strengthened in states that have mandatory union dues and fees. Workers can opt out of paying the portion of dues going toward union politicking, but they have to leave the union and actively solicit to get back a portion of their payments.

Monopolies in business usually create higher cost and lower quality services. Monopoly unions create similar problems in labor markets. State governments should ban collective bargaining in the public sector, following the successful policies of Virginia and North Carolina. With the many large fiscal challenges facing governments—such as huge pension funding gaps—policymakers need flexibility to make tough budget decisions. But powerful unions make budget reforms very difficult, as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, for example, is finding out.

To put citizens and taxpayers back in control of their governments, collective bargaining and forced union dues should be outlawed in the public sector. Public employees should be free to join worker associations, but they should not be given a special legal status and handed extra power to block desperately needed fiscal reforms."

Photo Credit:

More from Americans for Tax Reform

OHSA Creeps Towards Ergonomics Regulations

Posted by Chris Prandoni on Thursday, March 25th, 2010, 3:34 PM PERMALINK

Ergonomics, another form of government imposed work standards, has been a long sought-after goal of Democrats. Most recently, Congress rejected Occupation Health and Safety Administration’s (OHSA) proposed workplace ergonomics standards in 2001. With Democrats controlling the executive and legislative branches, the current makeup of Capitol Hill represents ergonomics supporters' best chance at implementing their policy.

During the last go around, in 2001, ergonomics advocates’ legislation failed because they overreached. To the objective observer OHSA’s attempt to overhaul workforce standards seemed unnecessary; they failed to build their case. OHSA is not making the same mistake again and has amended OHSA 300 logs to require employers to record “work-related” musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). The proposal also contains an overly broad definition of recordable “MSDs” which significantly expands which conditions must be captured on employer logs.
To illustrate the haziness surrounding MSDs, let us consider this likely scenario:

My friend Sara just bought a new apartment and asked me to help her move in this Sunday, painstaking work-- Sara isn’t very strong. I wake up Monday and my back is killing me. I need the money though and decide its best I go to work today. I’m a delivery man and bend down to pick up a large package. When I pick up the package I throw my back out. Normally, I would have easily moved this amount of weight, but I spent all Sunday lifting couches for my friend.  

Under OHSA’s proposals, nearly any MSD that occurred at work, although it may not have been caused by work related activities, will be tabulated and sent to OHSA. The recorded numbers will be inflated due to the ambiguity about what constitutes an MSD; employers are punished if they fail to report MSDs further incentivizing them to report any and all “injuries.” Although simply recording this data is harmless in itself, the inflated numbers will be used by OHSA to build a case to justify ergonomics implementation. Ergonomics advocates will now go to congress with huge numbers and say “look at this data. We need to act now.”

While OHSA claims that changing its OHSA 300 logs is nothing more than “checking a box,” the impetus behind such measures is to rationalize ergonomics.

Photo Credit:

More from Americans for Tax Reform

AWF Urges Obama to Respect the Will of the Senate: Do Not Recess Appoint Craig Becker

Posted by Chris Prandoni on Thursday, March 25th, 2010, 12:50 PM PERMALINK

Following the intense debate surrounding Craig Becker’s failed confirmation to the National Labor Relations Board, the Alliance for Worker Freedom sent out the following letter to President Obama asking him not to recess appoint Becker.

[PDF Document]

Dear President Obama:

On behalf of the Alliance for Worker Freedom (AWF), an organization established in 2003 to combat anti-worker legislation and promote free and open labor markets, I would like to urge you to not make any recess appointments, specifically your National Labor Relations Board nominee Craig Becker.

Mr. Becker’s nomination pended for months during which time Senators weighed and debated the ramifications of his confirmation. Thousands of questions were submitted to Mr. Becker asking him to clarify controversial statements, writings, and acquaintances.  

In a bipartisan effort on Feb. 9, the Senate failed to get the 60 votes needed to invoke cloture on a vote for Craig Becker. Both Democrat and Republican Senators found Mr. Becker’s view of unions, employers, and the NLRB too problematic to warrant confirmation. Senator Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) voices this opinion:

 “Mr. Becker’s previous statements strongly indicate that he would take an aggressive personal agenda to the NLRB, and that he would pursue a personal agenda there.”

The Congressional conformation process is one of our country’s oldest checks and balances, enacted to limit the power of the executive branch. It is by submission to this tried and true process that the United States has retained its evenhanded governance. Your reverence to these principals in this instance is admirable.

Mr. Becker’s unsuccessful confirmation was the result of hours upon hours of research and debate, not fickle politics as some are suggesting. To appoint Mr. Becker after such deliberation would be to blatantly disregard the will of the Senate and the people it represents. It is for these reasons that you should not recess appoint Mr. Becker. 

Brian M. Johnson, MPA
Executive Director

cc:    All Members of Congress

Photo Credit:

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Democrats Attempt to Subvert Congress in Hopes of Carbon Regulation

Posted by Chris Prandoni on Thursday, March 11th, 2010, 5:09 PM PERMALINK

What a difference a year makes. A year into Obama’s presidency we were suppose to have universal government-run health care, an energy tax (Cap-and-Trade), and a slew of other  intrusive programs, mandates, and decrees. The thing is, Americans don’t want their lives turned upside-down at the whim of Washington politicians. But Democrats refuse to listen. They talk themselves into thinking that they know better than thou; that the American people don’t know what they really want. It is this tragic example of groupthink that is the impetus for all of the Democrats' political tactics.

Instead of passing healthcare reform through conventional means, Democrats have dragged the country through a convoluted sausage packing that may manifest itself in a reconciliation vote. Cap-and-Trade passed the House last June by the slimmest of margins, 219-212, only to stall in the Senate – Harry Reid never had the votes. During simpler times Cap-and-Trade would be dead, but no. Unable to pass cap-and-trade through traditional legislative measures, the Obama administration has called upon the EPA to do its dirty work, to unilaterally instate a national energy tax. In a February 22, 2010 letter to Senator Rockefeller, EPA Director Lisa Jackson wrote:

“I expect that EPA will phase-in permit requirements and regulation of greenhouse gases for large stationary sources beginning in calendar year 2011... In any event, EPA does not intend to subject the smallest sources to Clean Air Act permitting for greenhouse-gas emissions any sooner than 2016.” –EPA Director Lisa Jackson

Subverting the will of Congress and the American people, the EPA has decided that it will dictate America’s energy policy. Luckily, this move has received substantial scrutiny. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Representative Joe Barton (R-Texas), in their respective chambers, each introduced legislation that would bar the EPA from regulating (taxing) greenhouse gases. Americans for Tax reform sent out the following letters urging Members to sign on to Sen. Murkowski and Rep. Barton’s resolutions of disapproval. Americans for Tax Reform also sent out this letter to the White House asking for President Obama and Lisa Jackson to yield to the will of Congress. This is an important fight. If the EPA is allowed to enact what Congress couldn’t, it would open the floodgates to a new era of governance, one dictated not by Representatives of Congress but by bureaucratic appointees.

Below is the letter Grover Norquist sent to the Senate:

Dear Senator

On behalf of Americans for Tax Reform, and millions of taxpayers nationwide, I am writing to urge you to support Senator Murkowski’s submission of disapproval regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s carbon dioxide endangerment finding. Senator Murkowski’s resolution of disapproval is an attempt to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act.   

Unable to pass greenhouse gas regulations through Congress, members of the current administration have attempted to shape American energy policy via the EPA. In a February 22, 2010 letter sent by EPA Director Lisa Jackson to Senator Rockefeller, she wrote:

“I expect that EPA will phase-in permit requirements and regulation of greenhouse gases for large stationary sources beginning in calendar year 2011... In any event, EPA does not intend to subject the smallest sources to Clean Air Act permitting for greenhouse-gas emissions any sooner than 2016.”

Unabashedly stating her intentions to begin issuing carbon permits next year, Lisa Jackson looks to enact controversial cap-and-trade like legislation on her own. This administrations attempt to subvert Congress, and the will of the American people, by enacting backdoor carbon regulations is reprehensible. The EPA should not act as chief regulator of America’s economy, it was never intended to.

Acting as a safeguard for the American people, Senator Murkowski’s resolution of disapproval would ensure that the EPA could not overhaul America’s energy industry, and subsequently the American economy. With the American economy still sluggish and unemployment hovering around 10 percent, any carbon regulation would be disastrous.

Facing carbon regulations, energy producers would have no choice but to raise energy prices, passing the cost of EPA’s regulations to consumers. Undoubtedly, higher energy prices would result in lost productivity and jobs while reducing America’s global competitiveness. Energy taxes divert money from the most productive sectors of the American economy to less efficient energy sources. Companies considering investing in the U.S. already must weigh America’s inexplicably high corporate tax rate. Compounding an energy tax to an already high business taxes would certainly deter foreign investment -- further prolonging the current downturn. 

Action against the EPA’s imminent carbon regulation is necessary. I urge you to proactively fight this measure and support Senator Murkowski’s resolution of disapproval. 

Grover G. Norquist

Photo Credit:

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Energy Tax Hike Series: Use it or Lose it Tax

Posted by Chris Prandoni on Thursday, March 4th, 2010, 11:07 AM PERMALINK

The President’s FY 2011 budget contains hundreds of billions of dollars in new taxes on energy production and consumption. These taxes will result in higher prices at the pump, increased utility bills and less American energy jobs as companies flee the U.S. to avoid these industry crippling taxes. The full energy tax booklet is available here.

One of these changes is reinstating the “use it or lose it” tax, a proposal that will raise billions of dollars of taxes.

Considering the federal government owns around 30% of all land in the United States, many of the nation’s minerals reserves lay in government owned territory. When oil reserves are discovered on federal land, oil companies bid for government leases in order to develop newly found oil deposits. Generally, these leases are for ten year periods.

The proposed “use it or lose it” policy looks to tax oil companies that have leased federal land but have not begun, or are not mining enough, oil. The “use it or lose it” tax is to be levied and administered by the Department of the Interior and will raise taxes by $1.2 billion during the 2010-2020 period.

There are numerous problems with the proposed “use it or lose it” policy. Under the 1992 Comprehensive Energy Policy Act (CEPA) oil companies are already required to use government leased land in a timely manner or they risk forfeiting their lease. Without punitive punishments, CEPA and its threat of lease termination has proved to be an adequate means of encouraging expedient development of oil reserves, the rational behind the “use it or lose it” tax hike.

Secondly, the “use it or lose it” tax disregards the complex oil mining process. Companies purchase leases knowing very little about the land they are renting, “only 1 in 3 onshore wells finds enough oil or gas to produce profitably; in deep water, only 1 in 5 wells is commercial. Thus, only a small percentage of the leased acres end up producing oil.” The Obama budget furthers the misconception that every lease contains oil when less than 30% of all leases are ever developed.

Taxing oil companies for running the complex, expensive, and necessary geological tests used to determine the profitability of leased land makes little sense and can only lead to wasteful spending. In order to avoid “use it or lose it” penalties, oil companies may prematurely develop unprofitable oil wells effectively relocating capital to substandard wells.

Check out the full table of energy tax increases and the industry impact numbers and a PDF document further explaining the use it or lose it tax.

Photo Credit:

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Energy Tax Hike Series: Raises Taxes on Tertiary Injectants

Posted by Chris Prandoni on Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010, 12:15 PM PERMALINK

The President’s FY 2011 budget contains hundreds of billions of dollars in new taxes on energy production and consumption. These taxes will result in higher prices at the pump, increased utility bills and less American energy jobs as companies flee the U.S. to avoid these industry crippling taxes. The full energy tax booklet is available here.

One of these changes is a repeal of the tertiary intectants tax deduction, a proposal that will raise billions of dollars worth of taxes.

In order to mine inaccessible oil reserves, oil producers often inject liquids and gasses into an oil well’s surrounding area, a process called tertiary injection. Domestic oil producers deduct the costs incurred from the tertiary injection process. Expenses that oil companies claim as deductions are: the cost of acquiring or producing the tertiary injectants, the costs associated with injecting, reinjecting, and recovering the purchased and produced tertiary injectants.

The administration has proposed to repeal tertiary injectants deductibility status. Doing so would raise taxes on energy producers by $5 million in 2011 and $67 million by 2020.

Changing how tertiary injections are listed under the tax code, from deductible to capital, will raise the initial investment required by producers looking to extract oil. Section 193 of the IRS code states that oil producers should be able to deduct “costs related to injecting a substance with a transitory effect on production” and “costs of producing and reinjecting gas or hydrocarbon liquids utilized in a recycling process.” Thus, if tertiary injectant deductions bolstered oil production, as the IRS code explicitly states, then rescinding it will have the oppose effect – stifling production.

The purpose of the deduction was to help producers pay for the high costs associated with tertiary injection. Changing how producers recover their initial investment could force companies to shut in older fields which would adversely affect local economies. In many tertiary injection projects carbon dioxide is the gas used to gain access to oil deposits. Utilizing carbon dioxide in enhanced oil recovery projects is one of the primary ways to prevent carbon dioxide from escaping into the atmosphere; keeping deductions for tertiary injectants would encourage this process.

Considering America’s oil and natural gas industry is one of the largest, supporting more than 9 million jobs, taxing tertiary injectants increases the cost of energy for every American family.

Check out the full table of energy tax increases and the industry impact numbers and a PDF document further explaining the tertiary injectant tax deduction.

Photo Credit:

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Andy Stern Update: US Attorney Reviewing Case & Obama Appoints Stern to Debt Panel

Posted by Chris Prandoni on Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010, 2:08 PM PERMALINK

In an effort to control the growing deficit, President Obama has called for the creation of a “Debt Panel.” Inappropriately, but not surprisingly, the White House selected Service Employee International Union President (SEIU) Andy Stern to sit on the 18-member committee. Investors Business Daily, also confused by Stern’s appointment, wrote:

“The appointment of Andy Stern, president of the Service Employee International Union (SEIU), to a bipartisan commission to come up with ways to deal with the rapidly rising federal budget deficit is like having a serial arsonist organize Fire Prevention Week.”

Prematurely revealing his hand, Stern told Congress last week what he thought about deficits:

"As (New York Times columnist) Paul Krugman says, and I believe, 'We are in the aftermath of a severe financial crisis which has led to mass job destruction. And right now we need more of that deficit spending because millions of Americans are blighted by high unemployment, and the government should be doing everything it can to bring unemployment down.'"

Mr. Stern shows little concern for the objectives of the “Debt Panel,” to reduce the deficit. So how did Andy Stern sneak onto this committee? The President and Andy Stern go way back. In fact, when the White House released its visitor logs last October, he was found to be the most frequent guest, popping in 22 times. You would think that after Stern’s seemingly unfettered access to the White House he would need to register as a lobbyist or risk violating the Lobbying Disclosure Act. Think again. Stern suspiciously deregistered as a lobbyist in 2007.

On November 13, 2009 the Alliance for Worker Freedom and Americans for Tax Reform requested an investigation into Andy Stern’s potential violation of the Lobbying Disclosure Act. A brief summary of what has happened since then:

Nov. 16, SEIU spokesperson Michelle Ringuette acknowledged the validity of claim and, without offering evidence responded: “Andy Stern spends less than 20 percent of his time talking to elected representatives.”

Jan 5 Andy Stern told Carol Costello in a one-on-one interview on CNN: “We’re going to send them a letter and tell them the truth, which is we’ve complied with the law. And we assume whenever the investigation is done it will be fine.”

Jan 25, SEIU spokesperson Kawana Lloyd contradicted what Mr. Stern had said on CNN, saying: “SEIU had likely said all it would say on the matter.”

Feb 1, the US Attorney’s office confirmed to that they are “reviewing the matter.” Ms. Ringuette retorted: “The charges were meritless; we have been informed by the Senate that the complaining parties were notified.”

Despite being promised vindicating documents, neither ATR nor AWF has received any information from Andy Stern or the SEIU refuting our claims. With the charges levied against Mr. Stern being reviewed by the US Attorney’s office, AWF sent a letter to the White House Counsel Robert Bauer asking if it was appropriate for Mr. Stern to sit on the Debt Panel. AWF also sent a letter to the Secretary of the Senate Nancy Erickson and US Attorney Channing D. Phillips requesting additional information about the status of the investigation. 

Given Mr. Stern’s inflexible liberal ideology and his precarious lobbying activities, his appointment to the debt panel is completely inappropriate.

Photo Credit: