Monday, Oct 20, 2014
Columns

DeWitt: Unions don't belong in government, Part II


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We all know about the "Evil Democrats" and their designs to destroy capitalism, liberty, and growing the size of government. Why is it that Republicans have sat silently by and allowed it to happen? Here's how and why.

The Republican Party often attacks and blames Democrats for supporting unions that have contributed to the economic mess we are now experiencing, but fiscal conservatives know better. Republicans are every bit as guilty as Democrats for accepting payoffs from public sector union lobbyists for supporting union expansion into government. For example, The Teamsters broke with traditional support for Democratic nominees and the AFL-CIO when Nixon accepted the Teamsters offer from imprisoned union president James "Jimmy" Hoffa to use their infrastructure and chain of command to organize his reelection campaign. As well as deploy their muscle, aka union thugs and striker teams, to put down anti-war protesters. They even roughed-up Abbie Hoffman at Nixon's request.

In 1959, the first government employees were allowed collective bargaining in New York. Then, in 1963, they were allowed to do so nationally, but only in areas that were not considered too sensitive to allow union activities that could compromise the public's interests and the people's trust in government. By 1972, the Teamsters broke with traditional support for Democratic nominees and the AFL-CIO when Nixon accepted the Teamsters offer from imprisoned union president James "Jimmy" Hoffa to use their infrastructure and chain of command to organize his reelection campaign.

Hoffa had been convicted of jury tampering, attempted bribery and fraud in 1964, and began serving his 13-year sentence in 1967. He wanted a presidential pardon and release from prison. However, Nixon enjoyed the working relationship that developed with Frank Edward Fitsimmons, who Hoffa had appointed acting president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters from 1967 to 1971. So Nixon blocked Hoffa from union activities until 1980 as part of the pardon agreement, and Fitsimmons became the Teamsters' president from 1971 to 1981.

Nixon and Fitsimmons soon discovered that they both could expand their power and control by using both their offices to influence changes that would benefit each other. Fitsimmons got to expand union membership and dues collections into new areas like law enforcement and other critical government positions that were considered too sensitive to allow union activities that could compromise the public's interests and the people's trust in government. While Nixon could exercise more command and control over the departments and agencies under expanding union control. Thus he could avoid publicly requesting the National Guard to put down protesters every time a problem arose and circumvent the U.S. constitution.

Nixon then began expanding the various Departments of Law Enforcement turned over to union control. In a special message to Congress, on July 14, 1969 President Nixon identified drug abuse as "a serious national threat." Citing a dramatic jump in drug-related juvenile arrests and street crime between 1960 and 1967, Nixon called for a national anti-drug policy at the state and federal level before officially declaring a "War on Drugs" in June 1971. Then he created the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to coordinate the efforts of all other agencies in July 1973.

The working relationship that the Teamsters Union and the Republican Party had didn't end with Nixon's subsequent impeachment from office. In 1980, Ronald Reagan forged a close political relationship with Jackie Presser. Presser would later become president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters from 1983 until his death in 1988. He was closely connected to organized crime, and became president of the Teamsters based on the approval and support of the Cleveland Mafia.

During Reagan's 1980 campaign for president, Presser served as one of Reagan's hosts at a private luncheon for Teamsters and other union leaders and escorted Reagan to private meetings with Teamster officials. Reagan was highly regarded by union leaders because he had served as union president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1947-1952 and 1959-1960. He also served as a key negotiator through eventful years that were marked by labor-management disputes, such as the Taft-Hartley Act, House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) hearings and the Hollywood blacklist era.

The Teamsters endorsement of Reagan in 1980, created such a furor within the American labor movement that when the second Reagan endorsement came in 1984, Vice President George H. W. Bush accepted the endorsement in person. The Teamster endorsement was the only large labor union endorsement Reagan received. In gratitude, Reagan named Presser to the second Reagan transition team as a labor advisor.

The media soon reported that Presser was reputed to have links to organized crime and financial malfeasance. Reagan and his advisors claimed to have been unaware of the accusations, and Presser denied having any ties to organized crime. When PATCO, the union of federal air traffic controllers with about 25,000 members that also endorsed Reagan in 1980, went on strike in the summer of 1981, violating a federal law prohibiting government unions from striking. Reagan declared the situation an emergency as described in the 1947 Taft Hartley Act. He said that if the air traffic controllers "do not report for work within 48 hours, they have forfeited their jobs and will be terminated." They did not return and on Aug. 5, with Teamster's permission, Reagan fired all 11,345 air traffic controllers who had ignored his order, and used supervisors and military controllers to handle the nation's commercial air traffic until new controllers could be hired and trained.

The PATCO affair didn't stop unions from expanding their control. In fact, both Reagan and Presser knew it was all just a means to an end. Reagan used the opportunity to give himself the appearance of being tough on unions. And all the while, as everything went according to plan, the "new hires" were subsequently absorbed into the union, and guess what happened then? PATCO was soon at full strength again! So he made it appear that he took action when, in reality, he didn't do anything but throw some magic dust into the air to confuse voters. Mission accomplished; Reagan and conservatives were free to claim victory over unions, while the "liberal" Ronald Reagan and government unions got their way.

On Oct. 27, 1986, Reagan signed a drug enforcement bill that budgeted $1.7 billion to fund the War on Drugs and specified a mandatory minimum penalty for drug offenses. By so doing, he expanded law enforcement and correctional departments and their corresponding unions exponentially. It also expanded the Department of Justice (DOJ) and added another 200,000 workers to federal payrolls alone. Employment had a corresponding influx at the state and local government levels as well, and it is when public sector retirements and pension liabilities first began to see astronomic gains. Trillions of dollars later, we now have drug sniffing dogs and metal detectors at every door, just another great financial burden for tax payers. The Teamsters, anticipating the new law, had already positioned themselves so they would benefit the most among all public sector unions, when it passed.

The amount spent to fund the war on drugs now exceeds $80 billion annually and still continues to grow, thus the ground work had already been laid when the 911 attacks occurred on Sept. 11, 2001. Then, when the Homeland Security Act, Border Security Act, and both Patriot Acts had passed through both Republican controlled houses of congress and then were signed into law by Republican President George W. Bush. the U.S. was transformed into an American police state.

Therefore, it's nearly too late folks! Many of you have fallen for it, while you were drinking the "Kool-Aid." Both parties, Democrats and Republicans, having been bought off by public sector union lobbyists, have tricked you into funding the very government agencies, that will one day enslave you. We can no longer claim liberty or freedom. The only thing left for them to do is take our guns away. Once they've accomplished that, it's just a matter of time until we transform into a fascist dictatorship.

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