You all know how I feel about Andy Stern. One word - scumbag. But he has been blindly loved by most of the SEIU rank and file - because they see him as a demagogue. His recent resignation shook SEIU ranks to their roots. More is coming out today which explains some of what's happened under his leadership. And more importantly, what MAY have happened which could shake the entire country.
Despite the external vision of SEIU of prosperous and finiancially strong, Stern in fact leave SEIU is in horrible shape financially - far worse than when he arrived.
As noted here and here; Stein and Anna Berger (presumed new President of SEIU) have left SEIU a financial mess. It is being inferred that Stein's departure from SEIU has been prompted by a few things:
- Failing fiduciary responsibility;
- Waning effectiveness of his internal leadership;
- Drawing unwanted scrutiny of the inner workings of the Union; and/or
- Rote jealousy by AFL-CIO leaders over Stern's "rock star" status.
SEIU has seen its liabilities skyrocket during the past decade. The union's liabilities totaled $7,625,832 in 2000. By 2009, they had increased almost by a factor of 16, to $120,893,259. Meanwhile, SEIU's assets barely tripled, growing from $66,632,631 in 2000 to $187,664,763 in 2009. A significant portion of SEIU's current assets are from IOUs from hard-up locals.
SEIU is $85 million in debt, down from its 2008 high of $102 million, and has been forced to lay off employees. Mr. Stern has led protests against Bank of America, calling for the firing of Chief Executive Ken Lewis. Yet the union owes $80 million to Bank of America and $5 million to Amalgamated Bank, which is owned by the rival union Unite-Here.
SEIU's pensions are in even worse shape. Both of SEIU's two national pension plans, the SEIU National Industry Pension Fund and the Pension Plan for Employees of the SEIU, issued critical-status letters last year. The Pension Protection Act requires any pension fund that is funded below 65 percent of what it needs to pay its obligations to inform its beneficiaries of the deficit.
All good points. But I'd like to float another theory:
Andy Stein is leaving SEIU in an attempt to protect the Union and it's activities in anticipation of a his Federal indictment in these election activities in Illinois.
In my recent post here, I eluded to the possibility of federal election laws being broken in the political orgy surrounding, and eventually destroying, Gov. Blagojevich of Illinois. Due to a SNAFU in posting recent court documents, supposedly redacted information clearly shows the fingerprints of not just Blago, but of Obama, his staff and an unnamed "Labor Union President" in a clearly orchestrated plot to buy Mr. Obama's old Congressional seat.
Gov. Blagojevich’s defense team basically alleges that Obama told a "certain labor union official" that he (Obama) would support Valerie Jarrett’s candidacy for the Senate seat. Jarrett, referred to as “Senate Candidate B”, is now a senior advisor to the president. Later stating that Mr. Obama would trade "fundraising" for Blago for his preferred appointment, Valerie Jarrett (also identified as "Senate Candidate B". From the court documents below, which can be seen without redaction here:
Redacted portion: Yet, despite President Obama stating that no representatives of his had any part of any deals, labor union president told the FBI and the United States Attorneys that he spoke to labor union official on November 3, 2008 who received a phone message from Obama that evening. After labor union official listened to the message labor union official told labor union president “I’m the one”. Labor union president took that to mean that labor union official was to be the one to deliver the message on behalf of Obama that Senate Candidate B was his pick. (Labor union president 302, February 2, 2009, p. 7).
Labor union official told the FBI and the United States Attorneys “Obama expressed his belief that [Senate Candidate B] would be a good Senator for the people of Illinois and would be a candidate who could win re-election. [Labor union official] advised Obama that [labor union official] would reach out to Governor Blagojevich and advocate for [Senate Candidate B].. . . [Labor union official] called [labor union president] and told [labor union president] that Obama was aware that [labor union official] would be reaching out to Blagojevich.” (Labor union official 302, February 3, 2009 p. 3).
13. A supporter of Presidential Candidate Obama suggested that she talk to the wife of Governor Blagojevich about Senate Candidate B for Senator. (Valerie Jarrett 302, December 19, 2008). Supporter of Presidential Candidate Obama is mentioned in a phone call on November 3, 2008, having offered “fundraising” in exchange for Senate Candidate B for senator (Blagojevich Home Phone Call #149)."Senate Candidate B" doesn't have the staying power of Nixon's "Deep Throat", but no matter. Things are about to get hairy (no, not Harry, I've had enough of him) folks. Sit back and watch the show - we could be seeing the beginning of the largest scandal involving a sitting President in 30+ years.