|Week of: |
May 14, 2000
|The Racketeer as a Campaign Advisor
by: F.R. Duplantier
The scandals each day are accruing
And the storm of the century is brewing,
But poor Janet Reno
Is able to see no
Evidence of any wrongdoing.
"William Hamilton, the former political affairs director of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, was convicted of six crimes, including embezzlement, fraud, perjury, and conspiracy," recalls August Stofferahn, former investigator for the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. "Hamilton," he summarizes, "was part of a vast web of corruption to rig the re-election of his boss, Teamster President Ronald Carey, and to support the shady campaign operations of the Democratic National Committee and its agents."
In a recent issue of Labor Watch, published by the Capital Research Center, Stofferahn questions why this sensational story failed to provoke "a media frenzy. The scale of the embezzlement -- at least $885,000 taken from the dues of hard-working Teamsters -- was grand," he affirms. "And the fact that the embezzlement scheme occurred under the noses of two special federally-appointed oversight bodies . . . creates doubts about the tenacity of federal labor oversight." Stofferahn stresses that "the investigations uncovered possibly criminal conduct by senior officials at the White House, the Democratic National Committee, the Teamsters, and the AFL-CIO."
Stofferahn argues that "the Hamilton conviction and the other guilty pleas serve as a reminder of the perils of allowing union officials to take money from their members to spend on their own pet causes -- like re-electing President Clinton." He hopes "indictments and convictions that should be forthcoming will provide more reminders over the course of the current election season. Some of the key players in this scandal," he notes, "such as Harold Ickes and Terence McAuliffe, fill high-profile roles in the campaigns of Vice President Gore and Hillary Clinton."
The Department of Justice, however, seems determined to forestall further prosecutions until after the upcoming elections. "Prosecutors say the investigation is still ongoing," Stofferahn acknowledges. "Indeed, dozens of other individuals . . . were identified in the Hamilton trial as minor participants in the embezzlement schemes and could face charges. The evidence against the major schemers, though, has been public knowledge for over a year," Stofferahn emphasizes, "and they remain at large."
A vote for Al Gore or Hillary Clinton, then, is effectively an endorsement of corruption and coverup -- past, present, and future. Make no mistake about it: ratified yet again by an apathetic or venal public, the abuses will continue, and intensify. In other words, you ain't seen nothing yet. The Vice President and the First Lady are not only every bit as dirty as the President, but uncompromisingly and humorlessly so. The prospect of either or both of these malevolent martinets replacing the current criminal occupant of the Oval Office is truly sickening.
by F.R. Duplantier (Merril Press, 2000).
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