03.31.2010 0

What Is Andy Stern?

  • On: 04/09/2010 09:43:19
  • In: Big Labor
  • By Adam Bitely

    On March 31, 2010, the SEIU filed their LM-2 forms required by Federal law. In the quest to provide transparency of what the SEIU is doing, some startling revelations have been made since the documents have come to light.

    Specifically, recent information disclosed in the LM-2 forms filed begs to question about the President of that organization’s status as a lobbyist. Is Andy Stern a lobbyist, and if not, what is he then?

    According to the dictionary of Merriam-Webster, a lobbyist is a person that conducts “activities aimed at influencing public officials and especially members of a legislative body on legislation.” One would argue that Andy Stern, who has been the most frequent visitor of the White House, is indeed acting as a lobbyist does.

    Of course, more important is how lobbying is defined by the Lobbying Disclosure Act:

    “The term ‘lobbyist’ means any individual who is employed or retained by a client for financial or other compensation for services that include more than one lobbying contact, other than an individual whose lobbying activities constitute less than 20 percent of the time engaged in the services provided by such individual to that client over a six month period.”

    In its 2009 LM-2 filing, the SEIU claims outright that Andy Stern has spent 32 percent of his time performing political and lobbying activities. As cited above by the Lobbying Disclosure Act, a lobbyist must file if they spend 20 percent of their time lobbying. Clearly Andy Stern does. But, he has failed to file.

    Which gave Americans for Worker Freedom and Americans for Tax Reform reason to call Stern out last week. They have formally requested that U.S. Attorney Channing Phillips investigate Stern for “potentially illegal lobbying activities” last November.

    Cleta Mitchell, a leading election and financial disclosure requirement law expert and author of the Lobbying Compliance Handbook, had this to say about Andy Stern’s lack of filing as a lobbyist, “On face value, it appears that Andy Stern is in violation of the Federal Lobbying, Registration and Disclosure requirements.”

    It’s possible that whomever prepared the LM-2 made an error. But, it is far more likely that Stern failed to file the proper paperwork to lobby in Washington, D.C. The truth must be known.

    As Barack Obama promised in 2008: “I don’t take a dime of their [lobbyist] money, and when I am president, they won’t find a job in my White House.” But in 2010, Stern finds himself the recipient of an appointment to serve on Obama’s Debt commission.

    Hopefully, when we get to the bottom of this matter, justice will be provided. Either way, someone is in trouble. It will either come down that the LM-2 was improperly filed or that Stern failed to file his lobbyist registration paperwork. If the latter is the case, we can only hope that justice will be provided as effectively as it was against Jack Abramoff.

    For more information on the SEIU, please visit the SEIU Monitor, a newly-launched website from Americans for Limited Government.

    Adam Bitely is the Executive Editor of the Liberty Features Syndicate for Americans for Limited Government.

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