Posted by: rotenochsen | December 3, 2009

SEIU INFLUENCE AND PRESIDENT OBAMA

For an administration that promised to renounce interest groups, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) certainly has the president’s ear and is sure to be a major player in the December jobs summit. In 2008, SEIU donated nearly $28 million to the Obama campaign setting the stage for SEIU President Andy Stern to become the White House’s most frequent visitor in 2009, according to White House visitor logs. Anna Burger, Treasure of the SEIU and Chairwoman of their Change to Win campaign was even appointed to Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board earlier this year and will represent SEIU at the December jobs summit held by the White House.

To the objective observer, it is clear that Andy Stern and Anna Burger are meeting with members of the White House to advance goals of the SEIU, they are lobbying. However, in 2008 both Stern and Burger de-registered as lobbyists providing the Obama administration cover to meet with them while avoiding cries of duplicity. Yet, neither Stern nor Burger changed positions or job responsibilities, they just stopped registering as lobbyists.

So who has to register?

Unions were implemented to protect workers from the outright evil of business. In addition, Fair Wages, Fair Working Conditions, etc. Fast Forward……….Andy Stern takes your dues. Secures deadbeats a job. Request his deadbeats to act as thugs on his behalf. Sends thugs to citizens homes for voter intimidation. Used dues to promote political agenda to promote the election of Hussein. Used dues to publish his book.

The Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA) defines a “lobbyist” as a person who spends over 20% of his time on “lobbying activities” and has two or more “lobbying contacts.” It is important to note that the calculation of the 20% of time spent on lobbying activities includes numerous activities beyond direct lobbying contacts, and is with respect to a calendar quarter of a year.

Lobbyists who fail to register or provide honest reports are subject to civil penalties of up to $200,000 and criminal penalties of up to 5 years in prison, not trivial penalties.

Validating the claim that the Obama administration is still meeting with lobbyists, now unlisted lobbyists, Mr. Stern visited and met with the President and/or White House staff on 22 occasions between January 20 and September 15.

During the first calendar quarter, Mr. Stern went to the White House on 11 separate days, including twice on February 18.  In the second calendar quarter, Mr. Stern visited on 9 days, and twice on April 13 for a total of 10 visits.  Since White House personnel, including the President and Vice President, are considered “covered” officials under LDA, all of Mr. Stern’s communications with them during these 22 visits covering 20 days would constitute “lobbying contacts.”

Mr. Stern’s right hand, Anna Burger has also maintained close relations to the Obama administration after de-listing as a lobbyist. According to LM-2 union disclosure fillings from 2007 and 2006, both years when Ms. Burger was a registered lobbyist, reveal that she spent well over 20 percent of her time on politics and lobbying. After de-listing, Burger reported spending an even larger amount of time, 37 percent, on politics and lobbying activity.

Most recently, Ms. Burger attended the much sought-after State Dinner hosted by the White House on November 24, 2009. The State Dinner has long been one of the most prestigious events an administration holds.

Today the president will preside over his “jobs summit” where he will look for ideas and consensus from business leaders about how to increase hiring. Ms. Burger will be in attendance and undoubtedly engaging in contacts with officials covered by the LDA. Given the enormous access Ms. Burger and Mr. Stern have to White House officials; it is more than probable that they meet the LDA definition of a lobbyist.

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