HA exclusive: Follow-up on ATR/AWF complaint against Stern

posted at 8:45 am on December 3, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Two weeks ago, Hot Air reported exclusively on a joint effort between Americans for Tax Reform and Alliance for Worker Freedom to demand an investigation of Andy Stern, president of the SEIU, for illegal lobbying with Congress and the White House.  That complaint has already had an effect.  The Secretary of the Senate has responded by informing Stern and the SEIU of their responsibilities to abide by the laws governing lobbying.  Stern, who was planning to attend today’s “jobs summit” at the White House, has withdrawn and decided to send the SEIU’s treasurer, the so-called “Queen of Labor,” Anna Burger.

The only problem?  According to ATR and AWF, Burger isn’t registered as a lobbyist, either.  At 9 am ET today, they will file a complaint with the US Attorney, the Clerk of the House, and the Secretary of the Senate demanding an investigation of Burger and her alleged activities as an unregistered lobbyist:

Dear Mr. Phillips, Secretary Erickson and Clerk Miller:

By this letter, we urge you to investigate the activities of Ms. Anna Burger, International Secretary/Treasurer of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and Chair of Change to Win, regarding meetings and other lobbying contacts with administration officials, the White House and Congress during 2008 and 2009. Specifically, it is important to determine whether those and related activities could constitute unregistered “lobbying” by Ms. Burger in violation of the Lobbying Disclosure Act  (LDA), 2 U.S.C. 1601, et seq.  In fact, Ms. Burger was a registered lobbyist for SEIU until the end of 2007, when she terminated her registration.  For the reasons discussed below it appears that Ms. Burger has an extensive history of lobbying including the period after she terminated her registered status. Such historical evidence appears to suggest that she should have remained registered as a lobbyist under LDA. …

As you know, LM-2 forms are submitted yearly to the Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) and are used to monitor union’s financial records and the activities of individual union staff members.  LM-2 forms 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.  Yet after de-listing, Burger reported spending an even larger amount of her time, 37 percent, on politics and lobbying activity.  Given her role as the head of the Change to Win Federation and her senior position with SEIU, Burger is almost certain to have had two or more contacts with covered officials during relevant reporting periods in 2008.  Those contacts, combined with the activity reported on her LM-2, make it highly likely that she engaged in lobbying as defined by the LDA during the time she was not listed as a lobbyist.

Distribution of Anna Burger’s time in 2006

Representational Activities 27 %

Political Activities and Lobbying 27 %

Contributions 15 %

General Overhead 10 %

Administration 21 %

Distribution of Anna Burger’s time in 2007

Representational Activities 27 %

Political Activities and Lobbying 27 %

Contributions 15 %

General Overhead 10 %

Administration 21 %

SEIU’s LM-2 form for 2008, a year when Ms. Burger did not register as a lobbyist, reports that Ms. Burger spent a plurality of her time engaging in “political activities and lobbying.”

Distribution of  Anna Burger’s time in 2008

Representational Activities 25 %

Political Activities and Lobbying 37 %

Contributions 3 %

General Overhead 10 %

Administration 25 %

Barack Obama has not cut down on the lobbyist culture.  This makes it look like his allies just deregister themselves while continuing to lobby both Congress and his administration.  Burger has had plenty of connection to this administration.  Obama appointed her to the Economic Recovery Advisory Board in February, got a prized invitation to the state dinner held for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and as noted above will participate in the “jobs summit” in Andy Stern’s place.  Moreover, she’s in the same job she held when registered as a lobbyist, and the only thing that’s changed is her registration status and her increased access to the White House with Obama in office; she’s been Treasurer since 2001.

Will the US Attorney act to enforce lobbying registration laws?  I guess we’ll see just how much of a priority the lobbyist culture is to the Obama administration.


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Time is now.

hawkman on December 3, 2009 at 8:51 AM

We can expect another “so, what?’ from this administration.

Cybergeezer on December 3, 2009 at 8:51 AM

SSDD

ladyingray on December 3, 2009 at 8:52 AM

quick! ask Eric Holder what is right, just & moral.

kelley in virginia on December 3, 2009 at 8:52 AM

By this letter, we urge you to investigate the activities of Ms. Anna Burger

How about;
By this letter, we urge demand you to comply with existing laws and investigate the activities of Ms. Anna Burger”?

oldleprechaun on December 3, 2009 at 8:55 AM

SSDD

ladyingray on December 3, 2009 at 8:52 AM

my sentiments exactly…

cmsinaz on December 3, 2009 at 8:57 AM

“Coward” seems to fit you Mr. Holder.

nondhimmie on December 3, 2009 at 8:57 AM

Andy Stern needs to meet the same fate as other labor leaders like August Spies.

PimFortuynsGhost on December 3, 2009 at 9:01 AM

The Obama administration is pathetic.

BuckeyeSam on December 3, 2009 at 9:01 AM

it is not lobbying when the DNC is talking to congress, the prez, etc. Acorn/SEIU is the political army for the DNC these days, so they can do whatever they want.

notanobot on December 3, 2009 at 9:03 AM

I guess if your Democrat, a govt union thug or a minority activist – you don’t have to worry about obeying the law anymore. And if a prosecutor somewhere does have the gall to bring charges against you, don’t worry, Holder will drop the charges or refuse to investigate.

Oh, the backlash is going to be mighty impressive. I have a feeling.

Sporty1946 on December 3, 2009 at 9:04 AM

I, for one, look forward to our new union overlords.

A “Jobs Summit” attended only left wing lackeys, minions, goons, and the very same people who gave us the ruinous stimucrap bill; yeah that’s going to work out well.

Bishop on December 3, 2009 at 9:05 AM

Oh, and if our lefty trolls don’t get my historical reference, I’ll explain it for you: August Spies was a “labor activist,” ie, thug and ringleader of the Haymarket riots, and was strung up for his role. I hope Stern meets the same fate.

PimFortuynsGhost on December 3, 2009 at 9:08 AM

So the Obama Administration’s cronies and lobbyists (the ones that Obama said, you know, were no longer allowed in Washington or something) get around lobbying rules by…ignoring them totally?

Democrat. Culture. Of. Corruption.

Good Lt on December 3, 2009 at 9:13 AM

SSDD

ladyingray on December 3, 2009 at 8:52 AM

Pretty much.

davidk on December 3, 2009 at 9:13 AM

Hey lets impeach Holder. We are impeaching you for not doing your job so you will do your job. Might work.

Opportunity Costs on December 3, 2009 at 9:13 AM

The adults union thugs are in charge!

rbj on December 3, 2009 at 9:14 AM

So…this “jobs Summit” seems to be the next logical step in creating Obama’s promised civilian security force equal in size to our Armed Services?

After all, the jobs summit is all about “service” workers.

SEIU is a “service” organization.

Yep, well on the road to nationalization of “jobs” in the new Amerika.

coldwarrior on December 3, 2009 at 9:15 AM

Holder = Hopeless Obamanaut, Legal Defender Enabling Ridiculousness (and enforcing nothing!!!!!)

huskerdiva on December 3, 2009 at 9:17 AM

Ed — Great reporting, again. Prayers for your wife.

publiuspen on December 3, 2009 at 9:17 AM

SEIU is a “service” organization.

It’s a “service employees” union. AKA, janitors, etc.

Nothing about the SEIU is any more “service” than any other private sector job.

Good Lt on December 3, 2009 at 9:18 AM

Barack Obama has not cut down on the lobbyist culture. This makes it look like his allies just deregister themselves while continuing to lobby both Congress and his administration.

Exactly right!
Mr. Hope and Change, the Lyin Pinnochio Presidente, has just had them come in unregistered and under the radar — he hopes.

Front page of my State Run Media this morning is that Crapweasal, Tom Daschle, from my neighboring SD, in the pockets of Humana and a pharmacy company, is front and center with Harry, Nancy, Rahm, and Pinnochio shaping the HealthScare Legislation!

A political hack ousted by the S.D. voters, not confirmed as a task force head by the Senate, because of tax evasion slithers his way into the debate none the less!

Most ethical administration my ass.

Hell with the Tea Parties! I say get out the pitchforks and torches and lets go to D.C. and burn their playhouse down!

Sarah we need ya, Lady, we need to reform the corruptocrat cesspolol D.C. has become!

dhunter on December 3, 2009 at 9:22 AM

At 9 am ET today, they will file a complaint with the US Attorney, the Clerk of the House, and the Secretary of the Senate demanding an investigation of Burger and her alleged activities as an unregistered lobbyist:

Good! Let’s keep the spotlight on these cockroaches!!!

highhopes on December 3, 2009 at 9:22 AM

Real journalism! Keep up the pressure!

SouthernGent on December 3, 2009 at 9:23 AM

“Less than 8% of the private sector workforce belongs to a union. Contrast that with 37% of all government employees carrying union cards and 42% of all local government employees.” Stimulus Makes a Perfect, Wasteful, Bureaucratic Circle

publiuspen on December 3, 2009 at 9:26 AM

“Laws for thee and not for me”.

Johan Klaus on December 3, 2009 at 9:27 AM

Sorry for the second post but this needs to be front and center!
This guy needs to be hauled before the court!
Daschle was ousted as Senate majority leader by the voters in SD and has hung around DC ever since.
Takin cushy “consulting” jobs with pharmacy and insurance companies hopin to gain from his insider contacts!
He has personal tax evasion and loobyist violations written across his forehead and is in the middle of the healthcare debate!
Investigate and demand an explanation!
Ed a thread?
I’m startin to get pissed! Better calm down and do some relaxation therapy.
Aim, steady, breath out, steady, squeeze slowly, follow through!
Bullseye, there I feel better now!
dhunter on December 3, 2009 at 9:22 AM

dhunter on December 3, 2009 at 9:32 AM

Two weeks ago, Hot Air reported exclusively on a joint effort between Americans for Tax Reform and Alliance for Worker Freedom to demand an investigation of Andy Stern, president of the SEIU, for illegal lobbying with Congress and the White House.

Hot Air! Not The New York Times, The Washington Post, The L. A. Times, etc. All scooped by Hot Air? How can this be.

Will they catch up this week, next week, never.

Hello, Newsweek, Time. Are you there?

donh525 on December 3, 2009 at 9:35 AM

How long can they continue to break the law . They don`t even try to hide anymore. Everyday is a new episode of the Twighlight Zone. WTH?

LSUMama on December 3, 2009 at 9:39 AM

Super! Hopefully something will come of this. It’s stunning how little actual “change” this administration has done, seeing as how that was the cornerstone of their campaign. I mean, most of us already knew the odds of anything changing where lobbyists and special interests were concerned were pretty slim, that’s the way it works on the Hill. But come on, we didn’t think it would be blatantly WORSE than previous administrations.

scalleywag on December 3, 2009 at 9:40 AM

Add subject______________________

The time is now! (raising finger) No longer can we wait. (furrowed brow and chin tilt) We can no longer continue as we have in the past!

For the last few years (add subject) ___________________
(more brow furrowing and chin jutting) has been kicked down the road. (pointing to the crowd) Deferring the tough decisions for a later time. Failing to make the tough choices that this issue requires. (raising chin in the air) But that just won’t do. (pointing at lectern) Not here and not now. We no longer have the luxury of time.

Rinse/Repeat

Easiest job in Washington now days is being a Presidential speech writer. His speeches are recycled ad infinitum. Must be part of the Green jobs initiative sans Mr. Jones.

R Square on December 3, 2009 at 9:40 AM

Ed,

You make the mistake of assuming that the current administration actually cares about the law, or the Constitution. It is intuitively obvious to the most casual observer that the Obama administration considers itself, and anyone else it finds useful, as above the law.

It has been a year since his election, and a month shy of his taking office, and to these poor eyes, it seems like he and his cronies have already amassed sufficient charges to warrant impeachment.

AW1 Tim on December 3, 2009 at 9:42 AM

Job summit at the White House eh? No one invited but cronies and union thugs?
The Republicans need to set up a shadow ” job summit” and invite small business owners, Chamber of Commerce, and other job creators to contrast this dem sham.
But noooo, they’d never think of that.
The Republicans are as lame as the dems, only in a different way.

donh525 on December 3, 2009 at 9:44 AM

The Republicans are as lame as the dems, only in a different way.

donh525 on December 3, 2009 at 9:44 AM

That’s an excellent idea. And while they’re at it maybe they could get the governors of all the states who got stimulus money to start spending it on jobs instead of putting a freeze on hiring like Virginia did.

scalleywag on December 3, 2009 at 9:47 AM

AW1 Tim on December 3, 2009 at 9:42 AM

I’m a huge fan of Gen. Sherman and not opposed to scorch earth in the slightest. Having said that, I think trotting out the impeachment cudgel is approach. A far better approach is to hold this leftist stooge in the air and remind people that elections have consequences. Sometimes dire consequences. And for this reason alone we need to become politically active at the grass roots level and spend our time and treasure to counter these Euro trash socialists.

R Square on December 3, 2009 at 9:50 AM

donh525 on December 3, 2009 at 9:44 AM

Isn’t that what Newt is doing?

R Square on December 3, 2009 at 9:51 AM

If this gets reported anywhere it will be on the non-news station (FOX).

scalleywag on December 3, 2009 at 9:53 AM

Leadership like this is the biggest reason people stretch every law they can. No consequences for their actions. Whether it be pushing the speed limit, driving impared, taking a deduction you don’t really deserve, smoking dope.

PappaMac on December 3, 2009 at 9:59 AM

Isn’t that what Newt is doing?

R Square on December 3, 2009 at 9:51 AM

Newt, Newt? Oh yeah, that marginalized ex speaker.

Seriously though, It needs to be done at the same time as the dems, hence a contrast. Some elected Republicans need to be involved as well, but forget that, they can’t even get the bunker door open.

donh525 on December 3, 2009 at 10:01 AM

start spending it on jobs instead of putting a freeze on hiring like Virginia did.

scalleywag on December 3, 2009 at 9:47 AM

This make work approach is a disaster! It is insane to spend taxpayers money in this way. You want sustained economic growth? Slash taxes, slash red tape and encourage organic economic development.

Govts are terrible allocators of capital and resources.
We have $107 TRILLION in unfunded govt obligations (approaching 2 times global GDP)

Jim Bianco of Bianco Research crunched the inflation adjusted numbers. The bailout has cost more than all of these big budget government expenditures – combined: Keep in mind, these are inflation adjusted dollars!
• Marshall Plan: Cost: $12.7 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $115.3 billion
• Louisiana Purchase: Cost: $15 million, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $217 billion
• Race to the Moon: Cost: $36.4 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $237 billion
• S&L Crisis: Cost: $153 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $256 billion
• Korean War: Cost: $54 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $454 billion
• The New Deal: Cost: $32 billion (Est), Inflation Adjusted Cost: $500 billion (Est)
• Invasion of Iraq: Cost: $551b, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $597 billion
• Vietnam War: Cost: $111 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $698 billion
• NASA: Cost: $416.7 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $851.2 billion
______________________
TOTAL: $3.92 trillion

Bloomberg’s revised estimates are that this whole bailout/stimulus spending will cost somewhere between $6-7 trillion dollars! Staggering sums.

When you add in nearly a $1 trillion dollars of unfunded private and public pensions.

This is insane and unsustainable. And yet Cap and Tax, Health Care…and the list goes on and on.

You cannot be serious about asking the govtto spend more on make work programs.

R Square on December 3, 2009 at 10:02 AM

donh525 on December 3, 2009 at 10:01 AM

I agree with your assessment of Newt. Too bad, I liked him but at some point he lost his conservative soul and either went over to the dark side or I’ve moved way far to the right on these fiscal and monetary policy issues. So it is either him, me or some combination of the two b/c I don’t see him in the same Reagan-esque light that he once shone.

R Square on December 3, 2009 at 10:06 AM

Doesn’t the Health Care Reform bill require home health care providers to join SEIU?

Pay off!

Dhuka on December 3, 2009 at 10:10 AM

This is insane and unsustainable. And yet Cap and Tax, Health Care…and the list goes on and on.

You cannot be serious about asking the govtto spend more on make work programs.

R Square on December 3, 2009 at 10:02 AM

All the remaining stimulus money should be returned to the treasury, including money the states are sitting on.

The aim of the stimulus as is, was to spend a little now for “whatever”, and save the rest for the democrats election campaign in 2010. The latter being the main reason for the so called ” stimulus”.

donh525 on December 3, 2009 at 10:11 AM

How about;
By this letter, we urge demand you to comply with existing laws and investigate the activities of Ms. Anna Burger”?

oldleprechaun on December 3, 2009 at 8:55 AM

+1000

This should not be worded as a polite request, but as a demand for an investigation into potentially illegal activities.

UltimateBob on December 3, 2009 at 10:13 AM

This should not be worded as a polite request, but as a demand for an investigation into potentially illegal activities.

UltimateBob on December 3, 2009 at 10:13 AM

White House response: STONEWALL!!

donh525 on December 3, 2009 at 10:15 AM

Ed, you silly boy! “Rules” are for Republicans, not for Democrats. Same as taxes.

Anyone seen the US Attorney General?

GarandFan on December 3, 2009 at 10:28 AM

You cannot be serious about asking the govtto spend more on make work programs.

R Square on December 3, 2009 at 10:02 AM

No, I’m saying, for example that before Virginia got stimulus money my organization had about 100 openings posted online. After we got stimulus money hiring was frozen. The jobs were already there, and as soon as the freeze is lifted we’ll start filling them.

scalleywag on December 3, 2009 at 10:31 AM

All we can expect from the Obama administration is another ‘We won’.

docdave on December 3, 2009 at 10:44 AM

BO: “let me be clear, I was not lobbied by that woman”.

jbh45 on December 3, 2009 at 10:52 AM

I’m startin to get pissed! Better calm down and do some relaxation therapy.
Aim, steady, breath out, steady, squeeze slowly, follow through!
Bullseye, there I feel better now!
dhunter on December 3, 2009 at 9:22 AM

dhunter on December 3, 2009 at 9:32 AM

Ahh,yes. Nothing like aroma therapy. The smell of discharged firearms.

And forget about mudpacks. Just a touch of camo paint will put one in fine fettle.

And music? The sound of full auto in the crisp autumn air.
mmm-mmm-mmm

And meditation! Yes. Thank you, dhunter. I feel much better now just having thought upon these things.

davidk on December 3, 2009 at 11:15 AM

Do as I say, not as I do! -Barack Hussein Obama (44th President of the United States Inauguration Jan 20, 2009)

SilverStar830 on December 3, 2009 at 11:49 AM

I think an investigation is warranted as to why Andy Stern and Anna Burger de-registered as lobbyists in the first place. This does not pass the smell test. The only reason you de-register is if your organizations stops all lobbying of the government or you get fired. It’s obvious that SEIU has not stopped lobbying the government. So somebody decided that there was something to be gained by Stern and Burger de-registering.

I am guessing they de-registered so they could personally contribute to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign and raise money for him. Obama made a big show out of not accepting campaign contributions from registered lobbyists or having lobbyists as bundlers.

It’s a clever ruse. Worth investigating how many other Democratic lobbyists de-registered before or during the 2008 campaign and then gave money to Obama.

rockmom on December 3, 2009 at 2:37 PM