Did former Labor Secretary Solis hide in-kind union contributions?

posted at 3:21 pm on February 11, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Hilda Solis left the Obama administration in January 2013 after serving the entire term as Secretary of Labor, and is now running for a seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. However, the new race has brought some unwanted attention to her recent past. According to allegations in a new RICO lawsuit filed against the leader of the International Union of Operating Engineers and several family members and friends, the union provided Solis free travel on their private jet — and Solis never disclosed the in-kind contributions (via Drudge):

Hews Media Group-Community News has obtained a lawsuit filed in the California Central US District Court claiming that former US Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, a current candidate for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, was provided thousands of dollars worth of free private jet travel without declaring the trips on the federal government required forms, paid for by the powerful International Union of Operating Engineers based in Pasadena during the same period she was undergoing confirmation hearings to become part of President Barack Obama’s Cabinet. …

Sources close to the case tell HMG-CN that Solis was given transportation on IUOE Local 12′s Cessna Citation XL Jet and that Solis failed to report the in-kind gift to the Federal Election Commission as required under law.

Los Cerritos News reporter Randy Economy digs into the records of the House, where Solis served until her confirmation at Labor as Representative for CA-32 in East Los Angeles. Lo and behold, there are no disclosures there either of the alleged free rides from IUOE, despite statutory requirements to provide that information:

According to the Office of the Clerk U.S. House of Representatives website, no Financial Disclosure Reports have been filed by Solis.

A further examination of Gift and Travel findings on the same website revealed 11 trips taken by Solis, none provided by the IUOE.

The aircraft in question is a Cessna Citation XL, a medium-sized commuter jet, which has a range of over 1800 nautical miles. Most of the flights, though, took place locally — between the airport in El Monte and Ontario in Riverside County. The flights would have cost thousands of dollars, and the lawsuit alleges that the union provided the flights so “she could avoid freeway traffic.” The plaintiffs further claim as part of the RICO lawsuit (which does not name Solis as a respondent) that the IUOE illegally influenced the 2008 Congressional campaign in which Solis won re-election. (The district has a Cook rating of D+12.)

Recently, Barack Obama claimed that there hasn’t been “a smidgen” of corruption in his administration, a claim which this lawsuit will test — and perhaps an investigation of Solis’ disclosure habits, too, if one begins.  Michael Ramirez offers his response to Obama in today’s editorial cartoon at Investors Business Daily:

ramirez-smidgen

Be sure to check out Ramirez’ terrific collection of his works: Everyone Has the Right to My Opinion, which covers the entire breadth of Ramirez’ career, and it gives fascinating look at political history.  Read my review here, and watch my interviews with Ramirez here and here.  And don’t forget to check out the entire Investors.com site, which has now incorporated all of the former IBD Editorials, while individual investors still exist.

Addendum: For full disclosure, let me note that Randy Economy and I were friends back when we both attended Cerritos High School. Randy is still in the area serving the local community with his reporting, while I’m waking up to -17 temperatures in Minnesota.


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Racists!!

Deano1952 on February 11, 2014 at 3:23 PM

Wait. A labor union has a private jet?

Really?

knewshound on February 11, 2014 at 3:24 PM

I am getting so cynical. SO what if she did. It isn’t like this administration is going to get called on anything. Heck, we still have Holder, and no has been held accountable for Benghazi or the IRS scandal.

The GOP lets Obama govern and law make by executive order, and they act like shriveling cowards.

melle1228 on February 11, 2014 at 3:25 PM

As usual nothing will become of this.She will win her seat on the LA County BOS and have an inside track to the Ca. Governor’s chair in 2018.

jeffinsjvca on February 11, 2014 at 3:27 PM

And file this under the obligatory..

“What difference does it make?”

or

“most transparent administration, ever”

HumpBot Salvation on February 11, 2014 at 3:28 PM

On the Obamafarm, all animals are equal. But some are MORE equal.

ConstantineXI on February 11, 2014 at 3:29 PM

here are no disclosures there either of the alleged free rides from IUOE, despite statutory requirements to provide that information:

STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS? King-O-Bama laughs at those.
Retroactively rescinded for this case (and any like it).

Marcola on February 11, 2014 at 3:36 PM

But she’s a Democrat. The laws don’t apply to Democrats.

rbj on February 11, 2014 at 3:36 PM

So she gets more scrutiny in an LA County race than she got as a department head under Premier Obama?

forest on February 11, 2014 at 3:38 PM

Another government parasite…

PatriotRider on February 11, 2014 at 3:39 PM

No biggie, she’s just exercising her white privilege and BOOOSSSH did something back in 2006.

HumpBot Salvation on February 11, 2014 at 3:40 PM

THAT was Bush’s problem! He appointed turncoats instead of criminals!

Lanceman on February 11, 2014 at 3:45 PM

The flights would have cost thousands of dollars, and the lawsuit alleges that the union provided the flights so “she could avoid freeway traffic.”

God forbid that any of our rulers should have to put up with what we plebs experience!
Unlike us, they have important business to do.

Tzetzes on February 11, 2014 at 3:46 PM

Libfree is doing to demand full accountability of Dubya to make sure this sort of thing never happens again.

Bishop on February 11, 2014 at 3:48 PM

Does a bear shiite in the woods? Is this entire administration a criminal enterprise? Dog bites man?

NotCoach on February 11, 2014 at 3:49 PM

Is this entire administration a criminal enterprise?

NotCoach on February 11, 2014 at 3:49 PM

If just one republican anywhere commits a crime for every 20 democrats, YOU have no room to talk! /

Shoe tapper!

Lanceman on February 11, 2014 at 3:52 PM

It’s no use shedding light on stuff like this. Low-fo’s only care when conservatives and Tea Party types do it. When Ds or statists do it, low-fo’s might as well be listening to the hum of the refrigerator. Ironically, they also care when RINOs, who rely on them as much as Ds and other statists do, do it.

brentspolemics on February 11, 2014 at 3:53 PM

Did the kenyan eat dog?

acyl72 on February 11, 2014 at 4:00 PM

Obviously Mr Economy didn’t go to J-school.

It’s not a scandal as long as those involved are Democrats.

JEM on February 11, 2014 at 4:18 PM

More corruption. What else is new.

crankyoldlady on February 11, 2014 at 4:58 PM

How dare any of us question this proud daughter of the Revolución Socialista Del Trabajo.

Only white conservative male politicians who are undoubtedly ancestors of Gen Winfield Scott, along with their spouses should be tried and convicted for these “gift(s)”.

Her “gift(s)” were rightly deserved and need not be accounted for considering her ideological vision is more just than anyone progs disagree with elses.

StubbornGreenBurros on February 11, 2014 at 5:00 PM

The most open and transparent Administration ever?

This Administration is more Nixonian than Nixon’s and more corrupt than Grant’s or Harding’s…

Athos on February 11, 2014 at 5:06 PM

Unions and private jets … that says it all. Throw in an Obungler crony, and you’ve got the leftist trifecta

Whitey Ford on February 11, 2014 at 5:11 PM

Is she a democrat?
Is she a progressive?
Was she in the Obama Regime?

Then she is a corrupt as a politician can be and the answer is ye. not that it will make a difference.

jukin3 on February 11, 2014 at 5:18 PM

Business men can no longer use private jets because they are now reserved for the union bosses and Obama’s cabinet.

Grunt on February 11, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Whaddya bet she feigns ignorance of the law… after all, it worked for Geithner and others in this administration.

Of course, should you or I screw up like this, and we’d be facing countless IRS audits.

Hill60 on February 11, 2014 at 5:57 PM

Gotta nitpick…

Barack Obama claimed that there hasn’t been “a smidgen” of corruption in his administration

Don’t think that’s true. I think that phrase was specifically in reference to the IRS targeting scandal, not “his administration” in general. Fox’s transcript:

O’REILLY: Bone-headed decisions…

OBAMA: — out of — out of a local office…

O’REILLY: But no mass corruption?

OBAMA: Not even mass corruption, not even a smidgeon of corruption, I would say.

(A Google search shows other several sites making the same mistake by adding “in his administration”.)

Not that this excuses anything. In fact, it appears to me that Ramirez ran out of room (Gerald Walpin? NEA promoting pro-Obama propaganda? I’m sure there are plenty of others).

ajb3 on February 11, 2014 at 6:24 PM

Hey, maybe they’ll sic Daryl Issa on her. Boy, she’ll be sorry then, for sure. Boy oh boy oh boy…
/s

bofh on February 11, 2014 at 8:15 PM

Wait. A labor union has a private jet?

Really?

That was my first thought! CEO’s use corporate jets bring out the pitchforks. Labor Union leaders use private jets heroes of the working man. Go figure?

hunthjof on February 12, 2014 at 6:52 AM

The IUOE is a Union of backhoe, bulldozer, crane operators and associated trades. Their Union no doubt needs a Cessna Citation, a “hated corporate jet,” in order to follow all those corporate elites around the nation…Solis is no doubt corrupt. She took Union money, Union favors and paid them back 100-fold! Just as Sebelius, when Governor of Kansas, took big money from the Abortion mills. “Killer Tiller” was one of her big donors, providing over $25,000 dollars to her, for which she fessed-up to only $12,000. The 0bama regime is a criminal organization and should be declared such. Made of of LIARS, TAX CHEATS self-admitted War Criminals and Union Stooges. Why would we expect anything less?

ArmyAviator on February 12, 2014 at 12:45 PM