Return to normalcy? Biden waives ethics rules for union lobbyists

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Some of you are probably old enough to remember when the Democrats were making demands about getting “dark money” out of politics and closing the “revolving door” of lobbyists going in and out of plush government jobs. That was way back during (checks notes) the 2020 election. Sadly, how people campaign and how they govern are not always the same. One ethics rule regarding keeping lobbyists on the outside for a set period of time has already been taking a beating under the Biden White House and it may come as no surprise to learn that it’s being done at the behest of the labor unions. One official that Joe Biden tapped for a senior position at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) shouldn’t have been able to function in that job due to her prior work as a lobbyist for one of the largest government employee unions in the country. Alethea Predeoux’s job as a lobbyist should have barred her from communicating with her old clients at the American Federation of Government Employees, but she was granted a waiver doing away with that pesky ethics requirement. (Fox News)

The Biden administration has come under scrutiny from Republicans on Capitol Hill following its decision to circumvent federal ethics rules and staff former union officials in senior posts.

Beginning as early as March, the White House waived certain rules for former labor union personnel slotted to fill Biden’s transition teams and government vacancies, who would have otherwise been prevented from communicating with their old unions.

Senior official in the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), Alethea Predeoux, was granted a waiver to allow her to facilitate communication between the government agency and the American Federation of Government Employees – a union representing 700,000 federal workers for whom she was formally a top lobbyist, Axios first reported.

Predeoux wasn’t the only union mole to benefit from Biden’s generosity. Celeste Drake was tapped by Biden to lead the Made In America Office. But her last two jobs were working for the Director’s Guild of America and the AFL-CIO, among the biggest labor unions in the country. That turned out to be no problem either. The White House gave Drake a waiver also.

Both the OPM and the OMB (under which the Made in America Office resides) are supposed to be nonpartisan entities. Of course, Joe Biden has a lot of campaign promises to keep and many debts to repay, particularly in terms of all the money that labor unions flushed into Biden’s campaign and those of other Democrats around the country. Biden made his position clear on the day he was sworn in, taking the unprecedented step of firing Trump appointees from the National Labor Relations Board, which is also allegedly supposed to be a nonpartisan group. And we already learned that Randi Weingarten and the American Federation of Teachers are issuing guidance on medical science to the CDC.

Now he’s followed that up by supplying a waiver to an obvious union lackey at the Office of Personnel Management. When it comes to the unions representing government workers, I wonder which side Alethea Predeoux will be coming down on? She’ll be receiving her marching orders with no issues now since her waiver allows her to directly communicate with her old bosses at the American Federation of Government Employees.

The OMB’s Made in America Office is responsible for pushing the federal government to buy more products and services from American vendors and to review any requests for waivers asking to make overseas purchases. That sounds great for American workers in general, but if it comes down to a choice between a provider running a union shop or one in a right-to-work state, which way do you think Celeste Drake’s coin toss will go?

I was tempted to say that the swamp is back in full force, but it never really went away. Parts of it were forced to take a nap during the Trump years, but now the federal government is open for union business again and they’re not even trying to hide it. It’s the “new normal” indeed, sports fans.