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Blagojevich Pick Tied To Unions And Mafia

From a five year old “Union Corruption Update” by the National Legal and Policy Center:

Mob-Infested Chicago Local Suggests Ex-AG as Temporary Supervisor

February 3, 2003

Reeling from the expulsion of three organized crime members from its hierarchy, the new president of a Chicago Laborers union has asked that a frmr. state attny. general be appointed to oversee the union. But with Roland Burris having been a character witness for a Teamster expelled from office for associating with organized crime, it remains an open question whether Burris will be approved.

Last January, the "in-house judge" of the Laborers’ Intl. Union of N. Amer. permanently barred three relatives from holding office in Local 1001. Based on the testimony of law enforcement officials, frmr. mob associates, and informants under witness protection, Peter F. Vaira concluded that Bruno Caruso, his brother, Frank "Toots", and their first cousin, Leo, had been associates of the mafia, known in Chicago as the "Outfit," for more than 40 years.

LIUNA officials in Wash. D.C. are still accusing Local 1001 of corruption and other connections to the "Outfit" — a charge that, according to a news release, Local 1001 officials "stridently refute." But on Jan. 17, Local bosses met with an unnamed "national union official" and "agreed to enter into a voluntary supervision agreement  if Burris is appointed to that role."

This is not Burris’s first involvement with allegedly corrupt unions. While serving as attny. gen. in 1994, Burris was a character witness for Robert T. Simpson Jr., frmr. pres. of Intl. Bhd. of Teamsters (IBT) Local 743. In spite of that testimony, the fed. Independent Rev. Bd. (IRB) ruled that Simpson had allowed Donald Peters to continue his influence of the Chicago local after Peters had agreed to have nothing to do with the union. Peters was named as a defendant in the 1988 fed. racketeering lawsuit against the IBT.

Peters agreed to resign from all offices held in the IBT. But the IRB, created to oversee the entire union as part of the settlement of the lawsuit, ruled in ‘94 that Peters — with Simpson’s help — maintained an office at Local 743, attended Local meetings, and was paid by the Local for consulting and traveling expenses. In 1996, Fed. Judge David N. Edelstein (U.S.D.C. S.D.NY, Truman), upheld the IRB’s decision against Simpson’s appeal.

Apart from Burris’s willingness to testify to the "character" of a corrupt Teamster boss, LIUNA’s "in-house prosecutor," Robert Luskin, questioned whether Burris had enough background in unions to to know where to look for evidence of corruption, such as embezzled pensions, or kickback deals with contractors. Luskin also said "many more [Local 1001 members] will be disciplined," based on evidence already gathered.

[Local 1001 News Release, 1/18/03: Chicago Tribune, 1/18/03: U.S. v. IBT 931 F. Supp. 1074; 1996 U.S. Dist.]

Shocking, is it not?

Of course this will only give the Senate Democrats another obstacle to not seating him.

(Thanks to CGardner for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Wednesday, December 31st, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

7 Responses to “Blagojevich Pick Tied To Unions And Mafia”

  1. Liberals Demise

    OMG…….is there anyone not connected? Seeing that only a African w/ dark skin can be seated (I know a few white Africans) what is the process now? Is this NOT reverse discrimination? Is there a (god forbid) lawsuit waiting in the wings? Where o’ Where is the ACLU hiding? If white people said what the Black CaCas’ said, there’d be cities on fire!!
    Why is that they get a free by on this? Because they are black? I’m getting awful sick of their oneway hate / black rheteric.

  2. proreason

    What a dilemna for the MSM!!

    They must be pretzels trying to decide whether and how to attack a such a fine example of the superior race.

    Where is the post-racial nobility that was so confidently predicted?

    Somehow, it must be Bush’s fault. Or maybe Palin’s or Joe the Plumber’s fault.

  3. heather08

    Obama is friends with mob associates, too. Look up Alexi Giannoulis, who Obe endorsed for state treasurer.

  4. Helena

    If any of this would penetrate the thick skulls of lefties and they would begin to get even the faintest glimmer of what a bunch of lying, conniving, money-grubbing lowlifes their “noble” leaders really are, what a wonderful world this could be. But they still support anyone who spouts that tired old “I’m for the little guy” crap – no matter how much they steal. Lefties just don’t want to hear it, even though it’s their own money that being stolen.

    • proreason

      Helena, I’m with you, but I think you have an underlying assumption that is incorrect. You think lefties want good, or at least honest, leaders.

      But look at the leftie coalition…..unions, lawyers, minorities looking for hand-outs, abortionists, anti-religion zealots, homosexuals, druggies, college professors, teachers, government workers, intellectuals, convicts.

      A high percentage of individuals on the left engage in some sort of crime, or at least undemocratic coercion or suppression of liberty that borders on crime, themselves. So they see nothing wrong with leaders who mimic their own behaviour on a grander scale. Why else do you think they consistently re-elect proven criminals to office?

      If it were possible to do an analysis of the crime/misdemor rate among liberals vs conservatives, the contrast would be startling, and the % on the left would be in the neighborhood of 50%, maybe higher. And the % who aren’t clearly criminal are almost all engaged in efforts to force people against their will to do what the lefties want.

  5. Al Morone

    Burris: “If you don’t accept me, you’re racist!”
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28447055/

  6. joeblough

    I’m shocked! Shocked, I tell you.


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