By this letter, we urge you to investigate the activities of Mr. Andy Stern, President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), regarding meetings and other lobbying contacts with administration, White House and Congress during 2009. Specifically, it is important to determine whether those and related activities could constitute unregistered “lobbying” by Mr. Stern in violation of the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA), 2 U.S.C. 1601, et seq. In fact, Mr. Stern was a registered lobbyist for SEIU until January of 2007 when he terminated his registration. For the reasons discussed below it appears that Mr. Stern continued to lobby extensively after he terminated his registered status, and in 2009 devoted so much time on lobbying and related activities that he should have re-registered as a lobbyist under LDA.Now, it's no surprise that Andy was going to be a frequent visitor to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, considering the amount of our union dues that were (IMHO unnecessarily) contributed toward getting The One elected.
Failure to file accurate reports or to register under LDA is a violation of the Act, which provides for civil penalties of up to $200,000 and criminal penalties of up to 5 years in prison. Reports must be filed electronically with the Clerk of the House and Secretary of the Senate. Responsibility for enforcement of the Act rests with the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, under 2 U.S.C. 1605. In addition, the Government Accountability Office is required under the LDA to conduct random audits of filers. It does not appear that there has been an audit of the SEIU reports.
Therefore, we urge you to immediately investigate Mr. Stern’s activities, detailed below, to assess whether a violation of the LDA has occurred and if so, what appropriate enforcement actions should be taken.
However, the law is (at least theoretically) the law, and should apply equally to all citizens no matter their rank or station in life.
With that said, I'm sure that each and every one of Stern's visits to Casa Obama and Capitol Hill were perfectly social in nature, and had no illegal lobbying activity conducted whatsoever. And I'm also sure that Andy will be able to produce oodles of witnesses who would claim just that.
Whether the average reader of this blog agrees with the goals of AWF or ATR or not, I think it appropriate to let everyone know that our dues money is now going to start getting used for a legal defense for Andy Stern because he was either too G-D lazy, or too G-D arrogant, to properly register himself as a lobbyist prior to pestering everyone who would listen about Health Care Reform.