Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Udall Undercuts Enforcement of White-Collar Crime

Boulder liberal Mark Udall has cast his lot with the Democrat caucus and corrupt union leaders at the expense of law enforcement and defrauded workers. Udall voted to defeat an attempt that would have spared the modest budget of the Office of Labor Management Standards (OLMS) from draconian cuts.

So, apparently, OLMS was a highly ineffective and wasteful branch of government, right? The Democrats just wanted a leaner and more efficient operation, right? Wrong on both counts. As John Fund noted in yesterday's Opinion Journal:

In the past six years, the Office of Labor Management Standards, or OLMS, has helped secure the convictions of 775 corrupt union officials and court-ordered restitution to union members of over $70 million in dues.

And some other recent successes of OLMS highlighted by Fund:

Just last week Willie Haynes, a member of the Saginaw, Mich., City Council who also served as a United Auto Workers financial secretary, pleaded guilty to falsifying his union local's reports. In May, Chuck Crawley, a former Teamster's local president in Houston, was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison for stuffing a ballot box so he could be elected president of his union local and embezzling dues money.

It wasn't as though overall cash for the Labor Department is strapped, and that Congress was forced to make a tough decision. Rather, OLMS was the only office with its budget adversely affected, as the whole Department anticipates a $935 million boost in total appropriations. The problem for Congressional Democrats and many of their political backers was that OLMS worked too well.

Some white collar criminals who happen to live illicitly off the hard-earned money of various workers are breathing a little easier tonight. Thanks to Mark Udall and his Democrat colleagues, they're less likely to be caught and prosecuted.

If the Republicans were in charge and the budget for enforcement of corporate white-collar crime had been slashed, your ears would have bled with the piercing howl of righteous liberal outrage. And they would have a very strong case. But now, it's their silence that's deafening.

Cross posted at Mount Virtus

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