Human Events Blog

Fun and Games At the NLRB

The public-interest watchdogs at Judicial Watch have been slinging Freedom of Information Act requests at the National Labor Relations Board, and uncovered some very interesting correspondence that illuminates the mindset of the NLRB during their union-pleasing action against Boeing in South Carolina.

It turns out the masters of the command economy are every bit as crass, inept, and partisan as you might have suspected.  A press release from Judicial Watch today includes these highlights:

On April 22, 2011, Acting NLRB General Counsel Lafe Solomon sent an email to Wilma Liebman, outgoing Chairwoman of the NLRB, “The article gave me a new idea.  You go to geneva [Switzerland] and I get a job with airbus [French company].  We screwed up the us economy and now we can tackle europe.” Solomon’s comment was in response to an article published in French on the European Planet Labor website noting the devastating potential economic impact on South Carolina if the plant were to be scuttled:  “Two billion dollars were invested in Charleston, 1,000 employees were recruited, and the site was supposed to open in July… until the NLRB meddled in.”

On April 22, 2011, NLRB attorney Debra Willen received an email, in which Republican Sen. James DeMint of South Carolina is ridiculed as “Sen. Dement.”

On May 12, 2011, NLRB Deputy Assistant General Counsel Joseph Baniszewski emailed a political cartoon to Deputy Assistant General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo mocking the state of South Carolina with regard to Boeing Corporation’s decision to locate its manufacturing facility in that state.

On April 28, 2011, Miriam Szapiro sent an email to NLRB attorney Debra Willen commenting on an article in the Economist expressing some support for the Boeing lawsuit:  “Exactly; it just shows you how incredibly reactionary the US is, that the conservative Economist thinks we’re Neanderthal.”

On April 20, 2011, Mara-Louise Anzalone, counsel for Acting NLRB General Counsel Lafe Solomon, took exception to U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) statement, “As Senator, I will do everything in my power, including introducing legislation cutting off funding for this wide goose chase, to stop the NLRB’s frivolous complaint [against Boeing].” In an email to NLRB regional attorney Anne Pomerantz, Anzalone writes, “Awesome. Sounds like they’re just going to furlough you and me.”

(Emphases mine.)  Well, at least they’re having fun over at the Obama Administration while they’re busy destroying non-union jobs.

In his notes, NLRB General Counsel Lafe Solomon describes Senator Lindsey Graham as “more reasonable than his Senate counterpart,” Senator DeMint.  Or, as he’s apparently known around the NLRB offices, “Senator Dement.”  This is not a contest Lindsey Graham should feel good about winning.

Here are some classics from the previous round of Judicial Watch FOIA requests in early October:

A May 5, 2011, email from Barry Kearney, Associate General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board, to colleagues at NLRB concerning a press release issued by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) attacking Boeing: “Hooray for the red, white and blue.” NLRB attorney Miriam Szapiro responded shortly thereafter, “Good. I like this part [at last they can put it to some good use]: “the NLRB’s long-term professional Regional Staff, National Office of Advice and General Counsel reviewed this case for a year.…” [emphasis in original]

A July 12, 2011, email from NLRB Regional Director Richard Ahearn to NLRB hearing officer Peter Finch, responding to an article in The Hill newspaper about a request from Rep. Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, seeking documents related to the NLRB Boeing lawsuit: “We will politely decline.” (Mr. Ahearn signed the NRLB complaint against Boeing.)

A May 5, 2011, email from NLRB attorney Miriam Szapiro warning an unknown recipient (name blacked out) about reading a Wall Street Journal article supporting Boeing and criticizing compulsory unionism: “don’t look at yesterday’s WSJ; you’ll puke.”

In response to an April 29, 2011, Wall Street Journal article, calling on President Obama to explain the NLRB lawsuit against Boeing, NLRB attorney Jayme Sophir issues a one word email response on May 2, 2011, to NLRB attorney Debra Willen, Division of Advice: “Ugh.”

Look, I’m not going to sit here in judgment and claim that I’ve never puked after reading the Wall Street Journal.  Still, I’m starting to get the impression that the Obama Administration is not staffed with disciplined professionals who understand the economy better than any private-sector businessman, as the media has led me to believe.


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