I am quoted briefly this morning by Dan Bice in an article about certain illegal campaign contributions made with treasury dollars of the firefighters union. I'd like to revise and extend my renarks.
I have nothing against the union. In fact, it has a soft spot in my heart. My stepdad was a member and I grew up with an IAFF sticker on the family car. There is no question that what happened was illegal. A corporation or a union can't reimburse employees or board members for campaign contributions that it could not make. I have advised clients whose employees have asked for such reimbursement. The answer is no.
The union seems to be claiming that it did not know it was doing that. It says that the board members submitted fraudulent expense reports. Yet the board members are still on the board. Why the union thinks that's a good idea is beyond me. You would think that it would want to distance itself as far as possible from these people who, if the story is as reported, may have committed several crimes.
There seem to be some real questions - raised by a number of union members - as to the extent of the union's knowledge and the extent of the practice. I'm sure that there is internal politics involved, but this was bad business.