Ethics of Obama’s New Labor Chief Questioned


By: Warner Todd Huston

Recently, we wondered aloud how anyone could expect a Secretary of Labor that has had a long history of being a member of various Big Labor groups can be expected to administer an agency that is supposed to deal equally and evenly with both labor and business? How could we not expect Obama’s choice for Sec. of Labor, Hilda Solis, to be a shill for Big Labor since she has been one her whole adult life? And not just a shill for Big Labor, but an actual employee of Big Labor.

At any rate, the business community must realize that their new Washington boss is their enemy. It simply can’t be any other way given her ideology and history.

But, if we are lucky we may just see the appointment of this hardcore union shill go down in flames. Apparently, Solis has been caught hiding on official filings with the House her complex and integral activities as a lobbyist at the same time she was in the House of Representatives, a violation of House ethics rules.

First of all, as Byron York of that National Review reports, Solis refused to answer all sorts of seemingly noncontroversial questions that were put to her during her confirmation hearing.

Solis had a rough hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee when she declined to answer all sorts of seemingly noncontroversial questions about her positions on basic labor issues. (Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus wrote a frustrated account of the hearing, asking, “How can senators consent if they have no clue what policies they might be consenting to?”)…

Senators are not pleased when their questions are ignored. But, even the snotty attitude exhibited by Solis is not the worst she has to offer, it seems. There is a reason she doesn’t want to answer their questions because now questions are being asked about her unethical lobbying activities. And they aren’t just run-of-the-mill lobbying activities, either. They are activities that directly relate to her possible work as Sec. of Labor.

It is coming to light that Solis has tried to quietly amend some filed paperwork about her lobbying that admits she was basically lying to Congress before the alterations. The Weekly Standard has this story.

A seemingly innocuous letter sent to the Clerk of the House of Representatives last Thursday by President Obama’s Secretary of Labor nominee Hilda Solis raises serious and troubling legal questions about her nomination and apparent violation of House ethics rules. Not only was she involved with a private organization that was lobbying her fellow legislators on a bill that she has cosponsored, but she apparently kept her involvement secret and failed to reveal a clear conflict of interest.

The WS has the details of this close lobbying work on the very bill that Solis, as Sec. of Labor, would be asked to fairly apply to business and Big Labor alike. It turns out that Solis was not only a member of the House of Reps trying to push through the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) but she was at the same time a board member of the labor organizations that this act would benefit. This is a clear violation of House ethics.

Let’s hope that this gross ethics violation will kill this highly biased appointee from being approved. Her appointment to the Sec. of Labor will doom the entire business community in this country. The fact that she is not above violating ethics as a mere member of the House of Reps does not speak well to her possible tenure as chief of labor.

One also wonders if the Old Media establishment will give this messy much play?

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