- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 3, 2001

Don't expect Thursday's untimely arraignment of former Teamster boss Ron Carey in federal court on multiple felony counts to cast a pall on today's election of Terry McAuliffe as chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Since both men have been among former President Clinton's most ardent supporters and financial benefactors, they long ago lost any sense of shame.

Indeed, before Mr. Carey was expelled for life from the Teamsters for corruption, he funneled millions of dollars to the Democratic Party and its candidates from the union's general treasury and its political action committee. As it happens, at the DNC, Mr. McAuliffe who, by his own admission, has cumulatively raised hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars for the party, Mr. Clinton's 1996 re-election campaign, Mr. Clinton's legal defense fund, his presidential library project and Hillary Rodham Clinton's New York senatorial race received credit for some of the most questionable perhaps illegal Teamster donations. Moreover, during a 1999 trial that resulted in the conviction of former Teamster political director William Hamilton on charges of fraud, conspiracy, embezzlement and perjury, testimony from former DNC finance director Richard Sullivan implicated Mr. McAuliffe in a convoluted money-laundering scheme involving Teamster treasury funds that eventually found their way into Mr. Carey's re-election campaign.

Implicated in another Carey-related Teamster election scandal are three of organized labor's most powerful bosses: AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Richard Trumka, who inexplicably retains his No. 2 position at the labor federation despite AFL-CIO rules that require Fifth Amendment-asserting bosses to step down; American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees President Gerald McEntee, who has been the architect of the AFL-CIO's last three multimillion-dollar congressional election campaigns on behalf of the Democratic Party; and Andrew Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, which John Sweeney built into a powerhouse before Messrs. Carey and McEntee helped to elect him AFL-CIO president.

For his part, Mr. Carey has been indicted by a federal grand jury on seven charges of perjury and making false statements in a four-year investigation into illegal fund-raising during his 1996 re-election campaign. In addition to Hamilton's conviction last year, three top campaign aides during Mr. Carey's 1996 re-election effort have pleaded guilty to numerous felonies related to schemes to divert Teamster treasury funds into Mr. Carey's campaign. The grand jury has charged Mr. Carey with lying to a federal watchdog group assigned to oversee the union, federal election monitors and a grand jury probing the scandal in 1997.

While Messrs. Carey, McAuliffe, Trumka, McEntee and Stern have all denied doing anything wrong, chances are that a Carey conviction may well bring a new set of indictments in this sordid scandal.


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