But there are still other reasons to question the level of the NLRB’s appropriation. The Board is currently operating with three members of the same political party without the constraint imposed by a former long-standing practice that required a Board of at least four members to issue a major decision. That practice, followed with rare exception since 1947, added credibility to major Board decisions because it assured participation in the decision of a member from the minority party. The practice was discontinued by current Chairman Mark Pearce and former Chairman Wilma Liebman in a 2010 decision in which they denied that the practice ever existed.
Also, one of the three NLRB members, Richard Griffin, is enmeshed in controversy over his former role as general counsel of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE). According to Fox News, “[t]he rap sheet for members of the International Union of Operating Engineers reads like something out of ‘Goodfellas.’ Embezzlement. Wire fraud. Bribery. That’s just scratching the surface of crimes committed by the IUOE ranks.”
Griffin was recently named as a defendant in a federal racketeering lawsuit. According toThe Wall Street Journal, the complaint “describes a ‘scheme to defraud [the local] out of revenue, cost savings and membership,’ by means of kickbacks, bribery, violent threats and extortion. The suit names dozens of IUOE officials as defendants, and Mr. Griffin is highlighted in a section describing embezzlement and its subsequent hush-up.”
In sum, there are ample reasons for lawmakers in Washington to follow through on their rhetoric to pare down the size of government. Reducing the appropriation given an over-funded, out-of-control National Labor Relations Board is a logical place to start.