It's no surprise that Becker now refuses to hold himself accountable for the ethics pledge he himself signed in April. As the past two years have taught us, Team Obama's operational slogan is: Rules are for fools. The contractual ethics commitment states: "I will not for a period of two years from the date of my appointment participate in any particular matter involving specific parties that is directly and substantially related to my former employer or former clients, including regulations and contracts." Yet, Becker has participated in numerous NLRB cases involving the SEIU and its affiliates -- and is parsing the definition of "former employer" by arguing that local SEIU chapters are "separate and distinct legal entities" that don't fall under the ethics rules.
The National Right to Work Foundation, which has fought both national and local SEIU officials in court on behalf of rank-and-file workers' rights, eviscerates Becker's lawyerly blather. SEIU's own constitution considers local affiliates "constituent subordinate bodies" of the national union, the foundation notes. "Moreover, in 2009 over 85 percent of the SEIU's receipts came from a per capita tax on the locals' membership dues and fees. The national union even has the power to assume control over its locals if they do not conform to International policies."
In any case, Becker has also acknowledged playing a key role in providing "advice and counsel" to the powerful SEIU affiliate in Illinois "relating to proposed executive orders and proposed legislation giving homecare workers a right to organize and engage in collective bargaining under state law." Championed by Big Labor water-carrier and disgraced former Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich and current SEIU-endorsed Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, such measures effectively bust into private homes for the Purple Shirts of the SEIU and other union competitors hungry for new dues-paying members.
Now, Becker is in the catbird seat -- adjudicating challenges to the power grab rules he helped author.
Little did America know that when candidate Obama promised the SEIU he would "open up the doors of government" to them, he'd give them the keys to our living rooms, too.