"Imagine having a president whose life work was your work." It was September 2007, and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., was challenging members of the Service Employees' International Union (SEIU) to dream the dream of owning a president -- him.
Obama, who was seeking the union's endorsement in the upcoming presidential primaries, reminded his enthusiastic crowd that the SEIU had supported him in the past: "All these folks sitting here, right here, they walked doors for me, they made phone calls for me, they turned out the vote for me!"
Months after Obama's speech, the SEIU threw $60 million and 100,000 volunteers behind Obama's election effort. The AFL-CIO nearly matched that, with $53.4 million in election spending -- enough to help put their debt-heavy union into a minor financial crisis.
But it was probably worth the price.
In an explosive and revealing piece for the May issue of Townhall Magazine, "Obama's Gangster Government," best-selling author and Washington Examiner online opinion editor David Freddoso exposes how the president is ignoring and twisting the law to help Big Labor and is funneling millions of taxpayer dollars to his union thug buddies.
This heavily researched, in-depth piece names names and details who's doing what to benefit the labor unions at the expense of the rest of America. You don't want to miss this report, which you can read only in the newest issue of Townhall Magazine.
Here are some excerpts from Freddoso's feature story to give you a taste of what he has uncovered:
Today, organized labor owns the executive branch of the United States government. All of its appointees are sympathetic to unions, and some are shameless cheerleaders -- especially Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, whose contribution to the dispute in Wisconsin was to join the picket line and start shouting. "The fight is on," she said in a recent speech. "We work together. We help those embattled states right now where public employees are under assault."
And the union bosses have all the access they could possibly want. Former SEIU President Andy Stern, before leaving his job last year, visited the Obama White House nearly 60 times in less than two years. Richard Trumka, head of the AFL-CIO since September 2009, visited the White House 47 times in just over a year, meeting with Obama 17 times and with Vice President Joe Biden three times. He boasts that he speaks to White House officials "every day" -- even on weekends.
Given recent revelations of how badly Obama has ignored his own appointees, Trumka appears to have more contact and possibly more influence with Obama than most of the president's cabinet secretaries.
President Obama stands with AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, who has bragged about his frequent and easy access to the White House.
In a heated moment on the campaign trail last year, President Obama declared, "We're gonna punish our enemies, and we're gonna reward our friends who stand with us." This comment was intended as an exhortation for voters, but it is actually an accurate statement of administration policy. It is also a fundamental principle of "gangster government," which bends and breaks laws to achieve its policy goals, rejects or stretches limits on its own power, and subordinates the public interest to favored special interests.
Gangster government has reared its ugly head in many areas during Obama's first term. ...
But no special interest is nearer to President Obama's heart than organized labor, and when we talk about "friends" whom Obama helps, we are talking primarily about labor unions. Obama isn't even slightly ashamed of his transactional relationship with unions. Here is how he describes it in "The Audacity of Hope" (his second memoir) after noting all the help the unions had given him in the course of his political career up to that point: "So I owe those unions. When their leaders call, I do my best to call them back right away. I don't consider this corrupting in any way." ...
In September 2007, then-presidential candidate Obama rallied the troops at the SEIU Political Action Conference. He offered SEIU members the dream of owning a president.
The average American cannot expect to have the Treasury Department rig his bankruptcy, the Labor Department rig his election process, or federal procurement officers rig a bidding process in his favor. Labor unions can count on Obama for all of these things, and he'd deliver them even more special favors if he could. He is using the White House in every conceivable way to pay back a special interest that spent $400 million to elect Democrats in 2008 but whose fortunes are waning and whose relevance to the average worker has not been lower in decades. Obama isn't about to let the unions go down without all the help that he can force taxpayers to muster.
You might think that when the Obama administration bails out banks with one hand and then shatters lenders' confidence with a special favor for the UAW on the other, the two acts simply cancel each other out. You might think the same when he attempts to stimulate the economy, but then creates few jobs because the money is being wasted on overpriced union contracts.
But these acts do not, in fact, net out to zero. Rather, each separate act increases the Obama administration's power over business, health care, the economy and people's lives generally. Each act expands his power and helps him choose winners and losers, directing rewards to the politically favored and punishments to those who stand in his way.
And that's the whole point of gangster government.
Order Townhall Magazine today to get the entire piece exposing the Obama administration's gangster government.