With so many other outrages going on in the Obama administration, you can be forgiven if you’re not aware of the stonewalling at the U.S. Department of Labor. After months of bureaucratic wrangling, the National Right to Work Foundation was compelled to file a lawsuit to get the Labor Department to disclose its officials’ connections to Big Labor organizations.
The Washington Examiner‘s Mark Hemingway has been among those leading the way on this story. Last week he deftly noted how Barack Obama’s first-day-in-office memo that the Freedom of Information Act “should be administered with a clear presumption: In the face of doubt, openness prevails” has been a big joke at the Labor Department.
This morning, Hemingway’s insider sources tell him that the FOIA and lawsuit threat “have caused [the Labor Department] to go nuts.” Maybe some enterprising soul could compare the reaction to the bright light of sunshine causing cockroaches to scurry for cover.
Yet after all, it fits the trend. The Heritage Foundation’s James Sherk and Ryan O’Donnell have documented how the Obama Labor Department has been rolling back basic financial disclosure requirements for labor organizations since taking office. Way to stand by the little guy!
Meanwhile, as I wrote about for the Independence Institute earlier this year, Colorado has absolutely no law requiring any sort of financial transparency from our state’s public sector unions (PDF). In light of Governor Bill Ritter’s executive order introducing unionization to state government, it seems like this sort of transparency is the least favor he could provider to state employees and to taxpaying citizens.
Will Colorado defy the Obama administration’s trend in the area of labor and move towards greater transparency, public accountability and workplace democracy? Under the current regime, I wouldn’t hold my breath.