Bob Brady’s Base Is Going Down Rico-Style

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Via Neema Roshania:

According to an indictment unsealed on Tuesday, 10 members of Ironworkers Local 401 were charged with “allegedly participating in a conspiracy to commit criminal acts of extortion, arson, destruction of property, and assault, in order to force construction contractors to hire union ironworkers.”

“Specifically, the indictment charges RICO conspiracy, violent crime in aid of racketeering, three counts of arson, two counts of use of fire to commit a felony, and conspiracy to commit arson,” according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. “Among the criminal acts set forth in the indictment is the December 2012 arson of a Quaker Meetinghouse under construction in” Chestnut Hill.

The indictment alleged that after the Quaker Meeting House contractor refused to hire union ironworkers, three of the defendants “set a crane on fire and cut steel beams and bolts.”

“While unions have the right to legally advocate on behalf of their members, my office will not tolerate the conduct of those who use violence to further union goals,” said U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger. “The strong-arm tactics we have seen in this case are outrageous and brazen, and an unfortunate blow to the worthy intentions of unionism.”

The Philadelphia Building Trades Council is not really so much a union as a medieval guild. It’s not a progressive organization. They regularly endorse and work for Republican candidates, and their main “contribution” to economic life in Philadelphia is making housing and offices too expensive for people making the area median income to afford.

But they still rule our politics, even if folks are deleting tweets and putting on appearances, or not:

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This entry was posted in Economy, Governor, Philadelphia 2015.

10 Responses to Bob Brady’s Base Is Going Down Rico-Style

  1. Sean Kitchen says:

    Listen to NPR and you’ll hear a soundclip of the head of the building trades council saying “the only these men are indicted on is something we all should be indicted on…bringing good paying jobs to philly…”

    I’m paraphrasing, but that’s what he said.

    • Jon Geeting says:

      Hahaha Pat Gillespie sucks so much

      • Sean Kitchen says:

        Usually for something like this, the union is obligated to provide legal service and I can see someone as a union spin it like that. No, this went into complete denialism and attacking the other side.

    • Taxpayer says:

      And to think these are the people using forced union dues to influence politics. It’s good someone called them on it.

      • Ed H. says:

        There’s absolutely not one dime of “forced” union dues taken from a union member or used for politics. Get your facts straight. The times the Building Trades endorse and give money to GOP pols is because many of those Repubs are either good on union issues, or at least unable to be easily knocked out of their seats at election time, and not doing harm to unions and working people. If Democrats came out for every election and showed the kind of unity the GOP does, the Building Trades would likely abandon most or all of the Republicans, even in Southeast PA. Many of those very Republicans are the base of the firewall against state becoming a right to starve, poverty laden sh*thole, like much of the South. Guys like Gene DiGirolamo, Tom Murt, Nick Micarrelli and others are openly pro-union, as Republicans were in much of the Northern states during the Eisenhower through Ford Presidencies. Without that firewall, Tom Corbett would have gotten his wish to make Pennsylvania more like the poverty states with unions unable to operate effectively to advance the cause of all workers. Jon Geeting is a bit of a wannabe firebrand, and hasn’t lived through the battles some of us have over the decades. In time, he may learn from his naïveté and grow to have wisdom temper his inexperience in life.

        • Taxpayer says:

          Ed,
          You mentioned that, “There’s absolutely not one dime of “forced” union dues taken from a union member or used for politics.”

          Yet–

          You said in the next sentence that, ” [unions]endorse and give money to GOP pols is because many of those Repubs are either good on union issues”

          So it sounds like unions do indeed give out political money.

          In addition, many of the states that have become “right to work” have nothing but economic prosperity.

          To name a few of the Right to Work states that are succeeding: Wisconsin has a $2 billion dollar surplus, Texas has one of the best economies in the country, Indiana and Michigan are also dramatically on the upturn.

        • Jon Geeting says:

          All those Republicans vote for Republicans for leader, and that’s when we get nutty tea party legislation that hurts all progressive causes. But because y’all only care about a narrow issue, you’re willing to sell out the broader good to win some special interest protections. I don’t know what’s “progressive” about that.

  2. Citing Yourself as a Source is an Insult to your Readers says:

    “It’s not a progressive organization. They regularly endorse and work for Republican candidates”

    Ironworkers Local 401 hasn’t made a contribution to a Republican in the past 4 election cycles: https://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/pacgot.php?cmte=C00163535&cycle=2014