Mark Tapscott calls this the “least surprising news of the week:” [NLRB]* recess appointee Craig Becker is under investigation for ethics violations.
Aside from impartiality, the other concern about Becker was that the former associate general counsel for the radical Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and AFL-CIO lawyer would be embroiled with conflicts of interest regarding unions he’s now charged with overseeing.
Sure enough, on June 2, Becker joined in on an NLRB decision involving SEIU Local 1957 and denied St. Barnabas Hospital’s request to review a union election. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Ranking Member Darrell Issa, R-Calif., asked the Inspector General to examiner Becker’s conflict of interest in the matter. An investigation is underway.
At issue here is an oath that Becker made promising that he would recuse himself from SEIU/AFL-CIO issues for two years; the man is evading that by claiming that this recusal should only apply to the national organizations, not the local ones. Given that the distinction is meaningless – neither organization operates under the franchise system – Becker’s shenanigans here are notably cynical, even for Washington DC, and even for this administration. Of course, so was appointing a blatantly obvious union shill in a position ostensibly responsible for maintaining a neutral playing field for business and organized labor (or, as Mark put it, putting a fox in charge of the henhouse).
On the bright side, to be successful in the long term said shenanigans have to rely on having a Congress whose Oversight/Government Reform chairman is a reliable trained seal for the White House. That should abruptly end in January 2011…
*Oops. Corrected, as per Demosthenes in comments.