|LIUNA Election Office|
|77 W. Washington Street, Suite 714
Chicago, IL 60602
Mailing address: P.O. Box 642870 Chicago, IL 60664-2870
Telephone: (312) 372-VOTE or (800) 383-VOTE
Fax: (312) 372-8393
Stephen B. Goldberg
Deputy Election Officer
Deputy Election Officer
ELECTION OFFICERS' REPORT TO LIUNA AND
|One of the primary goals of the historic 1996 agreement between LIUNA and the Department of Justice was to eliminate the influence of organized crime within LIUNA by creating a more democratic union. In pursuit of that goal, LIUNA and the Department of Justice appointed independent Election Officers on February 1, 1996, and charged them with ensuring that the 1996 elections for members of the General Executive Board were conducted in a fair, free and democratic manner|
|Subsequent to their appointment, the Election Officers supervised all phases of the 1996 elections|
|Based on their experience in supervising these elections, the Election Officers have a number of recommendations designed to further LIUNA's progress towards effective political democracy. Among those recommendations are that:|
|LIUNA Election Office|
|77 W. Washington Street, Suite 714
Chicago, IL 60602
Mailing address: P.O. Box 642870 Chicago, IL 60664-2870
Telephone: (312) 372-VOTE or (800) 383-VOTE
Fax: (312) 372-8393
Stephen B. Goldberg
Deputy Election Officer
Deputy Election Officer
Stephen B. Goldberg
TABLE OF CONTENTS
|I. Introduction: Summary of Recommendations||5-9|
|II. Recommendations of the LIUNA Election Officers||10-30|
|Memorandum to 2001 Election Officer Regarding Suggested Changes in 1996 Election Rules and Procedures||31-43|
|Appendix B. Activities of the LIUNA Election Office||44-57|
I. INTRODUCTION: SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS
LIUNA and the Department of Justice, in the extensive negotiations which followed the November 1994 presentation of the draft RICO complaint, sought to achieve an historic accomplishment - to bring about meaningful change in the organizational, structural and governmental characteristics of a major trade union while leaving that change effort in the hands of its members and elected officials. As in any negotiation, it is doubtful that either party achieved all it initially sought. Undoubtedly, each had its own view of the breadth and depth of the changes required to achieve the common goal of a more democratic union and elimination of organized crime influence. Further, in the give and take of bargaining, both were probably less than content with the final product. They were in uncharted waters.
The Election Officers have the benefit of twelve months of experience in administering the reforms initially agreed upon by LIUNA and the Department of Justice. We have learned much in those twelve months, and we feel an obligation to share what we have learned. We do so not in the spirit of criticism, but rather with the goal of assisting LIUNA and the Department of Justice to more fully achieve their common goal -- to eliminate the influence of organized crime within LIUNA by creating a more democratic union. In such a union, members are provided with full information about the activities of the union and its officers, incumbent officers can be challenged at the polls without fear of reprisal, and both members and officers are assured of fair, free, and honest elections. Under these circumstances, the ballot box serves as a primary instrument for ridding the union of corrupt and criminal leaders.
Transforming LIUNA into an effective political democracy will not be easy. Doing so will require two types of change: (1) changing the electoral process so that political democracy is possible; (2) changing the political culture, so that members take advantage of the democratic electoral system.
The first type of change -- creating an electoral process that makes political democracy possible -- is well under way.
More, however, remains to be done to make political democracy possible in LIUNA. In Part II of this Report, we set out in detail the additional changes that we recommend. They include:
The second type of change -- altering the political culture of LIUNA so that it will become a participative democracy in which members take advantage of the democratic electoral process -- will be more difficult to accomplish. Indeed, the reluctance of members to play an active role in LIUNA affairs -- as demonstrated by the 16% voter turnout in the General President election -- may be the greatest barrier to LIUNA reform. It is, however, essential, if LIUNA is to be rid of organized crime influence on a long-term basis, that every effort be made to add it to the list of unions in which a democratic electoral system not only exists, but is used by the members.
The 1996 delegate and International officer elections constituted the first hesitant steps on the road to transforming LIUNA into an active political democracy. Some members challenged incumbent Local officers who were running for delegate -- but over two-thirds of the delegate elections were uncontested. Some members ran against the slate of International officer candidates which was headed by the incumbent General President -- but two-thirds of the Regional vice presidential candidates were unopposed. The first LIUNA Convention in which vice presidents were elected by secret ballot was characterized by lively campaigning -- but every candidate on the General President's slate was elected. The first direct election for General President was conducted -- but only one member in six voted.
If these limited steps towards a participative democratic culture are to be extended, and political democracy is to be achieved, the electoral process that was put in place in the 1996 delegate and International officer elections must continue, in a strengthened form, through at least 2001. While the 1996 delegate and International officer elections were fairly conducted, and some members took advantage of the protections afforded by the Election Officer to nominate or run in those elections, there is no reason to suppose that the changes introduced by the Election Officer are now part of the LIUNA culture and will continue in place without the need for further action. A 90-year old tradition of political autocracy and member passivity cannot be reversed in one round of delegate and International officer elections. To the contrary, it is the view of the Election Officers and the entire Election Office field staff that more needs to be done to institutionalize political democracy and member participation as part of the LIUNA culture.
Initially, there should be Department of Justice supervision of the LIUNA election process, including the presence of an independent Election Officer selected jointly by LIUNA and the Department of Justice, through at least the 2001 elections. The Teamster Election Officer remained in place for two election cycles, and that would seem the bare minimum necessary to begin institutionalizing the democratic practices introduced in LIUNA in 1996. Consideration should also be given to providing for supervision of post-2001 elections by the U.S. Department of Labor.
Additionally, the democratic political process that was put in place for the 1996 delegate and International Officer elections should be extended to Local Union officer elections. Since these elections deal with local issues, they stir greater interest among the members than does the election of delegates to a far-off Convention, or the election of remote International officers. They also occur every three years, not every five years, as do delegate and International officer elections. Furthermore, it is among Local Union officers, not International officers, that much of the criminal activity with which LIUNA has been charged has occurred. Finally, if there is no Election Officer supervision of Local Union elections, the Election Officer will effectively disappear until at least 2000, providing ample opportunity for old ways of selecting officers to re-emerge as the normal way.
To be sure, the Election Officer's role need not be as extensive in supervising Local Union elections as it was in supervising the 1996 delegate and International officer elections in which an Election Office representative was present at all nomination meetings and elections. With few exceptions, Local Unions should now be capable of conducting free and fair Local officer elections without direct Election Office supervision. The role of the Election Officer in most Local Union elections could thus be limited to developing and enforcing election rules, providing education and training for Local Union officers and members in conducting elections pursuant to those rules, and ruling on protests. This more limited role for the Election Officer, which is discussed in more detail at pp. 16-18, would be less expensive than was Election Officer supervision of the 1996 delegate and International officer elections, but should provide a greater guarantee of fair and free elections, characterized by increased member participation, than has been true in the past. (Several Local Unions requested that the Election
Office supervise their 1996 officer elections; at least one such request was approved by both the Election Officer and LIUNA.)
Other steps that are necessary to protect and extend the limited progress toward participative democracy that has taken place so far include earlier Election Officer preparation for the 2001 delegate and International officer elections, continued use of mail balloting, and further assurance to members that the hiring hall will not be used to retaliate against them for engaging in internal union political activity.
In brief, we recommend that:
II. RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE LIUNA ELECTION OFFICERS
As noted previously, it is our view that the reforms put into place by the 1996 amendments to the LIUNA Constitution and the 1996 Election Rules must be expanded, and the jurisdiction of the Election Officer extended to Local Union officer elections if the transformation of LIUNA into an effectively functioning political democracy is to be achieved. Our policy-based recommendations for changes in the LIUNA Constitution and the 1996 Election Rules, all designed to achieve this goal, are as follows. Additional recommendations for changes in the 1996 Election Rules, which we view as more technical in nature, or limited in scope, are contained in Appendix A (Memorandum to Election Officer, 2001 LIUNA Delegate and International Officer Elections).
Nomination and Election of Convention Delegates
Nomination and election at same meeting. Article V, Section 9(e) provides that a Local Union may conduct the nomination and election of delegates to the Convention at the same meeting.
This provision is inconsistent with the concept of a participatory democracy which encourages members to run for delegate. By depriving challengers of the opportunity to campaign between the nomination meeting and the election, their ability to become known to the membership, and to have a reasonable opportunity to unseat the incumbents, is reduced. This section should be amended to prohibit nomination and election of delegates at the same meeting.
Nomination and acceptance by mail. Article V, Section 9(c) provides that delegates shall be nominated at a Local Union nomination meeting, and Article VI, Section 1 (f) of the Uniform Local Union Constitution provides that nominations and acceptances shall take place at that meeting. No provision is made in either Article V, Section 9(c), or in the Uniform Local Union Constitution for nominations or acceptances by mail.
The absence of a provision for nominations and acceptances by mail may serve as a deterrent to running for delegate by those candidates who are challenging incumbent Local officers, themselves often candidates for delegate. Some challengers may be reluctant to appear and be nominated at a hostile Local meeting dominated by the incumbents and their supporters. The absence of a provision for mail nomination and acceptance also denies the possibility of a delegate , position to any candidate who cannot attend the nomination meeting.
The 1996 Election Rules provided for nominations and acceptances by mail, and many candidates for delegate took advantage of this provision. A similar provision should be included in Article V, Section 9(c) of the LIUNA Constitution.
Absentee voting. Article V, Section 9(0 provides that "The conduct of … the election itself shall be as provided for in Article VI, Section 3 of the Uniform Local Union Constitution, which deals with the election of Local Union officers." Article VI, Section 3 of the Uniform Local Union Constitution makes no provision for absentee voting.
The absence of a provision for absentee voting serves to disenfranchise potential voters. This is particularly true in a building trades union, in which some members must travel many miles from their union hall in order to work. Article V, Section 9(0 should be amended to provide for absentee voting in delegate elections.
In the 1996 General President election and Referendum, the Election Officers advised all members whose Locals were voting in person of the availability of absentee ballots, and provided absentee ballots to all members who requested them. The voting rate among members requesting absentee ballots was 59%, compared to 9% for all other members in Locals voting in-person.
Substitute delegates. Article V, Section 3 provides that if a duly elected delegate is unable to attend the Convention, the Local Union or District ~ Council may send a substitute named by the Executive Board. The substitute may not, however, participate in the nomination and election of officers. (The Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, Section 401 (a), permits only elected convention delegates to participate in the election of International officers.)
The problem with this section is that if an elected delegate is unable to attend the Convention, and a non-voting substitute attends in his place, the Local is deprived of its full voting rights at the Convention. To be sure, this is not a frequent occurrence. Only 20 of 2,134 elected delegates did not attend the 1996 Convention. Still, dealing with this situation could be as simple as providing that if an elected delegate cannot attend the Convention, the candidate for delegate with the highest number of votes who was not elected should be entitled to serve as a delegate. Alternatively, alternate delegates, identified as such, could be elected at the same time as the regular delegates are elected
This section should be amended, in one fashion or another, to provide for the election of substitute or alternate Convention delegates, with the right to participate in the nomination and election of International officers. (The Mailhandlers Division correctly provides for the election of alternate delegates, as do many other unions.)
Working at the Calling. Pursuant to Article V, Section 9 of the LIUNA Constitution, and Article V, Section 4 of the Uniform Local Union Constitution, no person is eligible to serve as a Local Union officer or Convention delegate unless that person has been "working at the calling" of the Union during the entire year prior to nominations.
The criteria for determining what constitutes "working at the calling" are far from clear. Furthermore, whatever clarity there may be is obscured by the provision that, "in examining the circumstances of each particular case, due regard shall be given to the good faith involved."
This lack of clarity leads to honest confusion as to whether particular members are eligible to serve as Convention delegates or Local officers. More ominously, it also leads to deliberate efforts to block challenges to incumbent leaders. In the 1996 delegate elections, eighteen protests were filed with the Election Officer arising out of Local Union rulings that a member was not eligible to run for Convention delegate because that member had not been "working at the calling". -Not only was this far more protests than arose on any other issue, but, in keeping with the lack of clear guidelines for resolving the issue, nine protestors were found eligible, nine were found ineligible.
While it is unrealistic to suppose that a totally clear definition of "working at the calling" can be devised, it is important that LIUNA provide Local election judges with more guidance on this subject than it has previously done. For example, significant decisions of the Independent Hearing Officer and the Election Officer on this issue could be distributed to each Local. Additionally, important decisions might be periodically summarized as an Appendix to the Constitution, as is done by the United Auto Workers. Finally, LIUNA General Counsel should determine whether, on the basis of existing interpretations of Article V, Section 4 of the Uniform Local Union Constitution, it is possible to draft a clearer definition of "working at the calling" than is currently provided by Article V, Section 4.
If significant steps are not taken to reduce the uncertainty concerning what constitutes "working at the calling," those Local Union officers who wish to discourage challengers and frustrate participation in Union politics will retain a well-tested device for doing so.
Hiring Halls. Despite the efforts of LIUNA and the Department of Justice to insure non-discriminatory operation of Union hiring halls, many members believe that if they oppose the Local leadership, the hiring hall will be manipulated so as to deny employment to them. This belief constitutes a major obstacle to the LIUNA-DOJ goal of having the election process serve as a primary means for ridding the Union of corrupt and criminal leaders. Further efforts must be undertaken to assure the membership of the integrity of all hiring halls.
Nomination and Election of International Officers
Delegate requirement. Article VI, Section 4 provides that a candidate for International office must be a duly accredited delegate to the Convention.
This provision should be deleted. It is inconsistent with the concept of an open democracy, since it precludes members from running for International office for reasons unrelated to their qualifications. It may be that a member lacks sufficient support in his/her Local Union to be elected as a delegate, but that member may have sufficiently broad support in other Locals to be elected to International office.
Removal of this eligibility requirement would not result in unnecessary elections in which the candidate had no realistic possibility of prevailing. That problem is dealt with by Article VII, Section 4, which provides that in order to be nominated, a candidate must receive the votes of at least 5% of all delegates eligible to vote. If a candidate has that amount of support among the delegates, it is not apparent why the candidate must be a delegate in order to run for International office.
Declaration of intent. Article VII, Section 2 provides that any member wishing to seek International office must declare an intention to do so prior to July 1 of any year in which a Convention is to be held.
This provision has a discouraging effect upon potential challengers. Some challengers, out of fear of reprisal, may prefer to campaign discreetly as long as possible, declaring their candidacy only when they believe the time to be appropriate. There is no reason to require such persons to declare their candidacy as early as July 1. To be sure, the Election Officer will require some time to determine a candidate's qualifications to hold International office (Article VII, Section (2)), but a September 1 declaration deadline date would be ample for that purpose.
5%/3%/2% requirements. Article VII, Section 4 provides that in order to be nominated for International office, a candidate must secure the votes of at least 5% of all delegates eligible to vote for that office. Additionally, if the candidate receives the votes of 3% or more of the delegates from one Electoral District (or Local, depending on the office), the candidate must receive the votes of at least 2% of the delegates from other Electoral Districts (or Locals).
The apparent purpose of the 5% requirement is to insure that only candidates with a modicum of support will appear on the election ballot. If there is only one such candidate, the 5% requirement obviates the need for an expensive and meaningless election. We do not recommend any change to the 5% requirement.
The 3%/2% requirement is much less justifiable. Its apparent purpose is to prevent a member from running for International office if the member's support is concentrated in a particular Local or Electoral District. If, however, the member has satisfied the 5% requirement, and so is a viable candidate for office, it is not clear that the member should
be denied the opportunity to run for International office, and to seek support beyond his/her home Local or Region in the election campaign.
There is some evidence that a candidate whose initial support is local or regional can, once nominated, expand that support. At the 1996 Convention, those candidates for Vice President at Large who made effective nomination acceptance speeches had increased vote totals : in every Region for the final election.
At the 1996 Convention, the 3%/2% requirement served no function other than to complicate the counting of ballots. The only candidate who was nominated, but who failed to survive the nomination balloting, was disqualified as a result of the 5% requirement. No candidate who satisfied the 5% requirement was disqualified as result of the 3%/2% requirement.
For these reasons, we recommend that the 3%/2% requirement be eliminated.
Inspector General. Article VII, Section 8 provides that the General Executive Board may appoint the Inspector General to serve as Election Officer.
There are two problems with this provision. Initially, the Inspector General is a full-time, permanent employee of the International Union. There is thus some risk that potential challengers will view the Inspector General as controlled by the incumbent International officers. This could discourage potential challengers.
Additionally, the core functions of the Inspector General are to investigate disciplinary violations and handle disciplinary prosecutions. These are essentially law enforcement functions. As important as they are, they call for knowledge, experience and expertise unrelated to the Election Officer's responsibility of promulgating and enforcing rules and regulations aimed at insuring fair, free, and democratic elections.
Article VI, Section 8 should be amended to remove the provision that the Inspector General may serve as Election Officer, and to
substitute a provision that the Election Officer shall hold no other Union position. Additionally, in order to guarantee the independence of the Election Officer, the Justice Department and LIUNA should jointly appoint the Election Officer, as was done in 1996.
General Secretary-Treasurer. Article V, Section 6 provides that for the 1996 Convention only, all protests regarding the nomination or election of delegates to the Convention shall be decided by the Election Officer. Thereafter, such protests shall be decided by LIUNA's General Secretary-Treasurer.
This section should be amended to retain decisional authority over protests in the Election Officer. Initially, there is no reason to suppose that the General Secretary-Treasurer will possess the skill or experience to perform the quasi-judicial function of deciding protests. More importantly, the General Secretary-Treasurer is part of the incumbent "establishment," and his/her ability to deal fairly with protests filed by non-incumbent challengers will inevitably be viewed with skepticism. The effect of this will be to discourage, rather than encourage, new entrants onto the political scene.
A truly independent Election Officer is crucial to the effort to democratize LIUNA, and the provision for protests to be decided by the General Secretary-Treasurer is directly contrary to the concept of Election Officer independence. Accordingly, Article V, Section 6 should be amended to provide that protests regarding the nomination or election of Convention delegates shall be decided by the Election Officer.
Local Union officer elections. Article VII, Section 9 provides that it shall be the responsibility of the Election Officer to ensure that elections for members of the General Executive Board are conducted in a free, fair and democratic manner.
For the reasons previously set out, this provision should be amended to extend the jurisdiction of the Election Officer to include Local Union officer elections. (It may be that the Election Officer's jurisdiction should also extend to District Council elections, but we do not have sufficient information to make such a recommendation at this time.)
This recommendation does not contemplate that the Election Officer's role would be as expansive as it was in the 1996 delegate and International officer elections. For example, an Election Office representative would not be present at every Local Union nomination meeting and in-person election, as was done in the 1996 delegate and I International officer elections. As we presently envision it, the role of the Election Officer would consist of:
One objection that might be raised to Election Officer supervision of Local Union officer elections is that there exists no empirical evidence that those elections are not being conducted in a fair and democratic manner or that members are reluctant to participate in those elections.
No such evidence is necessary, however, in view of the structural defects and omissions in the existing election regime.
Initially, the rules that presently govern Local Union elections, while they are not unfair or discriminatory on their face, in fact serve to discourage or discriminate against dissidents. For example, the existing rule which provides that nominations and acceptances must take place at the Local Union nomination meeting, and not by mail, discourages nomination or running by members reluctant to announce their opposition to incumbent officers in the tatters' presence. Similarly, the rule providing that nominations and election may take place at the same meeting is a major barrier to the opportunity of a challenger to become known to the membership in the period between nomination and election.
Additionally, and again without regard to the fairness of existing rules, there is no one whose present function it is to explain those rules to the members, and to advise them of their rights and responsibilities to nominate or run for office. This, too, would be a task of the Election Officer if his jurisdiction were extended to Local Union elections.
In sum, the absence of empirical evidence that Local Union elections are being conducted unfairly, or that members are reluctant to participate in those elections, does not undercut the recommendation that the jurisdiction of the Election Officer be extended to include such elections.
Date of Appointment. Article VII, Section 8 provides that the Election Officer for the delegate and International officer elections shall be appointed no less than one year before the Convention.
One year is insufficient to enable the Election Officer to satisfactorily accomplish all that should be done prior to the 2001 elections. Initially, the Election Officer should submit draft election rules to the Local officers in each Region for comment prior to finalizing those rules. This is likely to result in both better rules and more commitment to those rules by Local officers.1
1LIUNA should consider obtaining feedback from Local officers on the1996 Election Rules now, while the experience of using them is still fresh
The need for the Election Officer to have additional time to receive Local input on election rules and procedures is nowhere greater than in Canada. Canadian officers and members were particularly sensitive to the imposition of rules that were "made in the U.S.A.". We recognize that those members are governed by Canadian law and that they are also members of the Canadian labor movement which has its own culture and national tradition. Accordingly, we strongly recommend that there be full consultation by the Election Officer with i., Canadian officers and members concerning the adoption and administration of election rules and procedures that will apply in Canada.
The Election Officer should also explain to all members, well in advance of the May-June election of Convention delegates, the procedures for running for delegate, the protections afforded delegate candidates, and the rights and responsibilities of delegates. A similar educational effort should be undertaken with respect to candidacies for International office. If this is done, members will be more likely to participate in both delegate and International officer elections.
The 1996 Election Officers, who were not appointed until February 1, 1996, approximately eight months prior to the Convention, did not have adequate time to carry out these activities. It is our judgment that the Election Officer, who should previously have been appointed to supervise Local Union elections, begin preparations for the 2001 delegate and International officer election no later than April 1, 2000.
Review of Election Officer decisions. Article VII, Section 10 provides that the Independent Hearing Officer shall have authority to review decisions of the Election Officer, and shall affirm such decisions unless it is determined that the Election Officer "abused his discretion, or acted [: contrary to the terms of the International Union Constitution, the Uniform Local Union Constitution, the Uniform District Council Constitution, or governing law."
It is institutionally unwise to have a review standard which invites
in their minds. This feedback might prove valuable to the Election Officer in drafting the 2001 Election Rules.
an Independent Hearing Officer, who has been appointed by the incumbent LIUNA officers, and who is not selected for his expertise in union elections or internal union governance, to substitute his judgment for that of the Election Officer, who possesses such expertise. Yet, that is precisely the effect of an "abuse of discretion" review standard, as is :shown by the following examples:
of electing International Officers, was arguably relevant to the forthcoming election for General President and Referendum. The Independent Hearing officer reversed, citing the Election Officer's lack of authority and abuse of discretion.
Putting aside the question of whether the Election Officer exercised his discretion wisely in these cases, it is clear that he did exercise his discretion, and that in reversing those decisions, and others (see Protest Decisions No. 154 and 156, discussed at pp. 54-55), the Independent Hearing Officer simply substituted his discretion for that of the Election Officer.
We recommend the following steps to prevent this from occurring in the future:
The abuse of discretion review standard should be abolished. Decisions of the Election Officer should be subject to review only to determine whether those decisions violated the LIUNA Constitution, Uniform Local Union Constitution, Uniform District Council Constitution, or governing law.
Removal of Election Officer. Article VII, Section 11 provides that, "During the term of his appointment, the Election Officer may not be removed, except upon a finding of good cause by the Independent Hearing Officer. An action to remove the Election Officer may be brought only by the General Executive Board, with the concurrence of the GEB Attorney."
A "good cause" standard provides far too much leeway for the removal of an Election Officer who incurs the displeasure of the LIUNA incumbent officers. Nor is it unlikely that the Election Officer will do so. Incumbents may well wish to rid themselves of an Election Officer who is committed to providing an open election process in which challengers have a fair opportunity to unseat the incumbents.
The fragility of the "good cause" standard has been recognized by the Department of Justice. On January 22, 1996, U.S. Attorney James E. Burns and Paul E. Coffey, Chief, Organized Crime and Racketeering Section, in a letter to Robert Luskin, GEB Attorney, stated that, "LIUNA has represented that good cause means criminality or a total derogation of duty or gross abuse of authority." Article VII, Section 11 should be amended to incorporate that standard.
In addition, the authority to remove the Election Officer should not be in the hands of the Independent Hearing Officer, who is selected by the LIUNA incumbent officers. Rather, this authority should be transferred to the neutral selected jointly by LIUNA and the Department of Justice to review Election Officer decisions.
1996 Election Rules
Considering the time pressure under which these Rules were drafted, they functioned remarkably well. We would, however, recommend some significant changes.
Mail Balloting. According to the January 22, 1996 letter referred to above, from James E. Burns and Paul E. Coffey to Robert Luskin, LIUNA and the Department of Justice agreed that:
The primary means of balloting in the rank-and-file election will be a walk-in election pursuant to procedures established by the Election Officer. The Election Officer has the discretion to use mail ballots when he believes a mail ballot would eliminate corruption or intimidation, or where in-person balloting would prove burdensome or would otherwise be unreasonable..
The LIUNA-DOJ agreement is silent on the authority of the Election Officer to encourage Local Unions to exercise their right to voluntarily choose mail balloting, as are the LIUNA Constitution and the Rules for the 1996 LIUNA Delegate and International Officer Elections. When the Election Officer, in the Supplemental Rules for the LIUNA General Officer Election and Rank-and-File Election Referendum, and in his Report to the Convention, encouraged Locals to choose mail balloting, LIUNA protested vigorously, accusing the Election Officer of disregarding the terms of his mandate and of the LIUNA-DOJ agreement. The Election Officer responded equally vigorously, asserting that he had done no more than encourage Locals to exercise their right of free choice in favor of mail balloting and that in _ doing so he had violated neither the terms of his mandate, nor those of the LIUNA-DOJ agreement.
More important than whether the Election Officer had the authority to encourage mail voting in the 1996 elections is whether the En Election Officer should have that authority, or even the authority to direct mail balloting, in the future. In considering that question, the statistics on mail voting in the 1996 elections are of obvious importance.
In the 1996 election for General President and Referendum, 557 Locals (including Mailhandlers Locals) chose to vote by mail, and 93 opted for walk-in elections. The voting rate was 17% in the mail i. elections, 10% in the walk-in elections. In the delegate elections, with only 28 Locals voting by mail, the corresponding figures were 30% for t mail elections and 15% for walk-in elections. Thus, the mail voting rate I_ was approximately double the in-person voting rate in both the delegate and General President elections.2 From these statistics, it is evident that if meaningful progress is to be made towards transforming LIUNA into a participative democracy, with more than a handful of members involved, mail balloting must be widely, if not universally, used.
. The argument that has been raised against mail balloting is that if members truly cared about union affairs, they would travel to the polls
2The voting rates were similar in the 1991 Teamster delegate elections -33% in mail elections and 19% in walk-in elections. In 1996, nearly all Teamster delegate elections, and the voting for International officers, were conducted by mail.
to vote. What this argument fails to acknowledge is that those who care enough to travel to the polls are likely to be those who benefit from existing union policies. Those who are disadvantaged by union policies, particularly over a lengthy period, may be insufficiently motivated to travel to the polls. Their failure to vote may indicate, not that they do not care about union affairs, but that they do not perceive existing union policies (or officers) as benefitting them, and do not have sufficient confidence that their vote will make any difference to warrant a trip to the Union hall in order to vote.
Some of those members will not vote regardless of the ease of mail voting. In the delegate elections, two-thirds of the membership in Locals with mail balloting still did not vote. In the General President election and Referendum, 83% of the members in Locals with mail balloting did not vote. Still, mail balloting doubled the percentage of members voting in both the delegate election and the election for General President and Referendum. It is thus apparent that the availability of mail balloting is a crucial element in achieving the goal of the LIUNA-DOJ agreement -- a truly democratic LIUNA in which the membership, not a few insiders, controls the Union's destiny.
Accordingly, we recommend that the LIUNA-DOJ agreement be amended, and that the Election Rules be modified, to explicitly provide the Election Officer with the authority to order mail balloting in order to increase voter turnout. At very least, it should be made clear that the Election Officer has the authority to encourage Locals to vote by mail if they wish to do so, and to provide Locals with financial and administrative incentives to vote by mail. (In the 1996 election for General President and Referendum, the Election Office prepared, mailed and counted all ballots at no charge to the Locals. The total cost of doing so for 557 Locals with approximately 375,000 members was approximately $600,000.)
Disclosure of Information. The Introduction to the 1996 Election Rules provides for "fair, honest, open and informed elections." The Election Officer held that one element of an open and informed election is that voters have access to all arguably relevant information about the elections. Thus, the Election Officer concluded that the International was required to disclose the salary of an International Vice President to another candidate for that office. The Election Officer also held that a
business agent, who was a candidate for International Vice President, was required to disclose to his opponent his compensation from the Local Union of which he was business agent, as well as his salary and compensation from other LIUNA-related entities.
Finally, the Election Officer held that the International was required to notify all members that it would make available to them, on request, copies of the draft RICO complaint provided to LIUNA by the U.S. Department of Justice in November, 1994. The Independent Hearing Officer reversed this decision of the Election Officer, holding that the 1996 Election Rules did not provide the Election Officer with authority to require LIUNA to provide the draft RICO complaint to the membership. The Independent Hearing Officer also held that even if the Election Officer had the authority to impose such a requirement, doing so was an abuse of his discretion.
The Election Rules should be amended to vest express authority in the Election Officer to require both the Union and candidates for Union office to make available all information arguably relevant to a ~: pending election. Providing the Election Officer with this authority is a key element in creating the structure for political democracy within LIUNA.
Candidate Literature and Mailings. Article IV, Section 7 provides that each candidate should be permitted a reasonable opportunity to have the candidate's literature distributed by the Union, at the candidate's expense.
While, in theory, this provision places all candidates on an equal footing in their efforts to communicate with the electorate, that was not, in fact, true in the delegate elections. Particularly in large Locals, many challengers were unable to afford the cost of mailings to the membership. Even if incumbent officer candidates for delegate did not do mailings either, the name recognition that goes along with incumbency (as well as slate voting provisions), typically carried the incumbent candidates to an easy victory.
Candidates for International office are not limited to mailings in their efforts to communicate with the membership, but are entitled to have their campaign literature published in The Laborer ( 1996 Election Rules, Article IV, Section 9). Although this does not overcome all the advantages of incumbency, it does provide challengers with some opportunity to present themselves and their ideas to the membership.
In the 1996 election campaign, nearly all non-incumbent candidates for International office, and a few incumbents, took advantage of this opportunity.
A similar opportunity should be made available in the delegate elections. Each Local Union should be required, at least once prior to the election of Convention delegates, to publish and mail to all members a communication in which all candidates for delegate have the opportunity to place campaign literature. Alternatively, the Local could mail, free of charge, to all members, at least once, each candidate's campaign literature. (At least one Local followed this latter approach in the 1996 delegate elections.)
The results of the 1996 Election Referendum, pursuant to which all International Vice Presidents are to be elected by direct vote of the members, rather than by Convention delegates, will lead to new communication problems in Vice Presidential elections. Instead of campaigning among a comparatively small group of Convention delegates, approximately 200 for Regional Vice President candidates and 2,000 for At Large Vice President candidates, each candidate for Vice President must now campaign among a vastly larger constituency -approximately 40,000 members for Regional Vice Presidents and 400,000 members for Vice Presidents at Large.
One result of this change may be that candidates for Vice President will be required to raise substantial amounts of money to campaign among the vastly enlarged electorate. If challengers do not raise such funds, they run the risk that victory will go to the incumbent by virtue of name recognition. If challengers do raise sufficient funds to mount a substantial campaign, incumbents may believe it necessary to do likewise.
In order to minimize the necessity for substantial fund-raising in order to campaign for Vice President, increased communication opportunities should be made available to all Vice Presidential candidates. Thus, Article IV, Section 9(a) should be amended to provide candidates with the right to have campaign literature published in all issues of The Laborer beginning with the January-February issue preceding the Convention. Similarly, Article IV, Section 9(b) should be amended to increase the space available to each Vice Presidential
candidate from one-half page to one page beginning with the May-June issue of The Laborer. If, as in 1996, the November-December issue of The Laborer is not to be published until late November, a special pre-election if- newsletter should be mailed to all members in early November. In this newsletter, which could be different for each Region, each candidate for whom members in that Region would have the opportunity to vote C, could be given a final opportunity, once again free of charge, to communicate to the membership. (A similar newsletter, in which candidates for General President were each allowed three pages of campaign material, was published by the Election Officer in November 1996.)
Slate Voting. The rules for delegate elections permitted the formation of slates (Article V), and provided significant advantages to slates (Article I, Section 8). Slates were listed on the ballot prior to unaffiliated candidates, a slate box was placed on the ballot, and by marking that box, the member voted for the entire slate. If a member voted for both a slate and non-slate candidate, with the result that the member voted for more candidates than there were delegate positions, the vote for the slate was counted, and the votes for non-slate candidates were disregarded.
The effect of these rules was to provide incumbent Local Union officers and their followers with a substantial advantage in the election of delegates. Typically, incumbent Local officers would form a slate of candidates for delegate. If there were more delegate positions than ,, Union officers who wanted to be delegates, supporters of the incumbents were added to the slate. With slate voting in place, the incumbents typically carried the less well-known members on the slate to victory, shutting out non-aligned challengers.
The effect of the slate rules was thus contrary to one of the overall goals of the Election Rules -- to strengthen participative democracy within LIUNA by encouraging more members to become politically active. Accordingly, we recommend that those portions of Article I, Section 8 which provide for slate voting be eliminated. Candidates who wish to run as a slate should be able to do so, and to be identified on the ballot as slate members, but voters should have to vote for each slate member individually.
This approach was used by the Election Officer in the election of International officers (Supplemental Convention Rules, Article VII), and represents a better balance between the interest in allowing candidates to form a slate and the interest in encouraging greater member participation than does the approach followed in the delegate elections.
Pre-Nomination Meeting Verification of Eligibility. Article II, Section 2 provides that all persons seeking nomination as delegate must request verification of their eligibility from the Local at least 24 hours before the nomination meeting. That section also provides that the requirement of a pre-election verification request will be excused for good cause shown to the Election Officer.
The provision for pre-nomination meeting verification grew out of the concern that incumbent officer delegate candidates would have their eligibility in order prior to the nomination meeting, but that challengers would have their eligibility attacked, thus reducing the likelihood that they would be elected, even if nominated. By providing for a pre-nomination meeting eligibility check, combined with Election Officer review of determinations of ineligibility, we hoped to avoid eligibility issues arising at the nomination meeting. We realized, however, that this was a change in LIUNA procedures, and that not all members would be aware of it. In order not to ban such members from running, the provision for a "good cause" excuse for not filing a pre-nomination meeting verification request was added.
Unfortunately, we underestimated the extent to which those members who were not Local Union officers would lack knowledge of the requirement for pre-nomination meeting verification. Typically, Local Union officers were aware of the requirement, and complied with it, while many challengers were either unaware of the requirement or for some other reason failed to comply with it. As a result, we were in the uncomfortable position of either finding many challengers to be ineligible, which would be contrary to the goal of encouraging participation in union affairs, or applying the "good cause" standard so liberally as to make the requirement of pre-election verification nearly meaningless.
The Article II, Section 2 provision for mandatory pre-nomination meeting verification should be eliminated. Candidates should, however, be provided with the opportunity to request pre-nomination meeting verification, and Locals should be required to comply with such requests.
Mailing Lists. If, as we recommend, mail balloting is to be used to increase members' participation in elections, both LIUNA and its Locals must make extensive efforts to obtain correct mailing addresses for all members. Otherwise, many members will not receive ballots and will be effectively disenfranchised. In the 1996 election for General President and Referendum, of the 377,830 members eligible to vote by mail, 19,307 (5.11 %) did not receive ballots because their correct addresses ~ were unknown to LIUNA, and could not be found by the Election Of lice.
There are a number of steps that can be taken to decrease the number of members for whom correct addresses are not available. At a minimum, LIUNA should continue to regularly submit all incorrect addresses in its possession to Local Unions for correction. Since members are more likely to maintain correct addresses to receive benefit checks than to receive The Laborer, Local Unions should be encouraged to compare incorrect addresses with addresses on file at the relevant health and welfare funds. Next, incorrect addresses should not be deleted from The Laborer mailing list, as they are at present. Rather, they should be maintained in the mailing list data base as "bad addresses." Doing so would allow LIUNA to periodically submit the "bad address" file to a National Change of Address (NCOA) service for updating and corrections.
Although some progress has been made in transforming LIUNA into a participative political democracy, that progress is both limited and fragile. The problems which led to the 1994 draft RICO complaint did not develop overnight, and they will not be cured overnight. In this Report, we recommend that the reforms instituted by the 1996 agreement between LIUNA and the Department of Justice be expanded, and that Department of Justice supervision of LIUNA be extended through at least the 2001 elections. Only if these recommendations are
followed is there any realistic likelihood that LIUNA will develop into a participative democracy, in which members will use the ballot box to keep LIUNA free of the corruption and criminal influence which led to the 1994 draft RICO complaint.
2001 LIUNA Delegate and
International Officer Elections
|FROM:||Stephen B. Goldberg,
Thomas H. Geoghegan,
William P. Hobgood
Election Officers - 1996 LIUNA Delegate and
International Officer Elections
|SUBJECT:||Suggested Changes in 1996 Election Rules and Procedures|
|DATE:||February 11, 1997|
The February 1997 Election Officers' report to LIUNA and the Department of Justice sets out our policy-based recommendations for amendments to the 1996 Election Rules. In this Memorandum, we set out those recommendations for change which we view as primarily technical in nature. This Memorandum also includes advice on administering the Election Rules.
I. SUGGESTED AMENDMENTS TO
THE 1996 ELECTION RULES
Rules for Delegate and International Officer Elections and
Rank-and-File Election Referendum
Right to Reply. Article IV, Section 5(a)(2) provides that:
If any candidate, whether a member of the Local Union or not, is permitted to address the Local meeting for the purpose of
campaigning, any non-member candidates, on request, must be granted equal campaign time and must be permitted to hear the other candidate(s) speak. However, said candidate may be denied access to the meeting during all other times, except when any other non-member candidate is permitted to remain.
This Section should be amended to provide as follows:
If any candidate, whether a member of the Local Union or not, is permitted to address the Local meeting for the purpose of campaigning, all candidates, on request, must be granted equal campaign time and must be permitted to hear the other candidate(s) speak. However, non-member candidates may be denied access to the meeting during all other times, except when any other non-member candidate is permitted to remain. (Amendments underlined.)
If a candidate is permitted to address a Local meeting, there is no reason to limit the right to reply to non-member candidates.
The Laborer: Election Officer Review. Article IV, Section 9(f) provides:
The editor of The Laborer shall submit all magazine copy and photos to the Election Officer in advance of publication, in order to ensure compliance with Article IV, Section 8 of these Rules.
This Section should be amended to provide:
The editor of The Laborer shall submit all magazine copy and photos to the Election Officer in advance of publication, in order to ensure compliance with Article IV. While the Election Officer will seek to ensure compliance with the Election Rules, the failure of the Election Officer to order revision of material submitted by the editor of The Laborer does not bar a protest against the contents of such material. or preclude the Election Officer from sustaining such a protest. (Amendments underlined.)
While pre-publication review by the Election Officer should minimize post-publication protests, and the difficult remedial questions t that would follow a successful post-publication protest, such protests ought not be barred by a pre-publication review that will have taken place without the benefit of adversary presentations.
The Laborer: Revealing Contents. Article IV, Section 9(h) provides:
No person involved in the editing, production or distribution of The Laborer may alter or reveal the content of any candidate's or slate's material prior to its publication.
This Section should be amended as follows:
No person involved in the editing, production or distribution of The Laborer may alter or reveal the content of any candidate's or slate's material to any other candidate or slate prior to its publication. (Amendments underlined.)
This change is intended to harmonize Section (f) and (h).
Fund-raising from LIUNA Employees. Add the following after Article IV, Section 10(a):
No person may conduct fund-raising activities directed to employees of LIUNA, its subordinate bodies, or funds affiliated with LIUNA, that call for fixed periodic contributions from any employee for the purpose of supporting the candidacy of any person for delegate or International officer. Nor may any person seek to enforce any promise of a voluntary contribution through any communication that calls for payment of any contribution that is past due, delinquent, or otherwise owing.
A broader version of this Rule, which applied to all LIUNA elective offices, was promulgated on May 22, 1996 as a joint Order of the Election Officer and the GEB Attorney. That Order, as limited to delegate and International officer elections, should be incorporated into the Election Rules.
Union Logo. The last sentence of Article IV, Section 10 (c), which prohibits use of the Union logo or letterhead to assist in campaigning, should be amended to prohibit only use of the Union letterhead. While the argument in favor of prohibiting use of the Union logo is that its use implies Union endorsement, that argument is without merit if all candidates are free to use the logo.
The use of Union letterhead in campaigning is quite different. Since Union letterhead is typically used only for Union business, its use by a candidate does suggest that his or her campaign is Union business. Additionally, Union letterhead is likely to be available only to officers, so that allowing its use would provide an advantage to such of ricers.
Retaliation. Article IV, Section 10(f), which prohibits retaliation for exercising rights guaranteed by the Election Rules, should be printed as a separate section with a bold-face heading.
While there was no claim by any person charged with violating this rule that he was unaware of its existence, nonetheless its importance warrants malting it more prominent.
Campaign Committees. While Article VII, Section 2, as drafted, refers only to candidates, it was interpreted by the Election Officer to apply also to campaign committees. That interpretation, as set out in the following paragraphs, should be explicitly incorporated into Article VII, Section 2:
1. The requirements of Article VII, Section 2 of the 1996 Election Rules regarding the filing of campaign financing and expenditure reports by candidates for International Office apply equally to any committee, caucus, group, or organization of any kind that seeks contributions or makes expenditures on behalf of a candidate. Each such committee, caucus, group, or organization must file all campaign financing and expenditure reports required by Article VII, Section 2 (a) (b) and (c).
2. Each candidate is responsible for insuring that all required campaign financing and expenditure reports are filed by any committee, caucus, group, or organization that seeks contributions or makes expenditures on behalf of that candidate.
3. Any violation of the requirements of Article VII, Section 2 of the 1996 Election Rules by a committee, caucus, group, or organization that seeks contributions or makes expenditures on behalf of a candidate will be treated as a violation by that candidate, and appropriate remedial action will be taken against the candidate, as well as against the committee, caucus, group, or organization.
During the course of the 1996 campaign for International office, the Election Officer answered numerous questions relating to the campaign financing and expenditure report. Those answers, as set out below, should also be incorporated into Article VII, Section 2:
1. Candidates must list the addresses of all contributors, as well as their LIUNA Local number, or their occupation and employer's name (if they are not LIUNA members). If a contributor will not provide this information, or will not allow it to be included on the Campaign Financing and Expenditure Report, the contribution cannot be accepted. If it has already been accepted, it must be returned to the contributor.
2. If a campaign committee reports an expenditure on behalf of t ~a candidate, and identifies the candidate, amount, date and purpose of the expenditure, the candidate need not report that expenditure as a contribution.
3. A campaign committee must report its overhead expenses, but may do so in the form set out in Part B of the Campaign Financing and Expenditure Report.
4. A candidate who spends his own money on his own campaign must report the amount spent as a campaign expenditure, but need not report the same amount as a contribution to himself.
Inspection of Campaign Financing and Expenditure Reports. Article VII, Section 2(e) provides that:
Each nominated candidate for International Office shall have the right to inspect, but not copy, the other candidates' campaign financing and expenditure reports at the office of the Election Officer.
Inasmuch as the initial campaign financing and expenditure report is due prior to the Convention, the right to inspect should be available to "declared" candidates, rather than to "nominated" candidates. Otherwise, no member would have the right to inspect initial campaign financing and expenditure reports until that member was nominated at the Convention.
Pre-Election Protests: Time Limits. Article VIII, Section 1 (a) provides that certain types of pre-election protests must be filed within 48 hours, but contains no time limit for other types of pre-election protests.
The time for filing all pre-election protests should be the same. There is no justification for different time limits for different protests.
Additionally, the time limit for all pre-election protests should be extended to 72 hours. While it is important that protests be filed promptly, members should be given a reasonable amount of time within which to file protests. (In the 1996 elections, 13 grievances were denied in whole or in part on the grounds that they were untimely.)
Pre-Election Protest Decisions: Time Limits. Article VIII, Section 1 (d) provides that the Election Officer shall issue a decision within 72 hours of receiving a pre-election protest.
As a practical matter, it proved nearly impossible to issue protest decisions within 72 hours of receiving a protest. Initially, the Election Office staff member assigned to investigate the protest had to find and interview both the protector and the alleged violator of the Election Rules. Often, one or both were working, and could not be contacted for 24-48 hours. The Election Office staff member then had to write a draft decision, which was reviewed by one or more of the Election Officers. In view of the other demands on the Election Officers' time, these steps typically required an additional 48-72 hours. As a result, few protest decisions were issued within the 72-hour time period.
While the Election Officer should make every effort to issue protest decisions promptly, establishing an unrealistic time limit for doing so serves no useful purpose. Indeed, it subjects the Election Officer to criticism for not abiding by the Rules that he/she has promulgated.
This Section should be amended to provide that the Election Officer shall issue a decision "promptly" after receiving a protest.
Independent Hearing Officer Hearings: Pre-Election Protests. Article t VIII, Section 1 (f) provides, with respect to hearings on pre-election protest decision appeals to the Independent Hearing Officer, that
The following individuals may be present at such hearing: the complainant(s) and/or the complainant's representative(s); any representative(s) of the Union(s) involved; the Election Officer or his representative; the person(s) filing the appeal, if other than the complainant(s), and/or the complainant's representatives(s); and any other person who obtains the permission of the Independent Hearing Officer or his designee.
Each of the persons named in the foregoing sentence should have the right to be present at hearings before the Independent A. Hearing Officer (or, more precisely, before the outside neutral we recommend should hear appeals from Election Officer decisions). Accordingly, the Section should be amended to provide:
The following persons should be given timely notice and an opportunity to be present at such hearing
Post-Election Protest Decisions: Time Limits. Article VIII, Section 2(d) provides that the Election Officer shall issue a decision within seven days after the filing of a post-election protest regarding a delegate election, and within 15 days after the filing of a protest regarding the International officer election.
While these time limits are more reasonable than the 72-hour limit provided by Article VIII, Section 1 (d) for delegate elections, the principle that the Election Officer should not be bound by time limits that may not fit the demands of a particular situation is equally
applicable. This Section, too, should be amended to provide that the Election Officer's decision should be issued "promptly".
Hearings: Post-Election Protests. Article VIII, Section 2(f) contains the same provision with respect to appeals from post-election protest decisions of the Election Officer as does Article VIII, Section 1 (f) with ,,, respect to appeals from pre-election protest decisions. All interested parties "may" be present at the appeal hearing.
This section, too, should be amended to provide that the named persons "shall be given notice and an opportunity to be present at such hearing."
Election Officer Remedial Authority. Article VIII, Section 4 provides, in relevant part, that:
If as a result of any protest filed or any investigation undertaken by the Election Officer without a protest, the Election Officer determines that these Rules have been violated or that any other conduct has occurred which may prevent or has prevented a fair, honest and open election, the Election Officer may take whatever remedial action is appropriate.
While this section is clear that the Election Officer may take remedial action based on the Election Officer's investigation, even if no protest has been filed, it does not specifically deal with the situation in which an untimely protest has been filed. Inasmuch, however, as the Election Officer may act in the absence of any protest, there is no valid ~ reason to bar the Election Officer from talking appropriate remedial action when an untimely protest has been filed. In order to make that plain, the first sentence of Article VIII, Section 4 should be amended as follows:
If, as a result of any timely protest filed, or any investigation undertaken by the Election Officer without regard to whether a timely protest has been filed, the Election Officer determines that these Rules have been violated or that any other conduct has occurred which may prevent or has prevented a fair, honest and open election, the Election Officer may take whatever remedial action is appropriate. (Amendments underlined.)
Supplemental Convention Rules: Rules Governing Nominations. Elections. and Campaign Activity at the 1996 LIUNA Convention :
Some of these Rules have no continuing relevance as a result of the Referendum vote to elect all Vice Presidents by direct vote of the members rather than by delegate vote at the Convention. The Rules which should be deleted for that reason are Article I, Section C (Election Voting)7 and Article VI, Section B (Ballot Position Lottery).
We also recommend that the following Rules be amended:
Campaign Material Identification. Article XII, Section E provides that:
All campaign material, including leaflets, signs, placards, banners, and the like shall clearly identify, on each piece of material, who paid for and authorized distribution of that material.
This Section should be amended to provide that if the person, committee, caucus, group or organization paying for or authorizing distribution of the material has not previously filed a Campaign |, Financing and Expenditure Report pursuant to Article VII of the Election Rules, such a Report must be filed prior to distribution of the material.
The purpose of this amendment is to insure that Convention delegates know the source of campaign material in order to assist them in determining the credibility of such material.
District Caucuses. Article XII, Section H was amended on September 9, 1996 to provide that:
A District Caucus need not allow any candidates for International Office, or the supporters of any candidate for International Office, to speak on behalf of that candidate during District Caucus meetings. If, however, any candidate for International Office, or the supporters of a candidate, are to be , allowed to speak during a District Caucus meeting (formal or informal), all other candidates for the same office, and the Election Officer, must be notified at least two (2) hours prior to the meeting. All candidates who appear at the meeting must be
allowed equal time to speak The order of appearance shall be determined by lottery, conducted by the Election Officer.
This amendment is consistent with the principle of equal access, and should be incorporated into the Convention Rules. It was clarified during the Convention to include District parties, and this clarification should be added to Section H.
Gifts to Delegates. In the period preceding the Convention, the Election Officer ruled that gifts from LIUNA or its affiliates to Convention delegates could not contain the name of any Union officer if that officer was participating in a contested election. Since the reason for that ruling was to prohibit the use of Union funds to aid in Convention campaigning, the ruling should be incorporated into Article XII of the Convention Rules.
Supplemental Rules for LIUNA General Officer Election and Rank_ and-File Referendum
Some of these Rules must be amended or deleted in light of the differences between the 1996 International Officer elections and those that will take place in 2001, when there will be no Rank-and-File 9 Election Referendum, but there will be direct election of all International Vice Presidents. One Rule that will be of continuing relevance, however, is that dealing with campaigning.
Campaigning. Article II, Section 2 (c) provides that
c) Members and officers of Local Unions, District Councils, or other branches, divisions or affiliates of LIUNA may publish their personal views on the Rank-and-File Election Referendum proposal, or the candidacy of any person in the General Officer : Election, and may indicate their LIUNA titles in doing so. Any such publication must satisfy the following requirements:
1 ) No Union funds may be expended on publication
2) The publication (advertisement, leaflet, or other _ campaign material) must contain the following statement, "Titles are listed for identification purposes only, and the views expressed are those of the identified individuals, not of
Local___ (or District Council ). Authorized and paid for by___________
The Independent Hearing Officer interpreted this Section in a manner inconsistent with the intent of the Election Officer. In order to clarify that intent, and to remove language irrelevant to the 2001 Elections, Article II, Section 2 (c) should be amended as follows:
c) Members and officers of Local Unions, District Councils, or other branches, divisions or affiliates of LIUNA may publish their personal views on the International Officer candidacy of any person in the election, and may indicate their LIUNA titles in doing so. Any such publication, advertisement, leaflet, or other campaign material must satisfy the following requirements:
1) No Union funds may be expended on publication
2) If LIUNA titles are used, the publication must contain the following statement, "Titles are listed for identification purposes only, and the views expressed are those of the identified individuals, not of Local (or District Council _)". This statement must be published in all languages that are used in the statement of views.
d) All campaign material, including the expression of personal views, that deals with the International Officer election must dearly identify, on each piece of material, who paid for and - authorized distribution of that material. If the person, committee, caucus, group or organization paying for or authorizing distribution of the material has not previously filed a Campaign Financing and Expenditure Report pursuant to Article VII of the Election Rules, such a Report shall be filed prior to distribution of the material.
The last sentence of sub-paragraph (2) is intended to overrule the Independent Hearing Officer's decision in Protest Decision No. 156. Sub-paragraph d) accepts the Independent Hearing Officer's conclusion in Protest Decision No. 154 that a group can comply with the first sentence of sub-paragraph d) by stating the name of the group.
Identification of the group's funding sources and the name of someone connected with the group is achieved by the second sentence.
II. SUGGESTIONS ON ADMINISTERING THE
These suggestions come primarily from the Regional Coordinators and Adjunct Coordinators who administered the 1996 Election Rules. While they do not fit into any of the sections dealing with the LIUNA Constitution or the 1996 Election Rules, they are nonetheless valuable:
with the membership, and since such communications are often time-sensitive, the Election Officer must have more accurate information on projected delivery dates for The Laborer. One means of accomplishing this goal would be to have the printer of The Laborer track delivery schedules both t- to the post office and to actual receipt by members in different parts of the U.S. and Canada. This should be done for each issue of The Laborer that is published in the 12 months preceding April 1, 2000, the date on which the Election Officer should begin preparations for the 2001 delegate and International officer elections. Armed with this information, the Election Officer could make more accurate judgments about the likely arrival date of time-sensitive information contained in The Laborer.
In view of the many languages spoken by LIUNA members, 43 it is important that all Election Office communications with the membership be translated into the appropriate languages. This is particularly important for videotapes. The languages that should be utilized, depending on the Local, include Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Polish:
ACTIVITIES OF THE LIUNA ELECTION OFFICERS
Staffing. The Election Officers engaged a staff of ten Regional Coordinators, 50 Adjunct Coordinators, and 58 Election Supervisors, all of whom worked on a part-time basis. The Adjuncts were responsible for day-to-day contact with the Locals in assisting them to comply with the Election Rules. They also supervised delegate nomination meetings, delegate elections, and the in-person elections for General President and the Referendum. The Adjuncts were supplemented in their supervisory duties by Election Supervisors.
The Regional Coordinators represented the Election Officers in dealing with the LIUNA Regional Managers and with all Local Unions in their Regions. They were also responsible for coordinating the activities of the Adjunct Coordinators and Election Supervisors in their Regions. The Regional Coordinators assisted the Election Officers at the Convention, and were responsible for supervising the counting of all ballots cast in their Regions in the General President and Referendum elections.
The Assistant Election Officer served as the Election Officers' special liaison to the Mail Handlers, was responsible for supervising all logistical aspects of the Convention, and for supervising the counting of ballots in the election for General President and the Referendum.
The Election Office staff was completed by a full-time Executive Director and a full-time clerical staff of three persons.
The Election Officers have promulgated the following guidelines for post-Election Office employment by members of the Election Office staff with LIUNA or its affiliates:
For a period of one year following the termination of employment by the LIUNA Election Office, no person employed by the LIUNA Election Office shall enter into a new or ; expanded relationship with LIUNA or any of its affiliates. This prohibition includes both representational and neutral employment for LIUNA or its affiliates, but does not extend to that neutral employment in which the neutral is selected jointly
by Union and management, e.g. arbitration or mediation. Nor does the prohibition apply to employment by the LIUNA . Inspector General, the General Executive Board Attorney, or the Independent Hearing Officer.
Rules and Regulations. Pursuant to the authority granted by Article VII, Section 9(b) of the amended LIUNA Constitution, the Election Officers promulgated the following rules and regulations:
These rules and regulations were made available to all Local Unions, and to members on request. Ultimately, 67,500 copies of the various rules were sent out, as were 25,000 copies of the Local Union Guide to Conducting Delegate Elections.
Department of Labor Assistance. The Division of Elections and 16 Trusteeships, Of lice of the American Work Place, U.S. Department of Labor, worked with Election Office staff to produce "A Local Union Guide to Conducting 1996 Convention Delegate Elections." This booklet proved to be quite useful to Local Unions because it dealt with all aspects of the election process in easy-to-understand terms. Department of Labor personnel also conducted training programs on election administration for all Election Office staff.
Outreach. Consistent with the goal of providing the membership with information about the elections, and encouraging members to become involved in the political process, the Election Officers:
In one Region, the Regional Coordinator, instead of conducting an Election Forum, sent an Election Office representative to each Local Union meeting. The function of the Election Office representative was the same at these meetings as at the Election Forums -- to answer questions about the Election Rules and to encourage discussion about the Referendum and Genera President election. According to the Regional Coordinator, the presence of an Election Office representative encouraged discussion and provided members with much-appreciated factual information about the election and election procedures
Provided a toll-free line for members to contact the Election Office.
Over 1,000 calls were received on this line.
Nomination and Election of Delegates. Regional and Adjunct Coordinators assisted all Locals in complying with the requirements of I the Election Rules. This included such matters as preparing notices of nomination and election, conducting pre-nomination meeting verifications of eligibility, and preparing for elections. Adjunct Coordinators or Election Supervisors were also present at all nomination meetings and elections.
Approximately one-third of the Locals (224/630) had contested elections; in the remainder, there were no more nominees than delegate positions. Of the 224 Locals which held elections, 196 had in-person voting, 28 had mail voting. The voter turnout was 15% (22,692/ 148,919) in those Locals voting in person, and 30% (7,962/26,675) in those Locals voting by mail.
The 630 LIUNA Locals elected 2,134 Convention delegates. Of these, 20 did not attend the Convention, typically due to ill health. Twelve of these delegates were replaced by substitute delegates, who did not have the right to vote on the nomination or election of officers; the remaining eight delegate positions were unfilled.
Convention. The Election Office was involved in Convention preparation for the purpose of insuring that all aspects of the Convention were politically neutral. The Election Officers reviewed such matters as the Convention agenda, the allocation of space for campaigning and political activity, delegate gifts and stipends, visual , and written Convention presentations, security, and the design of the voting area.
The Election Officer presided over the General Convention at all times when the nomination or election of officers was the order of business. Regional Coordinators performed the same function in their respective Regional caucuses. (A detailed report on the activities of the Election Office in preparing for the Convention and at the Convention will be provided to LIUNA for the use of the 2001 Election Officer.)
The nomination and election of International Union officers were both marred by technical problems with the computerized voter registration and ballot counting system. Since these technical problems resulted in lengthy delays in voting, the Election Officers extended the scheduled voting hours so that every delegate would have a reasonable opportunity to vote. Ultimately, 98% (2082/21 16) of the delegates voted in the nomination balloting for General President and Vice Presidents at Large, and 93% ( 1968/21 16) voted in the election balloting, which was limited to Vice Presidents at Large.
There were contested elections for District Vice President in Districts 3 and 7. The turnout was 98% ( 163/166) in District 3 and 99% (170/172) in District 7.
In the contested elections for District Vice President, the results
|Electoral District 3
Central & Eastern Canada
|No. Of Delegates
Voting for Candidate
|% of Delegates
Voting for Candidate
|Electoral District 4 - Midwest|
|Electoral District 7 - Mid-Atlantic|
All the candidates in these three Districts satisfied the Constitutional requirement that they receive at least 5% of the votes of all delegates eligible to vote, and also satisfied the requirement that no more than 3% of their votes come from one Local (Article VII, Section4). As a result, they were all eligible to advance to the final round of voting. Frank Johnson, however, withdrew his candidacy after the nomination voting. As a result, elections took place only in Districts 3 and 7. The results of those elections were:
|Electoral District 3
Central & Eastern Canada
|No. Of Delegates
Voting for Candidate
|% of Delegates
Voting for Candidate
|Electoral District 7 - Mid-Atlantic|
The results in Electoral District 7 were so close that the Election Officer conducted a recount. While the recount confirmed the official results, representatives of Mr. Quarcini challenged those results, filing a protest which alleged that Wilkinson supporters, including some International representatives, had violated the 1996 Election Rules by engaging in conduct that prevented a fair election. After a thorough investigation, which included interviews with all of the witnesses relied upon by Mr. Quarcini, the Election Officer denied the protest. Accordingly, the Election Officer certified the results of the election, and Mr. Wilkinson was sworn in as District 7 Vice President.
All the remaining candidates for Regional Vice President were unopposed, and were elected by acclamation. They were Armand Sabatoni (Electoral District 1 - New England), Ray Pocino Electoral District 2 - Eastern), Ed Smith (Electoral District 4 - Midwest), Terrance Healey (Electoral District 5 - Great Lakes), Charles Barnes (Electoral District 6 - Northwest and Western Canada), Peter Fosco (Electoral District 8 - Southeast and South Central), and Mason. Warren (Electoral District 9 - Pacific Southwest).
The results of the nomination voting for Vice President at Large, reported by Electoral District, were:
|1 New England||21||185||172||177||7||174||24|
|3 Central & Eastern Canada||22||149||138||152||13||142||25|
|5 Great Lakes||108||99||103||157||62||143||129|
|6 Northwest and Western Canada||40||154||144||167||22||161||44|
|8 Southeast and South Central||23||144||127||225||11||150||129|
|9 Pacific Southwest||10||229||227||237||6||247||23|
|M Mail Handlers||67||141||141||126||65||148||107|
All candidates for Vice President at Large satisfied the Constitutional requirements to advance from the nomination voting to the election voting. The results of the election voting, again reported by Electoral District, were:
|1 New England||29||183||161||161||7||164||32|
|3 Central & Eastern Canada||33||125||133||140||10||129||54|
|5 Great Lakes||122||61||79||143||63||122||130|
|6 Northwest and Western Canada||47||114||116||138||26||138||78|
|8 Southeast and South Central||34||112||109||188||15||130||167|
|M Mail Handlers||87||113||118||106||62||112||122|
Since there are four Vice Presidents at Large, the four candidates with the greatest number of votes -- Vere Hayes, George Gudger, Carl Booker, and Michael Quevedo -- were elected.
The results of the nomination voting for General President were:
|1 New England||185||17||2|
|3 Central and Eastern Canada||149||15||1|
|5 Great Lakes||96||120||1|
|6 Northwest & Western Canada||162||15||9|
|8 Southeast & South Central||211||16||6|
|9 Pacific Southwest||247||6||1|
|M Mail Handlers||163||45||6|
Mr. Coia and Mr. Caruso each qualified for the final election, to be conducted by direct vote of the membership between November 2 and December 16, 1996. Mr. Scanlon received fewer than 5% of the votes cast, so did not qualify for the final election.
There was only one nominee for General Secretary-Treasurer, R. P. Vinall. As a result, Mr. Vinall was elected by acclamation..
Election for General President and Rank-and-File Election Referendum. Election Office staff consulted with each Local to determine if it wished to vote by mail or in-person. Of 650 Locals (including Mail Handlers), 557 chose to vote by mail, 93 chose to vote in person.
Election Office staff next supervised ballot printing, and the preparation and mailing of mail ballots. Election Office staff were also present at all walk-in elections. (Two detailed reports -- one for the United States, one for Canada - on the activities of the Election Office in conducting the election for General President and the Rank-and-File Election Referendum will be provided to LIUNA for the use of the 2001 Election Officer.)
The voting rate was 17% in the 557 Locals voting by mail, and 9% in the 93 Locals voting in-person. The overall voting rate was 15%.
Ballots were counted in 12 separate locations, each under the supervision of an Election Office Regional Coordinator. (The count was conducted regionally, rather than nationally, in order to make it more feasible for Local Union representatives to observe the count.)
In the election for General President, the incumbent, Arthur Coia, received 45,626 votes (67%), while challenger Bruno Caruso received 22,446 votes (33%). In the Rank-and-File Election Referendum, 49,964 members (78%) voted to have International Vice Presidents elected by direct vote of the membership, while 14,246 members (22%) voted to continue the current system, under which International Vice Presidents are elected by delegates to the Convention.
The results of the election for General President and the Rank and-File Election Referendum, reported on a Regional basis, were as follows:
Results of General President Election and Referendum
|Region||C&E Canada||Eastern||Great Lakes||Mid Atlantic||Mid west||New England||NW&W Canada||Pacific South-west||South Central||South East||Mail Handlers||TOTALS|
|General President Election|
|Direct Vote (%)||73%||72%||84%||78%||77%||73%||80%||78%||77%||67%||88%||78%|
|Vote by Delegates||1,424||1,659||1,119||818||1,509||2,932||1,223||1,452||973||330||807||14,246|
|Vote by Delegates (%)||27%||28%||16%||22%||23%||27%||20%||22%||'23%||33%||12%||22%|
Protests. One of the most time-consuming tasks of the Election Office was that of that of investigating and ruling upon protests. One hundred and fifty-eight protests were filed. Approximately 130 of these protests dealt with the nomination and election of delegates, while the remainder dealt with the nomination and election of International officers and the Rank-and-File Referendum.
The Election Officer issued 149 protest decisions, seven protests were withdrawn and two were settled. A summary of the Election Officer's protest decisions and a subject-matter index have been provided to LIUNA, and a notice has been published in The Laborer concerning their availability, on request, to LIUNA Locals and members.
Of the 149 protest decisions issued by the Election Officer, 41 were appealed to the Independent Hearing Officer. Two settled after the appeal was talon, one was remanded by the Independent Hearing Officer to the Local Election Judges, three were reversed by the Independent Hearing Officer, one was reversed in part, and the remainder were affirmed.
These statistics, however, are misleading. The cases in which the Independent Hearing Officer affirmed the decision of the Election Officer dealt with such mundane matters as whether a potential nominee for delegate was ineligible for failure to pay dues in a timely fashion, was "working at the calling," or had filed a timely protest. In nearly every case in which an appeal was taken from an Election Officer decision unfavorable to incumbent International officers, the Independent Hearing Officer overruled the Election Officer.
Three of those cases have already been discussed (see pp. 20-21). In addition, the Election Officer held (Protest Decision No. 156), that when Local Union officers published a recommendation that members vote against direct election of Vice Presidents, and did so in English, Portuguese, and Italian, with the disclaimer that they were speaking only on behalf of themselves, not the Union, only in English, they had failed to comply satisfactorily with the Election Rules disclaimer requirement. The Independent Hearing Officer overruled this decision, as he did the Election Officer's decision (Protest Decision No. 154) that a group which distributed material supporting the incumbent General President and opposing direct
election of Vice Presidents, and which signed that material, "Concerned Union Members," had failed to comply with the Election Rules requirement that all campaign material indicate who had authorized and paid for it.3
The only case in which the Independent Hearing Officer rejected an appeal from an Election Officer decision unfavorable to the interests of an incumbent officer was Protest Decision No. 144, in which the Election Officer found that AFL-CIO President John Sweeney had campaigned for the incumbent General President from the Convention podium, and ordered that the other candidates for General President have five minutes each to respond from the Convention podium. The Independent Hearing Officer also upheld that portion of the Election Officer's decision in Protest Decision No.156 in which the Election Officer found that a Local Union Secretary Treasurer and Regional Manager had violated the Election Rules' requirement of Union neutrality by stating "on behalf of the Region, I look forward to a great victory for our General President Arthur A. Coia."
Cooperation with the Election Officers. With rare exceptions, Local Unions cooperated fully with Election Office staff. To be sure, many Local officers expressed the view that Election Office supervision was unnecessary in their Local, since none of the criminal activity with which LIUNA had been charged took place in that Local. Nonetheless, Election Office directives were followed without resistance, except when, in the delegate elections, the Election Officer ordered mail balloting in a Local because of a risk of intimidation at the polls. Some of the Locals singled out for such treatment protested that they were being defamed. One such Local brought suit against the Election Officer, seeking an injunction against the conduct of a mail ballot. The request for an injunction was denied, and the mail ballot was conducted.
3In both Protest Decisions 154 and 156, the Election Officer had issued a cease and desist order. In addition, the Election Officer had stated that, "the propriety of additional remedies, up to and including setting aside the results of: the election for General President and Referendum will be deferred until the results of those elections are known."
At the International level, the Election Officers dealt primarily with the Division of Membership Accounting (in getting out the Convention Call, resolving issues pertaining to combining small Locals for election purposes and good standing of Locals, and certifying delegates), the Public Affairs Division (in publishing material in the Laborer and the Election Officer's Newsletter, as well as in producing rules booklets and videotapes), and the Comptroller's Office (on financial matters). Each of these Divisions exhibited the highest degree of competence and cooperation, and made the task of the Election Officers immeasurably less arduous than it could have been. Particular praise is due to Ralph Adams, Comptroller; Bruce Andress, Director, Membership Accounting; Linda Fisher, Director, Public Affairs Division; and Faye Hale, Public Affairs Division Assistant.
The Election Office also dealt frequently with the Office of the Inspector General, which was asked by the Election Officers to investigate protests that called for investigative skills and assets beyond the capacity of the Election Office. Both Inspector General W. Douglas Gow and Associate Inspector General William Rice cooperated completely and with the utmost professionalism.
The relationship of the Election Office with counsel for LIUNA and counsel for the General Executive Board varied with the type of issue being dealt with by the Election Office. On all matters concerning the nomination and election of Convention delegates, LIUNA and GEB counsel cooperated completely with the Election Officers. Indeed, counsel for the GEB filed a brief with the Independent Hearing Officer in Protest No. 11 (Francella), supporting the Election Officer.
When matters arose that involved the nomination or election of International officers, disagreements were more common. LIUNA and GEB counsel opposed the Election Officer's efforts to compel LIUNA to mal<e the draft RICO complaint available to members, LIUNA counsel opposed the Election Officer's order directing that the tally of votes in the Vice President nomination voting at the Convention not be announced prior to the election voting, and both LIUNA and GEB counsel opposed the Election Officer's efforts to encourage Locals to use mail balloting in the election for General President and the Referendum. Nonetheless, the overall relationship between the Election Officers, counsel for LIUNA, and the GEB Attorney was both cordial and entirely professional.
Budget. In April 1996, the Election Officers submitted a statement of estimated expenses to LIUNA. At that time, the total costs of the Election Office were estimated to be $6,279,318, exclusive of Convention costs. Convention costs were subsequently estimated to be approximately $200,000, a total of approximately $6,500,000.
While final cost figures are not yet available, it appears that the total costs of the Election Office, including Convention costs, will be under $5,000,000. (An independent accounting firm has been engaged to audit the finances of the Election Office. It is anticipated that an audited financial statement will be submitted to LIUNA and the Department of Justice within 60 days of submission of this Report )
There are two central reasons for the lower than estimated costs of the Election Office. First, the overall costs of preparing for, supervising, and resolving protests arising out of the nomination and election of delegates was estimated to be approximately $2,750,000. In substantial measure due to the cooperation that the Election Office received from LIUNA and nearly all Local Unions in the nomination and election of delegates, the actual Election Office costs associated with the nomination and election of delegates were approximately $2,150,000, a savings of $600,000 in comparison to estimated costs.
The other important factor leading to lower than estimated Election Office expenses was that 88% (557/650) of the Locals chose to conduct the election for General President and the Referendum by mail. The cost of preparing for and conducting in-person elections in all Locals, excepting those few in which delegate elections were held by mail, was estimated to be approximately $ 1,500,000. The actual costs of preparing for and conducting 557 elections by mail and 93 elections in person was approximately $600,000, a savings of $900,000 compared to the estimate.