August 31, 1997 in Nation/World

Waste In Overturned Teamsters Vote Blasted Gop: $20 Million Spent Monitoring Election

Cassandra Burrell Associated Press
 

Republicans pointed to the overturned Teamsters election Saturday as an example of government waste and demanded accountability for campaign abuses despite the $20 million spent monitoring the union vote.

“Who will be held accountable for the mismanagement of this $20 million?” Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., said in the GOP’s weekly radio address.

Americans must have relief from wasteful federal regulations that lead to government involving itself in such activities, Hoekstra said.

To honor the American worker on Labor Day, he said, “We must commit ourselves to be better stewards of the responsibilities and financial resources that are entrusted to us.”

A court-appointed election overseer, Barbara Zack Quindel, refused on Aug. 22 to certify balloting last December that showed Teamsters President Ron Carey winning re-election over challenger James P. Hoffa. She ordered a new vote.

Hoekstra said his subcommittee - the House Education and the Workforce Committee’s panel on oversight and investigations - will examine the Teamsters election.

“Who so seriously violated federal law in the Teamsters election that required the election to be thrown out?” he said. “The hard-working taxpayers who paid for this election and the hard-working rank-and-file members of the Teamsters deserve answers. My subcommittee will demand answers to these questions.”

Quindel based her decision to throw out the election on an investigation that found more than $220,000 in improper contributions to Carey’s campaign.

Hoekstra said a thick web of decades-old and confusing laws and regulations allows the government to rigidly regulate and micromanage U.S. employers and workers.

“Do we really believe these laws will enable us to compete effectively in the next century?” Hoekstra said. “Or are we asking American workers to compete in a marathon while running in combat boots?”


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