The FBI and IRS raided the home of United Auto Workers (UAW) President Gary Jones on Wednesday morning, as apart of a corruption probe on the autoworkers union.
Federal authorities have also raided UAW locations across the country, including their conference center in northern Michigan looking for evidence to bolster their ongoing corruption probe against the influential union.
Jones’ home in Canton, MI, a suburb of Detroit, was raided by up to 12 federal agents who scoured his domicile collecting evidence earlier today. Federal authorities conducted what they call a “knock and announce” raid and refused to say whether anyone was home when it was conducted.
The scandal that prompted the series of raids is related to allegedly misused funds that were intended to be spent on the union’s shared training center with Fiat Chrysler. The scandal also encompasses vendor deals and officials associated with the UAW’s General Motors training center. Nine individuals have been implicated in the scandal thus far.
The UAW has released a statement denying all wrongdoing:
The UAW and President Gary Jones have always fully cooperated with the government investigators in this matter. As the leader of the UAW, President Jones is determined to uncover and address any and all wrongdoing, wherever it might lead. There was absolutely no need for search warrants to be used by the government today — the UAW has voluntarily responded to every request the government has made throughout the course of its investigation, produced literally hundreds of thousands of documents and other materials to the government, and most importantly, when wrongdoing has been discovered, we have taken strong action to address it. The UAW will continue to cooperate with the government in its investigation, as we have been doing throughout.
Trust in UAW leadership is never more important than during the bargaining process, when profit-laden auto companies stand to benefit from media leaks, false assumptions, and political grandstanding. The sole focus of President Jones and his team will be winning at the bargaining table for our members.
Long-time union members are losing faith in their institution as a result of this latest bout of corruption.
“I believe in the UAW. I also believe if there was any corruption, whoever was involved, belongs in jail. If Gary Jones was involved with it, he belongs behind bars. I’m really torn with this. I’m a strong union member. The whole corruption thing, it’s dirty man. How do you preach to new members the UAW cares about you? It doesn’t help the cause,” a Ford factory worker told the Detroit Free Press.
“We’re getting ready to go into one of the biggest negotiations of our lifetime and we’re possibly going to lose faith in our union,” said UAW member Sean Crawford, a worker at GM’s Flint Assembly plant.
“All these people should step down and allow a democratic electoral process to take place, an election of leadership that is run by the members,” Crawford added. “The union has to be blamed for this too and it’s disgusting. It makes us all look bad.”
The UAW, which has been historically plagued with corruption, is no longer protected by a Democratic president who relies on union cronyism for campaign donations. The Trump administration is draining the swamp and protecting workers in a key battleground state with these raids.
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BEWARE: New ‘Conservative Economics’ Think Tank by National Review Hack is Another #NeverTrump Grift
Columnist Oren Cass has a history of opposing Trump and denigrating his supporters.
Public policy analyst and conservative author Oren Cass announced today that he would be establishing American Compass, a thinktank with a focus on populist economics that is set to open in May.
“Delighted to announce the formation of American Compass, whose mission is to restore an economic consensus that emphasizes the importance of family, community, and industry to the nation’s liberty and prosperity,” Cass wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.
While Cass may act like he wants to offer an “America First” vision for conservatism, his history of writings at National Review indicate that he is another Never Trumper attempting to reinvent himself in order to grift or co-opt the movement Trump is responsible for creating.
“Keeping any distance in the public mind between conservatism and Trumpism — not just checking his executive power, but continually repudiating his demagoguery and standing beside its targets — will require a Herculean effort in the coming years. Perhaps it will be impossible. But we should try, most importantly because it is the right thing to do,” Cass wrote in an article just days after Trump was elected President.
“Conservatives cannot afford to have their long-standing agenda become indistinguishable from the noxious elements of Trumpism… But to be viable (or deserving of respect) in the long term, Republicans will have to sustain that coalition independent of the antidemocratic and intolerant aspects that Trump leveraged. Some will smirk that this is impossible and guts the core appeal of Trumpism, but if that’s true, then we’ll have to ensure its gutting anyway,” he added.
In a previous op/ed, Cass lauded Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) as the paragon of virtue while denigrating Trump’s brand of politics and insulting his fans.
“The real difference is that Romney held himself each day to the highest standards of decency and felt keenly the burdens of leadership, while Trump is an entertainer committed to delivering whatever irrational blather of insults, threats, and lies will earn the most retweets,” Cass wrote.
“The Trump phenomenon does not deserve elevation to the level of some reasonable response, needed movement, or well-earned comeuppance. It is best regarded as some combination of nihilistic joke and authoritarian fantasy,” he added.
In his latest screed laying out the philosophical basis for his new thinktank, Cass never mentions Trump, or even Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson, even once. He instead name drops Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) as the model for his brand of conservatism.
“The problems animating America’s resurgent populism are very real. They will be solved neither by the ideological alignments that governed us into the crisis nor by that populism itself, which has demonstrated no ability to formulate or implement a coherent response,” he wrote.
Cass’ new project will create a “coherent response” to mounting societal problems that fits neatly within the parameters of globalism and politics-as-usual. Similar to National Review editor Rich Lowry with his book “The Case for Nationalism,” Cass is another establishment Republican attempting to make himself relevant in a political landscape that has passed him by.
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