Culture of corruption postscript: The Hilda Solis files
by Michelle Malkin
Put on your super-shocked faces, everyone: Former Obama administration official Hilda Solis, who is now running for yet another government position in Los Angeles, is embroiled in yet another union corruptocracy scandal. The Hope and Change hits just keep on coming.
Solis served as President No More Business As Usual’s first secretary of labor. Remember waaaay back then, when “most transparent administration in history” had not yet become an automatic punchline? Well before Solis’ confirmation, it was already clear she was a poster child for left-wing sleazeball politics:
–Solis’ husband’s businesses failed to pay thousands of dollars in tax liens, which were 16 years old, until she was nominated.
–While she was in Congress, Solis served as director and treasurer of a union-promoting lobbying group, American Rights at Work, which was pushing her Big Labor “card check” legislation to eliminate the secret ballot, undermine worker choice and obliterate privacy protections.
–Solis failed to disclose those interest-conflicted positions to the House on her financial disclosure forms. In effect, she was lobbying herself — while the group she worked for raked in at least $1 million in contributions from labor unions and spent thousands of dollars on television spots described by the group in its report to the FEC as “electioneering communications.” The scheme circumvented vaunted McCain-Feingold campaign finance reforms barring so-called soft money donations from unions and corporations alike. Despite apparent violations of both basic disclosure and campaign finance rules, Solis skated.
–Upon winning confirmation, Solis quickly went to work doling out plum political appointments at the Labor Department and fat pay raises to a half-dozen of her former Capital Hill staffers. Americans for Limited Government found that “the appointees had significant pay increases averaging 50 percent upon changing jobs; one employee’s salary nearly doubled.” Cha-cha-cha-ching!
After stepping down from her Obama cabinet position last year, Solis is back in the political spotlight. With massive union backing of some $500,000, she’s running for the powerful Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
Question: Why did she step down from her cushy White House post? Inquiring local reporters in Los Angeles wanted to know.
Last week, the Los Angeles Times reported that her resignation coincided with an FBI inquiry into her role at an Obama reelection campaign fundraiser in 2012. When the paper asked the Solis campaign whether she had informed Obama of the FBI probe, a spokesman responded tersely: “It is inappropriate for a cabinet official to (discuss) private communications with the president.”
Oh, now we care about what’s appropriate? LOL.
It also turns out that for the entire last year she served as President Obama’s labor secretary, Solis had retained a high-priced Washington, D.C., law firm “to address legal issues” involving the fundraiser and possible violations of the federal Hatch Act — which prevents cabinet members from directly grubbing for campaign cash. Solis had incurred a debt of between $50,000 and $100,000 for the legal bills. Her campaign says it’s almost “all” paid off, but won’t specify by how much.
On Monday, the latest eruption of corruptocracy shook the Solis machine. Hews Media Group-Community News obtained a lawsuit filed in California’s Central U.S.