Friday, March 03, 2006

The McLaughlin Raid

New York City is abuzz with the news that the Central Labor Council offices were raided yesterday and its chief, Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin, is under suspicion of ridding bids for city street lighting contracts. While nothing is certain at this point we agree with Juan Gonzalez of the Daily News that McLaughlin has done a lot for the labor movement of this city but nonetheless he needs to answer questions and fast.

The NY Post also editorializes on the subject today in its typical vitriolic fashion. In the Post’s harangue it uses the investigation of McLaughlin and the CLC to make wide-sweeping attacks on the labor movement and those politicians who are supposedly bought by labor. Certainly organized labor has had its untoward incidents but then again so has corporate America, specifically Wal-Mart. We don’t remember the Post issuing a tirade against the world’s largest retailer when Vice President Tom Coughlin was forced out for improper conduct (depending on which side you ask it was either for improper use of company funds or illegal union busting).

We also can’t seem to remember the Post railing against the Bronx Terminal Market sweetheart deal, the genesis of which was the conflict-of-interest relationship between a city official and a powerful real estate firm. Or how about when Maria Baez accepted $40,000 dollars from the Related Companies and its consultants and then all of sudden became both a BJ’s and Gateway Mall booster?

We agree that McLaughlin has some explaining to do but so does the Post when it allows such ill-informed invective to appear on its pages.