It appears that the Obama administration is high on transparency for everyone but its own allies. There are a lot of good reasons to reduce federal regulation, but if the Labor Department is going to push coercive unionism, it should require unions to disclose their activities and finances to their members.
Not in today's world, however. The Obama administration is moving backwards. Reports the Washington Times:
The Obama administration, which has boasted about its efforts to make government more transparent, is rolling back rules requiring labor unions and their leaders to report information about their finances and compensation.
The Labor Department noted in a recent disclosure that "it would not be a good use of resources" to bring enforcement actions against union officials who do not comply with conflict of interest reporting rules passed in 2007. Instead, union officials will now be allowed to file older, less detailed conflict reports.
The regulation, known as the LM-30 rule, was at the heart of a lawsuit that the AFL-CIO filed against the department last year. One of the union attorneys in the case, Deborah Greenfield, is now a high-ranking deputy at Labor, who also worked on the Obama transition team on labor issues.
The only people served by this move are union officials who want less oversight over their use of dues payments, much collected from unwilling workers. The new policy certainly runs counter to the president's promise to set a new tone in Washington.
(Hat tip to Philip Klein.)