Republican Greg Ganske — a candidate for the U-S Senate — says his democrat opponent, Senator Tom Harkin, is blocking efforts to crack-down on “union bosses” who cook the books and get the same kind of stock privileges as executives in companies like Enron.Ganske says Harkin, as chairman of a Senate Budget Subcommittee, is refusing to give the Department of Labor the money it wants to increase audits of unions.Ganske says union leaders in the Union Labor Life Insurance Company were able to sell all their Global Crossing investments when the stock plummeted, but rank-and-file union members were limited in how much they could sell off.Ganske says Harkin has tried to block greater public disclosure of that kind of union scandal. Ganske says Harkin won’t be able to explain to rank-and-file union members that he’s trying to keep them from finding out about how their pension funds are being raided by union leaders. Christopher Moody, a spokesman for Senator Harkin, says that’s not true.Moody says Harkin wants any wrongdoing investigated. Moody says Harkin believes the Labor Department has “ample funds” to audit the unions. The agency had asked for nearly three-and-a-half million more for such audits.Moody says Harkin used that money, instead, to boost job training programs and establish a federal “office of pension advocacy.” Moody says the proposal to include unions in the new “corporate responsibility” law which has bigger penalties for crooks in the business world would have had tougher rules for unions than for corporations, and that’s why Harkin voted no.
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