Union That Played Host To Heitkamp’s Victory Party Under Investigation

Heidi Heitkamp

Teamsters Local 120, based in Fargo, is under investigation for misuse of union funds. The news broke earlier this week. Among the accusations, which seem largely to be aimed at chapter boss Bradley Slawson and his son Bradley Slawson Jr., are the failure to report losses from the union-run lounge to the union’s executive committee, misuse of strike fund money to cover the lounge’s losses, misuse of funds to build a new building, kickbacks from contractors and apparent deals negotiated with vendors to the union in which the vendors got contracts in exchange for excusing debt run up by the Slawson’s.

In other words a big, fat, ugly mess. But not exactly something new to the world of organized labor. Misuse of funds? Kick back? Under-the-table deals?

Color me shocked.

What’s interesting, though, is the connection the union has to Senator-elect Heidi Heitkamp. In addition to getting $9,000 in contributions to her Senate campaign from the Teamsters’ DRIVE PAC (and probably a whole lot more from individual union workers/bosses that I haven’t had the time to look up yet), Heitkamp’s election-night victory party was held at the Teamster’s Lounge in Fargo.

The very same bar that was operated, according to the accusations being made, with misappropriated funds by union bosses that themselves are apparently guilty of a myriad of dirty dealings.

Is Heitkamp responsible for the internal problems at Teamsters Local 120? Nope. But is it an illustration of the close connections between the often unseemly world of Big Labor and Democrat politicians like Heitkamp?

Absolutely.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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