(CHARLESTON, W.Va.) –Teamsters General Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall, who also serves as President of Teamsters Local 175 in South Charleston, filed a formal complaint today against the West Virginia Right to Work Committee for violating election campaign laws. The complaint comes after recent revelations of undisclosed mailings by the anti-union group to West Virginia voters, including Teamster members, without registering or reporting its activity with the state.
“Not only is this a clear violation of campaign finance laws, it’s also proof positive that out-of-state special interests are pulling the strings of the Republican leadership in West Virginia. We know that this illegal electioneering has been done for the benefit of state senate candidates Mitch Carmichael, Chris Walters and Greg Boso; but we believe it is much more widespread and, for that reason, we are calling for a full and immediate investigation of this out-of-state group to determine how many other races they’ve illegally injected themselves into,” Hall said.
On Oct. 29, letters obtained by the Gazette-Mail show that the West Virginia Right to Work Committee mailed out letters with a “roster” of the group’s endorsed candidates for the 2016 election. The Teamsters are requesting the maximum fine for this group and an immediate statement from Carmichael, Boso, Walters and any other candidates who have benefited from the West Virginia Right to Work Committee to publicly disavow the group and their actions.
“Furthermore, we are calling for an immediate cease and desist order against the group to prevent further interference in West Virginia’s election and for county prosecutors to investigate whether the candidates were aware of this illegal contribution—and, if so, that the appropriate legal action be taken against them,” Hall said. “We also call on this out-of-state group to immediately send out a mailer to all affected voters addressing its violation of campaign election laws.”
The Right to Work Committee has also been linked to campaign violations in Montana and unreported political contributions in Iowa. Upon further investigation, the Teamsters Union has since discovered the anti-union group has no official office or affiliation in West Virginia, operating entirely out of a post office box in Kanawha City.
“Lastly, in the interest of fairness and integrity, we call on Senators Carmichael, Boso and Walters— as well as any other candidates who have received illegal electioneering for their benefit—to disavow this group,” Hall said.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.