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Last Updated
July 30, 1997

The Ron Carey Campaign Investigations 

Events in 1996


    The Teamsters began their second government-supervised Convention on July 15, 1996 in Philadelphia. Ron Carey,  first elected as General President in 1991, sought a second term. Also running was James P. Hoffa, a Teamsters labor lawyer and son of Jimmy Hoffa.  

    A majority of Convention delegates (all elected by local union members) favored Hoffa for the General Presidency. In a straw vote, Hoffa out polled Carey 954 votes to 775. Direct rank-and-file voting was scheduled to begin in November.  

    Most observers thought the Carey campaign was in deep trouble after the Convention. When Carey won the election with 51.5 percent of the vote, Hoffa cried foul. As a result of investigations now underway by the Department of Justice and the Election Officer, it is known that Carey received more than $200,000 in illegal campaign contributions between the dates of the Convention and the membership vote. Some of the money was funnelled from the treasury of the Teamsters Union; more was given to the Carey campaign by employers. 

    So far, a telemarketing executive employed by the Teamsters has pleaded guilty to criminal conspiracy charges, and is said to be cooperating with authorities. A second has been arrested and charged with felony mail fraud, and a third, Ron Carey's campaign manager, invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when questioned in the ongoing probes.

Events in 1996

    July, 1996: Martin Davis's November Group hired to provide direct mail services to Carey campaign. Davis had worked on Ron Carey's 1991 campaign for General President, and had been retained by the IBT to perform consulting and direct mail services after Carey was elected. 

    September: Davis asks Michael Ansara ("Cooperating Witness 1" or "CW 1" in the Sealed Complaint against Davis), owner of The Share Group (a telemarketing concern employing over 600, with annual revenues of $22 million) to solicit contributions for Carey campaign. Like Davis, Ansara worked on Carey's 1991 campaign, and enjoyed lucrative contracts with the IBT after Carey's election as General President. Davis tells Ansara that Teamster campaign rules forbid employer contributions. 

      NOTE: IBT Constitution, Article IV, Section 4 prohibits candidates from receiving money from any employer. Violation of this provision "shall be grounds for removal from office." The Election Officer appointed under 1989 consent decree has adopted this provision, and made it applicable to the 1996 International election. Election Rules, Article XII, Section 1(a).

    • NOTE: Federal law prohibits payment of money or other thing of value by employer to any officer of a labor organization. Offense is a felony, punishable by 5 years imprisonment and $15,000 fine. 29 U.S.C. Section 186.

    September 30: Davis meets Ansara and suggests that Ansara's wife, Barbara Arnold ("Cooperating Witness 2" in the Sealed Complaint against Davis) make the contributions to Carey campaign; in return, Davis promises to get "no work" contract for Ansara. 

    • NOTE: In her December 14, 1995 Advisory on Campaign Contributions, the government-appointed Election Officer noted that contributions from a spouse or child of an employer "will be deemed contributions received from such employer . . ."

    October 1: Ansara sends fake invoices to printing company which owes Davis money for commissions. Printing company pays $11,250 to Ansara, which he deposits into his "d/b/a" account, Share Consultants. 

    Mid-late October: Davis tells Ansara that Ansara will get large contract from IBT for "Get Out The Vote" ("GOTV") telemarketing drive related to congressional elections. Davis instructs Ansara to use the profits to reimburse his wife, Barbara Arnold, for her planned "donations" to the Carey campaign. 

    October 22: William Hamilton, IBT Director of Government Affairs, negotiates contract with Ansara calling for Share Group to make 149,000 GOTV telemarketing calls, at .65 cents per call. Total contract is for $97,175, due in two payments on October 22 and November 6. Ansara sends invoice to IBT. 

    • Ansara complains to Davis that contract with IBT too small to justify contributions by Ansara's wife to Carey campaign. Davis tells Ansara (according to the Sealed Complaint against Davis) to "lose some of the calls" and advises that the IBT has approved the plan. (Ansara's company ultimately makes only 107,578 calls).
    • Ansara asks his wife, Barbara Arnold, to contribute $45,000 to Carey reelection campaign. She agrees, on condition that Ansara agree to reimburse her.

    October 24: IBT sends Ansara check for $48,587.50. 

    October 24: IBT pays $475,000 to Citizen Action, a liberal consumer rights and election reform group co-founded by Michael Ansara and others, including Ira Arlook. IBT spokeswoman Nancy Stella later ( Associated Press, June 9, 1997) characterizes purpose of the payment as "to support voter education." 

    October 31: Barbara Arnold writes $45,000 check to "Teamsters For A Corruption Free Union" ("TCFU"), and sends it to Carey campaign (and IBT) lawyers, Cohen, Weiss and Simon in New York City. (TCFU is set up to receive contributions to Carey campaign by non-Teamsters. TCFU ultimately receives total of $210,000 from seven (7) individuals, none of whom are members of the IBT. All monies are funneled to Carey campaign). 

    "Late October": Citizen Action, "at the urging of an individual not named as a defendant" (Davis sealed complaint, June 6, 1997), agrees to pay Ansara's company $75,000to be used to fund additional contributions by Barbara Arnold to Carey campaign. 

    • NOTE: June 1997 "sealed complaint" signed by FBI Special Agent Joseph Phelan states that the Deputy Director of an organization later identified as Citizen Action was interviewed by Phelan "pursuant to a proffer agreement." Chicago Tribune reports on June 11, 1997 that Rochelle Davis is the only Deputy Director employed by Citizen Action. Davis manages the financial affairs of Citizen Action from Evanston, Illinois.

    November 1-7: 886,000 leaflets, funded by TCFU contributions and produced by Martin Davis's November Group, are mailed to targeted audience of IBT members employed in the freight industry and by United Parcel Service. (Election Officer Zack Quindel, May 30, 1997 letter). Included are "Is Your Pension Safe," "Don't Let Corruption Back in Our Union." and "Keep Our Unions Strong." 

    November 8: Ballots mailed from Election Officer to IBT members in the United States and Canada. 

    November 11, 17: Ansara withdraws $95,000 from his bank account and gives it to his wife, Barbara Arnold. 

    November 13: Ansara sends fake invoice to Citizen Action for $75,000 for "consulting services" in the months of July, August and September which he later admits were never performed. 

    November 14: Citizen Action pays Ansara $75,000, which he deposits into his d/b/a bank account. 

    November 15: IBT sends check to Ansara in amount of $48,587.50, in final payment of contract negotiated by William Hamilton on October 22. Ansara deposits check in d/b/a account. 

    November 22: Barbara Arnold sends second check to TCFU, in care of Carey campaign (and IBT) lawyers Cohen, Weiss and Simon in New York City.  

    December 14: Carey proclaims victory in election. "Let me say it as it is," he tells news conference. "We beat the mob. We beat corporate America. We beat the old guard officials in our union." (Reuter, December 14, 1996).

    • NOTE: Carey also addresses his political opponents. "This victory sends a message to every Teamster official who has tried to undermine reform in the past five years," he is quoted as saying in his victory speech. "It's time to get on the reform train or get out of the way."

    News January through June, 1997

News August to Present, 1997