The Shadow Party: How George Soros, Hillary Clinton, and Sixties Radicals Seized Control of the Democratic Party

The Shadow Party: How George Soros, Hillary Clinton, and Sixties Radicals Seized Control of the Democratic Party


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represented labor unions for a living, many unions were controlled or influenced by New York\u2019s \u201cfive families\u201d\u2014the Gambino, Colombo, Lucchese, Genovese and Bonanno crime syndicates. Union bosses were often hand-picked by the mob. These Mafia-anointed bosses embezzled union dues, robbed pension funds, planted friends and associates in lucrative \u201cghost jobs\u201d on union payrolls, rigged bids on work contracts, and extorted payoffs from businesses by threatening strikes. The biggest losers in the labor racket were the rank-and-file union members. Mob-run union bosses grew rich on kickbacks and payoffs. But the cozy deals they cut with employers left workers out in the cold. Union members who protested mob corruption were threatened, beaten and, when necessary, killed.
Today\u2019s labor movement remains as corrupt as Ickes found it in the 1970s. It is true that organized crime and its union rackets took a drubbing from the Reagan Justice Department during the 1980s but\u2014to paraphrase Mark Twain\u2014reports of organized crime\u2019s demise have been greatly exaggerated. Federal prosecutors jailed many crime bosses, but others replaced them. During the Clinton years, a new generation of 21st-century racketeers spread its tentacles from Wall Street to Silicon Valley. This is a world with which Harold Ickes is familiar.
A 1971 graduate of Columbia University law school, Ickes joined the Mineola, Long Island law firm Meyer, Suozzi, English &Klein in 1977. Meyer Suozzi is an important cog in New York\u2019s Democratic machine. It was founded in 1960 by the late John Francis English, a lifelong Democrat operative, who was a close advisor to all three Kennedy brothers, John, Robert and Teddy. English counseled Robert Kennedy to run for the Senate in New York in 1964. He served both JFK and RFK as a strategist on their presidential campaigns. When English died of liver cancer in 1987, Senator Ted Kennedy praised him as \u201ca hero\u201d to the Kennedy family. \u201cThere were two Jacks in my life and now both of them are gone,\u201d Kennedy lamented.6
English met Harold Ickes in 1968. He admired Ickes\u2019 work on the McCarthy campaign. No doubt, English was equally impressed by Ickes\u2019 pedigree as a Washington insider. Ickes\u2019 father, also named Harold, served as Secretary of Interior for Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry Truman from 1933 until 1946.
Meyer Suozzi\u2019s labor practice has brought controversy to the firm through its long history of representing corrupt unions under mob control. Because of it, New York attorneys have bestowed upon Meyer Suozzi the irreverent nickname \u201cThe Firm\u201d\u2014a reference to the 1993 film by that name, starring Tom Cruise and Gene Hackman as attorneys trapped in a white-shoe law firm serving Mafia dons.7
Ickes started as an associate at Meyer Suozzi in 1977, became a partner in 1980 and headed the firm\u2019s labor practice from 1982 to December 1993, overseeing a staff of nine lawyers serving nearly 200 union clients.
Through his labor practice, Ickes represented numerous clients with ties to the New York crime families.8 Ickes justifies his work during those years by arguing that unions need representation, and that dealing with unions often means dealing with the mob. He told the Washington Post in 1993, \u201cIt is very important that law firms such as mine, which are known for their integrity, provide honest and competent legal representation to unions and their memberships. If we abandoned our clients in the face of allegations of corruption, it would leave union members at the mercy of only corrupt lawyers.\u201d9
This is disingenuous, at best. If Ickes wanted to help unions, he would help them get rid of mob control, as did Bobby Kennedy when he was Attorney General. All too often, Ickes has done the opposite. He has represented, and thus protected, the very individuals who were corrupting unions and terrorizing honest workers. On at least one occasion, his actions on behalf of mob-connected union bosses have moved federal officials to accuse Meyer Suozzi\u2019s labor practice of obstructing federal law enforcement.
This occurred in connection with Ickes\u2019 work for the Teamsters. Ickes has represented a number of Teamsters locals long viewed by federal prosecutors as hotbeds of mob racketeering. Among these were Teamsters Locals 295 and 851, which represent air freight workers at New York City airports, and reputedly run the air freight rackets in New York. Both unions have been under mob control for decades, according to federal investigators.10 The US Justice Department attempted to clean up these unions by placing them under federal supervision, in an arrangement known as a trusteeship.
After Local 295 boss Anthony Calagna\u2014an associate of the Lucchese crime family\u2014was convicted of extortion in 1992, a federal judge placed Local 295 under the supervision of two trustees, Thomas P. Puccio (a former federal prosecutor) and Michael J. Moroney (a former Labor Department investigator). The trustees Puccio and Moroney quickly identified Harold Ickes and his law firm Meyer Suozzi as obstacles in their efforts to clean up Local 295. They told the court that Meyer Suozzi had shown \u201chostility to the trusteeship,\u201d and demanded that the firm cease representing Locals 295 and 851, citing Meyer Suozzi\u2019s \u201cpast practices\u201d and the firm\u2019s \u201clack of independence\u201d from the Mob.
Another Ickes client was Teamsters Local 560 in Union City, New Jersey, long reputed to be dominated by the Genovese crime family. Local 560 plays a dark role in the Teamsters saga. When former Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa attempted to regain control of the union in 1975, the mob resisted him. Seeking allies, Hoffa arranged a meeting in Detroit to make peace with one of his chief rivals, Anthony \u201cTony Pro\u201d Provenzano, who had headed Local 560 since the 1950s. In the words of a senior official of the Newark US Attorney\u2019s office, Provenzano was \u201cone of the most notorious, high-ranking members of the Genovese [organized-crime] family.\u201d11
When Hoffa arrived at the Detroit meeting place, Provenzano was not there. He was home in New Jersey. Hoffa never returned from that meeting. Prosecutors did not succeed in pinning Hoffa\u2019s disappearance on Provenzano. However, they eventually managed to convict him of extortion, labor racketeering and of ordering Teamsters rival Anthony Castellito strangled to death with piano wire. Incarcerated for these crimes on 18 November 1980, Provenzano died in prison on 12 December 1988. The fall of Provenzano did not end mob domination of Teamsters Local 560, and the Genovese crime family remained in control throughout the period that Harold Ickes and Meyer Suozzi represented it.
Perhaps the most notorious of Ickes\u2019 clients was Arthur Armand Coia, who became president of the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) in February 1993. Coia ruled LIUNA with an iron fist, under the watchful eye of the union\u2019s real masters, the Patriarcha crime family of Providence, Rhode Island. In a 1994 civil racketeering complaint, Justice Department investigators accused Coia of having \u201cassociated with, and been controlled and influenced by, organized crime figures.\u201dThe complaint further charges that Coia \u201cemployed actual and threatened force, violence and fear of physical and economic injury . . .\u201d to keep his troops in line. At Coia\u2019s command, LIUNA locals throughout upstate New York were ordered to pay tribute to mob bosses in Buffalo.12
Ickes also represented Local 100 of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union (HERE), identified by federal investigators as a mob fiefdom under joint control of the Colombo and Gambino crime families. Before Gambino boss Paul Castellano was gunned down in 1985, investigators taped Castellano stating that Local 100 was \u201cmy union and I don\u2019t want anything happening to it.\u201d
Ickes\u2019 work has brought him perilously close to prosecution, but when the pressure was on, he always displayed a Houdini-like gift for evading authorities. \u201cThere are more than