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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters



IN RE: TEAMSTERS UNITED,                                          2015-2016 EAM 26 (KAR)

                                                                                                DECISION ON APPEAL OF                                                                                                                       ESD 258





            Protest Decision 2016 ESD 258 (ESD 258), granting a protest by Teamsters United (OES Case No. P-307-062716-NA), was issued on June 27, 2016.  On June 28, 2016, David J. Hoffa, Esq. filed an appeal of ESD 258 on behalf of the Hoffa-Hall 2016 Campaign (“Hoffa Campaign”), which was supported in part by a June 28, 2016 email from Raymond Bradley, Esq., on behalf of the IBT.  At the request of the Hoffa Campaign, the Election Appeals Master issued a stay of the remedy imposed by the Election Supervisor pending a decision on the appeal. 


            A telephonic hearing on the appeal was held on July 28, 2016 at 4:00 PM (Eastern), prior to which the Election Supervisor submitted a letter in support of ESD 258 (OES June 28 Letter).  The following individuals attended the hearing:  Jeffrey J. Ellison, Esq. on behalf of the Election Supervisor, David J. Hoffa, Esq. (Hoffa Campaign), Raymond Bradley, Esq. (IBT), and Julian Gonzalez, Esq., and David Suetholz, Esq., on behalf of the protestor.


            The appeal is DENIED, ESD 258 is AFFIRMED in all respects, and the previously-granted stay is dissolved, for substantially the reasons set forth in the OES June 28 Letter.  I note that the convention rules adopted by the delegate body ten minutes prior to the incident that is the subject of the protest declare the convention floor a “politically neutral” space, except during designated proceedings.  I specifically find that the requirement of a “politically neutral space” would be rendered meaningless if, as argued by the Hoffa Campaign, Rule 46 is limited to “displays of campaign material, signs, banners, or similar items promoting the candidacy of anyone,” and does not limit “speech,” i.e., that delegates “can say what they want” on the convention floor, including partisan campaign remarks, subject only to the power of the chair to rule the remarks “out of order,” or the obligation of the chair to “level the playing field.”  To the contrary, the only reasonable interpretation of the Rule is that partisan campaign speech in addressing the delegate body is prohibited on the convention floor except during designated proceedings.  Moreover, the “point of personal privilege” cannot and should not be used to circumvent the requirement of a “politically neutral space.”









DATED:  June 28, 2016