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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters

              November 12, 1996





Jim Merritt & Paul Houck

November 12, 1996

Page 1



Jim Merritt

4369 Richmond Street

Philadelphia, PA  19137


Vincent J. Fumo

1208 Tasker Street

Philadelphia, PA  19148


James P. Hoffa

2593 Hounds Chase

Troy, MI  48098

Nathaniel K. Charny

Cohen, Weiss & Simon

330 W. 42nd Street

New York, NY  10036


Bradley T. Raymond

Finkel, Whitefield, Selik, Raymond,

  Ferrara & Feldman, P.C.

32300 Northwestern Highway, Suite 200

Farmington Hills, MI  48334

Jim Merritt & Paul Houck

November 12, 1996

Page 1



Re:  Election Office Case Nos.              P-1162-IBT-PNJ





Pre-election protests were filed pursuant to Article XIV, Section 2(b) of the Rules

for the 1995-1996 IBT International Union Delegate and Officer Election (Rules) by James Merritt, secretary-treasurer of Local Union 623, and Paul Houck, a member of Local Union 326, against Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent J. Fumo, James P. Hoffa, a candidate for general president, and the Hoffa campaign.  The protesters allege that Senator Fumo allowed the Hoffa campaign to use his reelection office to conduct a phone bank operation, representing an improper employer campaign contribution, in violation of the Rules.   


The Hoffa campaign responds that it has written agreements with Senator Fumos campaign, and with the owner of the building in which the Senators reelection office is located, which provide for the Hoffa campaign to have limited use of the office during the months of October and November 1996 for a set fee.  The campaign asserts that Senator Fumo does not support or endorse Mr. Hoffas candidacy.


Jim Merritt & Paul Houck

November 12, 1996

Page 1



Regional Coordinator Peter V. Marks, Sr. investigated the protests.  As these protests involve identical legal and factual issues, the Election Officer has consolidated them for decision.


In P-1162-IBT-PNJ, Mr. Merritt states that he received a telephone call at his home during the week of October 28, 1996, which his Caller I.D. device identified as originating at the office of Fumo for Senate.  The caller asked Mr. Merritt if he was aware of the International officer election, what candidate he supported for general president, and what issues were important to him.[1]  Mr. Merritt asserts that Senator Fumo and his reelection campaign have made unlawful and prohibited contributions to the Hoffa campaign in an effort to affect the IBT International Officer Elections.


In P-1202-IBT-PNJ, Mr. Houck alleges that he received a telephone call at his home on November 7, 1996, which he realized originated from Senator Fumos office due to his Caller I.D. device.  Mr. Houck states that the telephone call was made on behalf of the Hoffa 96 campaign soliciting my vote for the Hoffa Slate.  Like Mr. Merritt, Mr. Houck claims that the call he received represents an improper employer contribution to the Hoffa campaign.


Article XII, Section 1(b)(1) of the Rules states:


No employer may contribute, or shall be permitted to contribute, directly or indirectly, anything of value, where the purpose, object or foreseeable effect of the contribution is to influence, positively or negatively, the election of a candidate.  No candidate may accept or use any such contribution.


The purchase of goods or services by a member does not constitute a campaign contribution by the vendor if the terms are commercially reasonable.  See Cook, P-337-LU705-CHI, et seq. (May 8, 1996), affd, 96 - Elec. App. -191 (KC) (May 17, 1996) (use

of AFSCME phone bank does not constitute prohibited contribution at market value); Carter, P-457-LU550-NYC (1991).


Here, the Hoffa campaign agreed to pay the actual costs of the telephone usage within 10 days of receipt of these costs from Mr. Fumos campaign and is paying $50 per month at the end of November for the rental of the space.  The investigation revealed that the telephone lines equal approximately 15 percent of the total floor space used by the Fumo campaign, which rents the total space for $400 per month.


Jim Merritt & Paul Houck

November 12, 1996

Page 1



In the instant protests, the evidence indicates that the Hoffa campaign is paying fair market value for the use of the telephone bank at Senator Fumos office.  Therefore, this use does not constitute a campaign contribution, under the Rules.


Accordingly, the protests are DENIED.


Any interested party not satisfied with this determination may request a hearing before the Election Appeals Master within one day of receipt of this letter.  The parties are reminded that, absent extraordinary circumstances, no party may rely upon evidence that was not presented to the Office of the Election Officer in any such appeal.  Requests for a hearing shall be made in writing and shall be served on:


Kenneth Conboy, Esq.

Latham & Watkins

885 Third Avenue, Suite 1000

New York, NY 10022

Fax (212) 751-4864


Copies of the request for hearing must be served on the parties listed above as well as upon the Election Officer, 400 N. Capitol Street, Suite 855, Washington, DC 20001, Facsimile

(202) 624-3525.  A copy of the protest must accompany the request for a hearing.






Barbara Zack Quindel

Election Officer



cc:               Kenneth Conboy, Election Appeals Master

Peter V. Marks, Sr., Regional Coordinator

[1]Two other members of Local Union 623, Ed Stefany and Charles Newmiller, told the Regional Coordinator that they received similar telephone calls, but could not identify the source of the call.