This website uses cookies.
Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters

              February 22, 1999




Raul Lopez

February 22, 1999

Page 1


Raul Lopez

P.O. Box 4546

Covina, CA 91723


Leedham Slate

c/o Tom Leedham Campaign Office

P.O. Box 15877

Washington, DC 20003


Ken Mee

42356 Greenbrier Park Drive

Fremont, CA 94538


Ken Paff

Teamsters for a Democratic Union

7435 Michigan Avenue

Detroit, MI 48210


Arthur Z. Schwartz, Esq.

Kennedy, Schwartz & Cure

113 University Place

New York, NY 10003

Metz Slate

c/o Jim Smith

2833 Cottman Avenue

Philadelphia, PA 19149


Paul Alan Levy, Esq.

Public Citizen Litigation Group

1600 20th Street, NW

Washington, DC 20009


George O. Suggs, Esq.

Wilburn & Suggs

1015 Locust

Suite 818

St. Louis, MO 63101


Edwin Sanchez

4441 Gasper Street

Los Angeles, CA 90032


Raul Lopez

February 22, 1999

Page 1


Re:  Election Office Case No.  PR-415-LU396-EOH




Raul Lopez, a member of Local Union 396 and a candidate for Western Region vice president, filed a pre-election protest pursuant to Article XIV, Section 2(b) of the Rules for the 1995-1996 IBT International Union Delegate and Officer Election (“Rules”) against Ken Mee, a candidate for Western Region vice president, Tom Leedham, a candidate for General President,  the Tom Leedham “Rank and File Power” Slate (“Leedham Slate”), USA Waste, United Parcel Service (“UPS”), and Teamsters for a Democratic Union (“TDU”) alleging various Rules violations.


Raul Lopez

February 22, 1999

Page 1


Mr. Lopez now advises the Election Office that he wishes to withdraw the allegation against Ken Mee, the allegation against USA Waste and Tom Leedham regarding the posting of Mr. Leedham’s campaign material on the official union bulletin board at USA Waste, and the allegation against UPS that Edwin Sanchez campaigned for Mr. Leedham inside the UPS facility without proper authorization.  The Election Officer, finding that the withdrawal of these allegations effectuates the purpose of the Rules, permits the allegations to be WITHDRAWN.


In the remaining allegations, Mr. Lopez contends that campaigners for the Leedham Slate organized meetings to gather ballots and show members how to vote, in violation of the Rules.  The protester also alleges that Mr. Leedham, a candidate for general president, and members of the Leedham Slate distributed issues of La Voz, a Spanish language publication produced by the IBT,  along with publications of Teamsters for a Democratic Union (“TDU”), namely Convoy Dispatch and Adelante, as part of a their campaign materials.  Mr. Lopez alleges that Teamsters for a Democratic Union (“TDU”) receives funds from outside corporations and their chief organizer, Ken Paff, is not a Teamster.  He also alleges that TDU, as an employer, should not be using retirees and paid staff to campaign for Mr. Leedham and the Leedham Slate and should not be giving pro bono materials to the Leedham Slate.  Finally, Mr. Lopez alleges that by distributing La Voz, IBT’s Spanish language publication along with their campaign materials, the impression is created that the publication is coming directly from Tom Leedham and the Leedham Slate.


The Election Officer deferred this protest for post-election review pursuant to his authority under Article XIV, Section 2(f)(2) of the Rules.


The protest was investigated by Election Office Protest Chief Mary E. Leary. 


The investigation established that in about October to November 1998, a van with pro-Leedham supporters campaigned outside the parking lot at the USA Waste’s Long Beach, California facility.  The evidence established that there was conflict in the local union revolving around negotiations with USA Waste for a successor collective bargaining agreement and that this dispute was fueled by tension between Local Unions 63 and 396.  The campaigners urged the employees of USA Waste to abandon Local Union 396 and to sign a petition supporting Local Union 63.  The members contended that Local Union 63 could get more money for the employees during contract negotiations than Local Union 396.  Amidst this conflict, there were rumors that persons were collecting ballots for the International Officer Rerun Election.  While the allegation of ballot collection is a serious matter, the Election Officer finds that there was insufficient evidence to establish that any ballot collection actually occurred. 


The protester bears the burden of proof to present evidence that a violation has occurred.  Rules, Article XIV, Section 1.  The Election Officer has consistently denied protests when the protester offers no evidence to corroborate his allegations.  Hoffa, PR-043-LU385-SCE (January 9, 1998); Pike, P-278-LU952-CLA (January 30, 1996). 

Raul Lopez

February 22, 1999

Page 1


The evidence established that Ramon Tapia, Luis Cruz, Tony Hernandez and other members distributed TDU publications, namely, Convoy Dispatch and Adelante, at the USA Waste facility in Long Beach, CA around September 1998.  However, contrary to the allegations, the investigation failed to establish that they simultaneously handed out La Voz, a Spanish language publication produced by the IBT.  Distribution of this literature does not violate any Rule.               


As to the allegations regarding TDU, it is well established that TDU is an independent committee under the Rules, defined as a caucus or group of union members not controlled by a candidate or slate that accepts funds or makes expenditures with the “purpose, object or foreseeable effect of influencing the International election.”  Rules, Definitions, at Section 22; Advisory on Campaign Contributions and Disclosures (Revised November 1997) (“Advisory”); Hoffa, PR-039-IBT-EOH (March 10, 1998); Halberg, P-019-LU174-PNW (December 14, 1995) (decision on remand).  As an “independent committee,” the TDU may contribute to International campaigns even if it receives financial assistance from sources prohibited under the Rules.  The Rules require that monetary support for campaign activities consist exclusively of funds received from IBT members.  Funds received from any other sources cannot be contributed to any candidate through TDU, or any other independent committee, and must be properly allocated and segregated.  In re Gully, 91 - Election. App. - 158 (SA)(June 12, 1991), aff’g Sargeant, P-249-LU283-MGN (May 21, 1991); Hoffa, PR-172-TDU-EOH (August 10, 1998).


The Rules define independent committees differently than candidates and slates and treat them differently in a number of instances.  This issue has been litigated numerous times in the protest process and will not be addressed again here.


Since these protests are being reviewed post-election, the Election Officer must apply the standard previously stated in Cheatem, Post-27-EOH (August 21, 1997),


[T]he Election Officer concludes that this election is presumed to be fair and regular.  Therefore, in order to grant a post-election protest, the evidence must overcome this presumption by demonstrating a violation of the Rules that may have affected the outcome of the election.  This is consistent with DOL’s standard for certification of supervised elections.


Assuming arguendo that there was sufficient evidence to establish any violations relating to the distribution of literature or the role of TDU in campaigning on behalf of Mr. Leedham and the Leedham Slate, the Election Officer concludes it did not affect the outcome of the election.  Accordingly, the protest is DENIED in its entirety.


Raul Lopez

February 22, 1999

Page 1


Any interested party not satisfied with this determination may request a hearing before the Election Appeals Master within one (1) 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, 444 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 445, Washington, DC  20001, Facsimile

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






Michael G. Cherkasky

Election Officer



cc:              Kenneth Conboy, Election Appeals Master