The scandal that presumed Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney tried to distance himself from by asking Labor Policy advisor Peter Schaumber to leave the campaign is still swirling around the webosphere as new details have been released giving details about the improper doings between Schaumber and NLRB Board Member Terence Flynn. The Inspector General has announced that there were more improprieties than originally believed in the relationship between the two and that Schaumber has still been helping the Romney campaign despite his supposed departure. Last week the timing of Schaumber’s exit and the IG’s findings were revealed.
But now, Josh Eidelson notes that despite his departure, Schaumber has still been in contact and may be advising the Romney campaign:
A month after Schaumber’s supposed departure, he appeared on Fox News to discuss Republican outrage over Obama’s NLRB appointments (one of whom was Schaumber’s alleged mole, Flynn). The host introduced Schaumber as a “top advisor” to Romney – as did the Fox chyron – and asked him about Romney’s stance on the NLRB. (She also asked him about NLRB investigations of Bain Capital; Schaumber pleaded ignorance of the details, then launched into a blanket defense of companies that get investigated by the NLRB.)
Romney’s website was also slow to adjust to his supposed months-old parting with Schaumber. Until recently, a link to an essay by Schaumber was prominently displayed on his Labor page, and the press release announcing his appointment was in the campaign’s archive. Now, the Web addresses for both bring up pages reading “Access Denied.”
Looks like Team Romney is trying to put distance between itself and Schaumber’s scandal without actually addressing it. But the scandal is just getting started.
The IG’s initial report claimed Schaumber and Flynn may have “discussed possible moves” by the NLRB, but the latest news indicates something much more in depth than that.
That includes forwarding Schaumber draft opinions in cases days before the board had voted on – let alone released — a decision. The IG says Flynn also sent Schaumber an email from then-Chairwoman Wilma Liebman setting out which cases were “her top priorities” to rule on that term. (Liebman declined to comment.) The IG wrote that Flynn provided Schaumber info that the NLRB would have withheld even if Congress requested it. “Mr. Flynn’s public statement that he has engaged in no wrongdoing,” wrote the IG, “strikes at the very heart of the Board and all but eviscerates the due process procedures that the Board has established.”
Groups including American Rights at Work are urging Flynn to quit in the wake of the newest round of allegations:
“The latest report from the Inspector General asserts that National Labor Relations Board member Terence Flynn, as counsel to the Board, not only knowingly shared confidential information with the Romney campaign, but it appears he did so in the hopes of getting nominated to the Board himself—a quid pro quo that elevates his actions from an ethical and legal breach to a potentially criminal one.
That’s why Members of Congress, workers’ rights advocates, and others are right to call for Flynn’s immediate resignation and for a full investigation by Congress.