Obama’s Union Point Man

On January 4, President Obama took the unprecedented step of declaring the Senate to be in recess — although the Senate considered itself to be in session — so that he could install several appointees in key positions at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). While a lot of attention has been focused on the procedural defect of these appointments (correctly, as I’ve explained), there has been far too little attention paid to the most radical of these appointees: Richard Griffin.

Unlike Obama’s appointment of Richard Cordray, which was announced to a frighteningly enthusiastic crowd at an Ohio rally, the Griffin appointment was done quietly, in a written announcement. The appointment was a direct reward for the union bosses who made an enormous contribution to Obama’s 2008 campaign and will be critical to his reelection effort.

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