Dear Brothers and Sisters: I want to take this opportunity to let you know why your vote in the 2008 District Council election is crucial to both your future and the future of the NYCDC. It is clear from the Unity Team's actions over the past eight years that they have not told the truth about the 2001 contract negotiations and have not represented the best interest of the hard working carpenters who make up the majority of this union. The Unity Team sold-out the carpenters in the 2001 contract negotiations when they "bargained away" the job referral rules and gave the contractor what they wanted—The unfettered right to "request" anyone they want from the out-of-work list! The Unity Team negotiated this shocking contract change without notifying or seeking the approval of the 15-member negotiating team, the 88-member elected delegate body, the rank-and-file who were expressly opposed to the "contractor request" and the federal government who has oversight supervision. The Unity Team violated their oath of office and more importantly betrayed the trust of the membership. Our bylaws plainly state, the delegate body has final approval on all contracts. Yet your delegates never voted for this contract change. Why, because the Unity Team stole the vote from the delegates. It was not until September 2005, that we learned of this unconscionable deceit. The Unity Team has misled and deceived you! This disastrous contract change has destroyed the job referral rules, turning it into an absurd paperwork dance, where carpenters are no longer dispatched on the basis of how long they are on the out-of-work-list! The Unity Team's violation of office did not stop with our contracts. They permitted—even after being informed, the exploitation of carpenters by corrupt contractors, which were notoriously known as "cash" companies to defraud our welfare and pension funds out of tens of millions of dollars for years! In November of 2004 the Unity Team obstructed an investigation of corrupt district council employees who were destroying shop steward reports for cash payoffs of over $150,000 by corrupt contractors who admitted they conspired in a scheme to defraud our Union. Former Independent Investigator, Walter Mack was hindered (and later fired) in his ability to determine how and to what extent these contractors were able to avoid detection of their routine CBA violations for such a long time. To date the full extent of this corruption is unknown! More recently, on February 20, 2007 after years of costly ligation, The Unity Team was found GUILTY OF CONTEMPT by the United States Court Of Appeals for LYING and violating provisions of the Consent Decree, by bargaining away the job referral rules with the 2001 contract change! Even more recently, on August 11, 2008 citing continued corruption, Judge Charles S. Haight Jr. of Federal District Court in Manhattan wrote, The Unity Team “has not demonstrated they can combat corruption and adequately police themselves without further government involvement and court supervision." The Unity Team has spent millions of YOUR hard earned dollars on lawyer fees, sucking the lifeblood from our treasury defending their corrupt actions. On their watch, council spending soared some 163 percent, from $19 million in '99 to over $50 million this year! Outrageous, It’s time we march on the council in protest! To pay for this overspending the Unity Team has TRIPLED our assessments and supports plans (BLUE CARD) to take even more of YOUR hard earn money after the election. Of course denying you a membership vote! The Unity Team has cut YOUR pension benefit by an astounding 26% as they increased their pension benefit!

In 2003 the Unity Team again deceived you and took $1 an hour out of YOUR pocket and put it into a creation they call "a supplement pension fund" that has cost you over $11 thousand in lost wages, money that could have been better used to assist your families as you struggle to pay for rising fuel, food and educational expenses! Carpenters are working harder and producing more. What did we get for it? Sold-out, zero accountability, less jobs, a phony out-of-work list, more corruption, smaller health care and pension benefits, higher council spending, higher council salaries and the BIGGEST DUES INCREASE in the history of the carpenters union! Clearly, The Unity Team has forgotten who they work for! They have abused their office with moral failings, corrupt acts and are out of touch with the middle class working membership they claim to represent. They are more in touch with the views of the contractor bosses that they cozy up to at lavish golf outings and expensive dinner parties then the views of the hard working brothers and sisters who strap on the tools everyday! The Unity Team thinks they can continue to deceive and pull the wool over our eyes because they thought you wouldn't have a choice in this election cycle… They were wrong! I am proud to say that you now have a choice. As a UBC member for over twenty years and an elected delegate to the District Council for eight years, I have decided to challenge the Unity Team as an Independent Candidate for the office of Vice President of The NYC District Council of Carpenters. I, of course, will need your help. Your vote for me on December 12th and 13th, 2008 will send a clear and loud message to the Unity Team that this union belongs to the rank-and-file and,—We will not just pay our dues, be fooled into following their empty campaign promises, back-room deals, dishonesty and just SHUT UP! You will have the opportunity in the 2008 December election to elect an Independent Candidate with real rank-and-file values who will ensure that your issues are in the forefront of the halls of union policies, including real democratic union reforms (see my official blog for details) that offer an opportunity to all. If you have never participated in a union election before and you are fed up with "business as usual" and tired of the good ol' boy network, I urge you to join my campaign and come out and vote for an Independent Candidate who understands the issues and will fight for your rights, be held accountable and WORK FOR YOU! Abraham Lincoln said, "You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time." My fellow UBC members our mission is clear. We are going to take our campaign message of reform to every member of every local of every background. If you want CHANGE in our union, if you are tired of the status quo, if you hope for a better District Council, then I am asking for your VOTE. Come join our cause and help elect an Independent Candidate the next Vice President of the District Council. This time, your vote can and will make a real difference. This time don't allow yourself to be intimidated and fooled again. This time do not reward your vote to leaders who lied to you and betrayed your trust. God bless you, and God bless our Union, John Musumeci PS: Visit my Official Interactive blog at and join the Internet Brigade. It’s time...We The People, Stand up and Fight, you have the power of the vote, USE IT!