Created by CREW

CREW V. Department of Labor (Richard Berman communications)

25 Apr 2006 // Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) sued the Department of Labor (DOL) over its refusal to respond to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for communications between DOL and conservative lobbyist Richard Berman. On March 14, 2006, CREW requested from DOL all records related to or mentioning Richard Berman and the Center for Union Facts, the Employment Policies Institute Foundation, and the Center for Consumer Freedom. CREW has not received a substantive response to its request. On March 13, 2005, The Washington Post’s Al Kamen reported that an email sent to DOL employees from Lynn Gibson, an aide in DOL’s public liaison office, identified unionfacts.com as a website “dedicated to providing information on labor unions and their expenditures.” Unionfacts.com is the website for Center on Union Facts, and as the article points out, the organization is a “stridently anti-union site that talks about the ‘political activities and criminal activities of the labor movement.”’ Mr. Berman, President of Berman & Company, heads several conservative organizations including the Employment Politics Institute Foundation, which opposes raising the minimum wage and the Center for Consumer Freedom, which was founded with seed money from Philip Morris. Mr. Berman has also advocated lowering the blood-alcohol limit through his group the American Beverage Institute.