Recent discussion on this blog and in the community regarding PARD's willingness to settle if Wal-Mart pays its legal fees reminds me we have laws on the books which may make their tactics a crime. In 1970, Congress passed the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1961-1968. While RICO was intended to destroy the Mafia, it applies equally to all organizations or networks of individuals who work a common criminal scheme.
If an organization uses extortion tactics to gain financial or political advantage, by definition, they have committed a crime under Title 18. So, what do you think? If unions collude to use the same tactic time after time in community after community where they recruit, train and initially fund local agents to extort money from a business and the impacted communities, what would you call that?
RICO does not speak to the venue where the crime is committed. It applies equally in a city hall or court chamber or in a back alley. Not to put too fine a point on things but unions and the Mafia have a long history. They didn't invent the tactics of extortion being employed against Wal-Mart, they merely dressed it up for court. They are banking on Wal-Mart accepting that it would be cheaper and easier to pay them protection money than it would to fight them to the death. That sort of thing, along with STUPID government interference gave rise to the Mafia as a powerful, nationwide problem to begin with.
Local political entities such as the Moscow City Council are no more enlightened than the short sighted congress that enacted prohibition and created the enormously wealthy and powerful mob. Did they (the politicians) solve the problem they were supposedly attacking? No! Did they make the average citizen's life better in any way? No! Did they end up lining their own pockets and playing the situation for political advantage? Yes!
What should be done about it? I suggest we each individually request our government officials consider charging PARD, their union backers and their law firm with violations of RICO. It wouldn't be pretty. It wouldn't be easy but that's about the only way I can think of to derail their corrupt money train. If he were to take the case on, Dennis Tracy could count on my vote for life.