The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) inspector general reports Romney adviser Peter Schaumber was provided internal, confidential, attorney-client privileged information that he used to support his business practice and attack the NLRB.
Mitt Romney’s labor adviser, Peter Schaumber, has gone too far. The inspector general of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) found that improper, unethical disclosures of privileged information to Schaumber were used to benefit his consulting practice and attack the NLRB—the federal agency tasked with protecting workers’ rights.1
Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking member on the House Oversight Committee, says the concerns raised in the inspector general’s report are “very serious and involve potential criminal implications.”2
How candidate Romney responds to these findings is a test of his character. Will Romney embrace Washington insiders who trade on confidential and even attorney-client privileged information? Or will he demand they abide by the same ethical standards the rest of us—the 99%—pride ourselves on and expect others to live up to?
According to the report of the NLRB’s Office of the Inspector General and news reports, here’s what we know about Romney adviser Peter Schaumber:
He was named to the NLRB by President George W. Bush and served until Aug. 27, 2010. After he left the agency, Schaumber marketed himself as a “consultant” with “[NLRB] agency connections.” During that time, he did press work to attack the NLRB and the modest workplace protections workers have.2
Schaumber benefited from the improper and unethical receipt of confidential, inside information to support his anti-worker consulting business and his press work aimed at giving the NLRB a bad name. The inappropriate disclosures were made to Schaumber from his former staffer, Terence Flynn—who remained at the NLRB and became a board member.1
Flynn acted as Schaumber’s mole inside the agency, feeding him internal, confidential, attorney-client privileged information. According to the IG report, this broke government ethics rules. Flynn needs to resign immediately, and Romney needs to hold Schaumber accountable.1,3
This funneling of privileged information is an outrageous example of how the 1% gets things done at the 99%’s expense. If candidate Romney allows Peter Schaumber to remain as an adviser, it will speak volumes about the value he places on ethics in government officials.