Union Boss Wendell Young Downplays Lobbying Activity
Wendell W. Young IV, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776, uncharacteristically downplayed his lobbying activities after Media Trackers reported he is not registered to lobby as state law requires.
“Clearly, I do lobby, but it’s not my primary function as president of the union,” Young told the PA Independent. He added he does not accept a paycheck to exclusively lobby.
On federal disclosure documents, however, Young admits that part of his paycheck is for lobbying expenses — 8 percent of his paycheck, to be exact.
Young’s yearly salary is $292,765. That means he is paid $23,421 a year for lobbying activities. According to state lobbying laws, a principal must register with the state when lobbying expenses exceed $2,500 a quarter. Young’s pay for lobbying activities easily surpasses that threshold, yet he is not registered.
It is not only Young’s pay for lobbying activities but also confirmation from state legislators of his frequent presence that points to his need to register.
Bill Patton, press secretary for House Minority Leader Frank Dermody, previously told Media Trackers, “Young and other leaders of organized labor are frequently in touch to discuss legislative issues with Rep. Dermody by phone, or in person, and have been doing so for years.” He added the same is true of House Republican leaders.
Young has not been so quick to shrug off his lobbying and political prowess in the past. Several news articles since 2010 have documented his nearly constant presence in the Capitol since the liquor privatization debate began and his power to influence the outcome of proposed legislation.
1. “Special interest spent $2.5 million to influence liquor privatization debate” — The Patriot-News, August 2, 2013
The article also quoted Young as saying: “This was the most intense [effort] — politically and financially. And it’s not over yet. We’re going to keep going.”
2. “Lobbyists lick their wounds and dream of another day” — The Patriot-News, June 30,2013
This column pitted Commonwealth Foundation CEO Matthew Brouillette against Young. The major difference is that Brouillette is registered to lobby, and Young is not.
3. “Liquor lobbying reaches fevered pitch: analysis” — The Patriot-News, March 20, 2013
4. “Privatization Update: Turzai delays vote on bill to sell the stores, HB 11! The battle enters a new phase.” — UFCW press release, June 19, 2012
5. “Foes of privatizing State Stores build their campaign” — The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 3, 2011
The report pointed out “Young led the union’s anti privatization lobby in the 1990s against the administration of Gov. Tom Ridge” and quoted former UFCW lobbyist Bob Wolper talking about Young and UFCW’s aggressive approach to lobbying.
6. “PA’s Disgraceful Liquor Laws” — Philadelphia Weekly, January 12, 2010
Tags: Bill Patton, Frank Dermody, Illegal Lobbying, liquor privatization, Lobbying, lobbyists, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Inquirer, The Patriot-News, UFCW, UFCW Local 1776, union bosses, unions, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776, Wendell W. Young IV, Wendell Young