IAFF-MDA: To Fund a Narcissist

Reaping What We Sow

Harold Schaitberger

Harold Schaitberger

IAFF-MDA began in Boston with Local 718 in 1952 when they instituted a community-wide fundraising effort.

It started with a selfless appeal to help a single family and evolved into a North American effort involving tens of thousands of IAFF members.

That original selfless act has turned into a for-profit entity of the IAFF, raising more revenue than the IAFF Financial Corporation.

The Death of Altruism

The public ideal or image of firefighters continues to be of folks who operate from selfless motivation,  risking their lives to save others.

That “mental image” of self-sacrifice is eroded and endangered when our union takes money meant to help sick children.

How did the Local 718 MDA project evolve into an IAFF money-maker?

Our treasured and irreplaceable image is scarred when the IAFF shakes down MDA.

The Language of Business

Apparently a few IAFF members and leaders are ready to trade on our revered image as if it were common stock.

They talk of investments and returns.

Are we really for sale to the highest bidder?

The IAFF firefighter image is “on the block” and the payment is coins skimmed from sick children.

“It’s Worth It”, They Say

The ideal of selflessness so cherished by us is brazenly forfeited when the IAFF skims MDA nickels.

And, if MDA is in tacit agreement with the practice, shame on them but in the end we should be far smarter than to sell our soul for any price.

There is much too much at stake.

When we cynically turn a children’s charity into a money-maker be ready when elected politicians do the same to us.

Up For Sale

That’s right.

When our union engages in the ethics of profit-making and sells our cherished reputation we are next.

Union leaders far and wide will squeal like pigs when conservative politicians move to operate fire and rescue departments with a profit motive.

We’ll say, “But wait, we’re different.”

They will say, “No, you are not” and they can point to the IAFF make-a-buck-anywhere philosophy as proof.

If we can do it, why shouldn’t they?

Telling Tales Out of School

For those just tuning in or extracting their heads from the sand (or elsewhere), it will be news that shaking down MDA was done without any discussion of the strategic consequences.

And, well, forget any thoughts about ethics and morality.

Not even on the radar screen.

The reason is that the IAFF is run by one person: Harold Schaitberger and his pronouncements are IAFF policies, period.

The Truth in 110 Words

Harold Schaitberger has no vision, only what could best be described as a series of narcissistic impulses fueled by his addiction to a luxury lifestyle paid for with other people’s money.

He operates without checks or balances and his only fear is that the “high-life” will be curtailed but he prevents that by buying off the board and many affiliate leaders.

They all turn a blind eye.

The IAFF under his “leadership”  has become a for-profit enterprise to fund neurotic behavior.

He is not a labor leader but rather a ruthless businessman who denies his own members their due process and is happy to spy on them if it furthers his aims.

The IAFF-MDA scandal is simply the latest evidence.

Care About Ethics?

 Then “Share” this Post.
Stop the Schaitberger Corruption.
Be a part of Saving Our Union.
Send some version of the sentence below, even a cut and paste, to the address just beneath it.
“I am a member of the International Association of Fire Fighters and I am requesting that the US DOL immediately begin to investigate allegations of corruption including illegal compensation and reckless and destructive spending by International Officers.  
Thank you.”
Email to the US Department of Labor at:  olms-public@dol.gov


– See more at: http://www.turnoutblog.com/2015/08/30/iaff-mda-the-shakedown-believe-it-or-not/#sthash.ULrS61sl.dpuf








  • David R. Anders says:

    Eric, you are preying on unsuspecting IAFF members who could not possibly know anything about what you are raving about. I have gone over most of your articles and you have yet offered one spread of proof or any information to support even one of your accusations….just one trashy character assassination after another attacking the GP, DVPs, Trustees and IAFF staff. If you had evidence or proof you would have taken it to the proper agencies. Since you have none, you are working to trick unsuspecting, uninformed people to write the DOL to perhaps trigger an investigation. Your blog is really a sick attempt to weaken the IAFF. That is the only way you could hurt the GP. It is time you crawl back under whatever rock you came from.
    David Anders

    • Eric Lamar says:

      Hi, Dave.

      Hope you are well.

      How long were you on the Schaitberger tit getting an IAFF payment?

      Or better yet, how much did you receive during that time?

      Hundreds of thousands of dollars?

      Of course, you’ll defend the practice.

      Does Tom Brewer also get an IAFF “per diem” payout?

      You don’t see evidence because you are a recipient of his phony largesse.

      With very few exceptions the entire board is a bunch of craven thieving crooks.



    • Eric Lamar says:

      It’s Eric, again, Dave.

      It has been several hours since I asked about how much you received from your unique and special deal with Harold Schaitberger.

      I haven’t heard back from you.

      If you were not getting a special deal straight from the Schaitberger bosom please let me know.


  • David R. Anders says:

    Eric, I just got back to my computer. I must admit I baited you some for an answer because I was not completely sure what you called being on the GP tit. Now I know. I did get some assignments for three years or so while I was President of the PFFPNC but I stepped down from that position in 2014.
    Why you feel Tom Brewer has to do with anything, I am unsure. I have not spoken with him since I left office in December 2014. In other words, I moved on to other things to occupy my time.
    As far as any per diem I received for IAFF assignments, I had to pay SS (15%) for both me and the IAFF and my federal and state income taxes and insurances on top of that, plus, add the cost of all my clothes, suites (mandatory), dry cleaning and other cost for clothes was on me. At the end of the day there was not near as much as you imply but I never done any of this for the money anyway. For over 20 years the PFFPNC paid me $100 per day and I bought my own meals and clothes. In other words, during the legislative session and conventions I went in the red every week.
    All IAFF per diem and increases to per diem over the years, I assume, was first approved by Convention delegates so why do you think Per Diem comes from Harold. To keep everything open and above board, I did not draw any per diem from the PFFPNC when the IAFF paid me either. I went through a personal audit by the executive board to show this was the case.
    Dominick Barbara and later Larry Osborne gave me my assignments. I never asked or had a special deal with Harold. In fact, I never spoke or had a conversation with Harold about any of the assignments. I went to my DVP for everything. I worked at the pleasure of the DVP and what he needed to help or improve the locals in his district. I feel sure that both DVPs were honest and everything was within the IAFF policies and rules or the assignments would have never been approved.
    In some ways I almost feel sorry for you but you are bringing this on yourself. A person so stricken with hate and resentment as you are lives a sorry existence. As I mentioned before, you offer no proof or information to show that any of what you say is factual. Why do you want to be remembered as a person with so much misinformation and hate? Why do you insist that everyone in the IAFF is a crook?

  • Eric Lamar says:

    I love how you and your’s accuse me of a lack of factual information and then say things like this:

    “in some ways I almost feel sorry for you but you are bringing this on yourself. A person so stricken with hate and resentment as you are lives a sorry existence. As I mentioned before, you offer no proof or information to show that any of what you say is factual. Why do you want to be remembered as a person with so much misinformation and hate? Why do you insist that everyone in the IAFF is a crook? ”

    Especially this: “A person so stricken with hate and resentment as you are lives a sorry existence.”

    How could you possibly know my state of mind or emotional motivation?

    As for facts:

    Tell me where I am wrong on Darren Bates?

    Prove I am wrong on Schaitberger spending $120,000 in luxury meals in 2010.

    Prove the receipt for a $174 bottle of liquor is incorrect.

    Prove that the DVPs are not taking the $80 travel per diem improperly.

    Prove that Harold Schaitberger has not done the same thing.

    Prove that his house purchase was not a clear conflict of interest.

    Prove that the IAFF is not taking 1.4 million from MDA.

    Did it ever occur to you that my motivation as a lifelong (39 years) IAFF member is to clean up our union and to call out unethical and damaging behavior?

    I totally get that some of you have nothing to work with except ascribing my motivation to personal animus but that is shameful.

    Luckily, there is so much information out there and so many level-headed IAFF members that your personal attacks don’t work.

    But, I don’t really care anyway.

  • David R. Anders says:

    The issue is not for me to be required to prove you are wrong but for you to prove that what you say is true. So far you have not. You are the one making the statements….not me! If you cannot prove what you say, I can only assume that your accusations are not true. If they were, I suspect you would have already turned the evidence over to folks that matter. All you have done so far is to ask other people to write the DOL. Ranting in a blog everyday is not proof.

  • David R. Anders says:

    It is late so good night Eric.

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