So Much for Leading From the Front
A favorite piece of American history is the vision of 56-year-old, Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., hobbling Utah Beach with a cane as troops landed on D-Day.
He was the oldest man in the invasion and the only general to land by sea on that day.
Roosevelt was a calming presence and he was able to shift the battle plan to meet the facts on the ground.
He exemplified commitment, courage and sacrifice when it was needed most.
He also “walked the walk.”
We can wonder what he would think of Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters.
Schaitberger’s signature mantra has been political action and the supreme importance of contributing to FirePac, the IAFF’s fund for that purpose.
Since FirePac is his critical program and since he professes to be a leader for our time, we should rightly conclude that here, he leads from the front.
Don’t Get Your Hopes Up
Harold Schaitberger never spends a dime of his own money if it can be avoided.
It would take a hydraulic ram to open his wallet.
He once put a $12 dollar Scrabble game on his expense report; he uses IAFF cash to tip service workers when on the road.
FirePac fares no better.
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) reports that for calendar year 2017, the latest year available, as many as 500 IAFF members contributed more to FirePac than Schaitberger, despite his $300,000+ salary and open-ended expense account.
He chipped in a paltry $541.84 while the rank and file often left him in the dust.
Surprised? Don’t Be.
Anyone who would rip off sick and dying children (MDA) would hornswaggle his members faster than you can say “prime rib.”
A real leader would lead by example, being sure to clearly bear the burden where his signature effort is concerned.
Such an approach would never enter his mind.
In fact, his approach to FirePac is the perfect example of how he “leads”; he demands complete loyalty, a form of currency in itself, but sees no need to be loyal in return.
He expects you to pony up proportionately, but he takes a pass.
Yes, he’s a cheapskate where IAFF members are concerned, but what about his fellow labor leaders in the AFL?
Schaitberger 2017, $541.84
SEIU’s Mary K. Henry, $2,626
IAM’s Robert Martinez, $2,645
At least he’s consistently cheap.
IAFF’s professional employees, members of OPEIU, will be amused that their president, Richard Lanigan, far outpaced Schaitberger with $1250.
2018 – No Better
The FEC reports that Schaitberger has chipped in $531 so far this year.
He is being buried by IAFF members Robin R. Gainey of Jacksonville ($3,170), Cliff Alexander of Cal Fire ($2910), and Matt Brozovich of Salem ($1830.)
Even members of the IAFF executive board and senior staff have given more than Schaitberger.
In 2016, Schaitberger gave the usual $541.84, while a single IAFF member, John Teefy, gave over ten times that amount, $5,624.
Schaitberger should pledge to match the highest contribution of any IAFF member.
Theodore Roosevelt exemplified the ideal that actions speak louder than words and where actions are concerned, Harold Schaitberger is the consummate phony.