Thursday, October 30, 2014

Andy Stern Tried to Silence Huffington Post's Article Detailing SEIU's Deal with Billionaire Ron Perelman

Ron Perelman and Andy Stern
In its recent article, the Huffington Post unearthed a previously unknown chapter in Andy Stern’s corporate career at SIGA Technologies, a bio-warfare pharmaceutical company.

It turns out that soon after journalist Ryan Grim published a 2010 article outing Stern for an allegedly corrupt backroom deal with billionaire Ron Perelman (“Andy Stern's Bizarre Alliance With Private Equity and Biowarfare,” October 7, 2010), Stern and SIGA hired a fancy corporate law firm to try to bully the Huffington Post into silence.

In their recent article, Grim and fellow journalist Jeffrey Young describe how SIGA’s lawyers threatened to sue the Huffington Post unless the news outlet deleted Grim’s article discussing Stern's allegedly corrupt deal with Perelman… in which Stern and SEIU abandoned 10,000 security guards who work for AlliedBarton. Just weeks after Stern resigned as SEIU's president, Perelman appointed him to SIGA Technologies board of directors where Stern pocketed tens of thousands of stock options and buckets of cash. 

Below, Tasty has posted a copy of the lawyers' bullyboy letter sent to the Huffington Post… which appears to have been taken from Chapter 1 of a scare-tactic handbook.

Here's how the scare tactic works. 

After a fatcat is stung by the truth, he hires lawyers with super scary-looking letterhead and tells them to send an “I'm going to sue the f*ck out of you” letter to the journalist. The fatcat hopes the journalist will tremble in his boots… and quickly agree to delete the article rather than risk an expensive battle with testosterone-filled attorneys.

In this case, the Huffington Post called Stern on his bluff and forced SEIU’s President Emeritus to slink back to his padded chair in SIGA’s corporate boardroom. Stern’s about-face, of course, had the effect of proving the truthfulness all of the things that Stern and SIGA claimed were untrue. 
Arianna Huffington
Check out these excerpts from Stern/SIGA’s “I'm going to sue the f*ck out of you” letter, which was delivered to Arianna Huffington, the Editor-in-Chief of Huffington Post in 2010. "BARDA" is a federal agency that gave a half-billion dollar sole-source contract to Stern's company, SIGA.
For the reasons set forth below, the Companies insist that you withdraw this article from your website and from your archive and that you post in its place a one-line statement that the article was withdrawn because of errors. The Companies further demand that you take all additional steps to have the article removed from computer search engines and deleted by any licensees of The Huffington Post…
First, a major thrust of the article is the implication that SIGA improperly has been using Andy Stern's influence to obtain a BARDA contract and to prevent the funds for that contract from being lost to budget-cutting. That implication is false… [SIGA’s half-billion-dollar federal contract] procurement is not some kind of government boondoggle…
Second, the article falsely implies that Mr. Stern did not have the best interests of SEIU members in mind when negotiating labor agreements with AlliedBarton. And it suggests that Mr. Stern's allegedly improper activities were at the behest of MacAndrews & Forbes, which owned a majority of AlliedBarton at the time, and its senior management, including Ronald Perelman. Those implications are false…
The article should not remain posted on your website, and the Companies hereby demand that you promptly remove it from the site and from archives, and that you take all additional steps to have the article removed from computer search engines and deleted by any licensees. In its place, the Companies hereby demand that you place a single-line note explaining that the article was removed because it contained errors. Thus, people who may try to return to the article will know that it was removed for a reason. If you take these actions promptly, my clients will consider the matter closed, but, if not, they reserve all of their options and remedies. If you do not plan to comply, my clients hereby also demand that you preserve all of Mr. Grim’s and The Huffington Post's documents relating to this story, including all electronic documents, e-mails, voicemails, and similar materials.
Ronald L. Marmer