The American Spectator

July, 1996

LENGTH: 5787 words

HEADLINE: Here Comes the Goon Squad
You wouldn't have thought the Labor Department has a nearly secret army of major
thugs and petty meddlers. But that's how the affirmative action state stays in

James Bovard is the author of Shakedown: How Government Screws You From A to Z
(Viking) and Lost Rights (St. Martin's).


On April 29, 1994, Kentucky's Commonwealth Aluminum Corp. was banned from
bidding on federal contracts by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance
Programs (OFCCP), a little-known yet extremely powerful branch of the Labor
Department. The OFCCP sought to strike a blow for handicapped rights, condemning
the company for refusing to hire several individuals with serious back injuries
and hernias for heavy-lifting jobs at its aluminum processing plant. One
deserving applicant, according to the Labor Department, was "blind in the left
eye, had 60 percent hearing loss in the left ear and an 18 percent permanent
back disability." Yet the OFCCP hounded Commonwealth, demanding that it provide
back pay and retroactive seniority benefits to the applicants -- even though
they never worked at the company.

Commonwealth appealed the OFCCP's finding to a Labor Department
administrative law judge, who vindicated the company. A senior Labor Department
political appointee, however, overturned the judge's decision. The OFCCP then
banned Commonwealth from bidding on federal contracts. The company took its
complaint to a federal court, and federal judge Jennifer Coffman spiked the
OFCCP, ruling that the government had acted "if not unconscionably, perhaps
unfairly." From start to finish, it took Commonwealth twelve years to get
justice from the government.

Welcome to the byzantine intrigue of the OFCCP, the agency responsible for
forcing affirmative action and other nanny-state obligations on federal
contractors. It requires all those who do business with the government to give
preference in hiring and promotion to women and certain racial and ethnic
groups, and has the power to bar private companies from federal contracts. With
more than 200,000 companies and institutions (together employing more than 25
million people) that do business with the U.S. government, the OFCCP enjoys more
coercive power and less judicial scrutiny than any other of the nation's quota

And under Bill Clinton, that power has been systematically stretched and
exploited. In speeches Clinton denounces affirmative action that seeks to
"impose change by leveling draconian penalties on employers who didn't meet
certain imposed, ultimately arbitrary, and sometimes unachievable quotas." But
that is exactly what the OFCCP has done on his watch. During his administration
, the OFCCP has cut off government contracts to twice as many companies as it
did under George Bush. In congressional testimony last year, OFCCP Director
Shirley Wilcher declared that the agency now finds violations in an incredible
73 percent of the more than 4,000 reviews it conducts each year.

Wilcher told Newsday in 1994, "We see whether or not minorities or women are
underutilized in an organization, based on a very elaborate formula. We look at
the availability of our protected groups' in the labor force...[and] argue that
the...employer really needs to have a goal to achieve parity with the available
work force." If the employer does not achieve parity, then the OFCCP condemns
them for "bad faith" -- and demands exorbitant amounts of back pay for people
not hired, as well as even more bureaucratic control over hiring and promotion.

That's the kind of power that even Assistant Secretary of Labor Bernard
Anderson, who oversees the OFCCP, calls a "nuclear bomb." And the key to that
power lies not only in its ability to ban contractors from federal
consideration, but also in the arcane doctrine of the "exhaustion of
administrative remedies." Before a federal contractor can get a federal judge to
rule on the legality of the OFCCP's demands, the company must spend as much as
five years in the tar pit of Labor Department appeals processes. Labor lawyers
estimate that it can easily cost a company half a million dollars or more before
an OFCCP case reaches federal court. That means there have been few court
rulings on the proper scope and power of the program and, as a result, OFCCP
officials have had free rein to twist the law to suit their purposes. As Peter
Kirsanow, a Cleveland labor lawyer, puts it, those purposes are clear: "The a racial spoils system."

Take the case of Carolina Steel in Greensboro, North Carolina. An OFCCP
compliance officer arrived at the company in 1993 to begin analyzing its hiring
and personnel practices. Carolina Steel had a significantly higher percentage of
blacks on its payroll than were in the local labor force. However, the OFCCP
capitalized on the company's location to find it guilty.

Carolina Steel's main office is a block and a half from the local
unemployment office. Because unemployment compensation recipients are required
to submit a certain number of job applications each week, Carolina Steel was
deluged with them. The OFCCP judged the company not on whether it had a higher
percentage of blacks on its payroll than in the local job market, but instead on
the large number of those black applicants who were not hired. At the time of
the OFCCP audit, Carolina Steel was hiring for an isolated work site fifteen
miles out of Greensboro; since there was no public transportation to the site,
workers were required to provide their own transportation. Since a higher
percentage of black applicants did not own cars, a higher percentage of them
were not considered for jobs at that site.

That was all that was necessary for the OFCCP to convict the company. The
agency also knowingly double- or triple-counted some blacks in its "applicant
flow analysis," since some people filed multiple applications at the firm.
Sadie Cox, the company's human resources director, observed, "The OFCCP was
totally inflexible. They would not listen to anything that we had -- they would
not consider the statistics that showed we are in compliance."

The OFCCP then made an extremely high settlement demand that would have
destroyed the company. At the time, Carolina Steel employed 500 people -- the
OFCCP specifically intended to direct the settlement money to provide
windfalls for people who had never worked a day at its mills. After two years of
haggling , the OFCCP issued a press release announcing the company had agreed to
pay $300,000 to twenty-two of the rejected job applicants. Even this claim was
patently false. Carolina Steel had agreed to pay only about $120,000, and that
was scattered among 264 applicants -- many of whom later remained unhired
because they failed drug tests. Carolina Steel CEO Len Wise said, "We don't
think that we were fairly treated under the law, but we settled in order to get
them off our back." The workers didn't seem to think it was fair, either; a
local television station interviewed the company's black employees -- not one of
them said they thought Carolina Steel was racially biased.

The OFCCP has its roots in Executive Order 11246, issued by President Lyndon
Johnson in 1965. That order requires federal contractors to "take affirmative
action to ensure that applicants are employed without regard to their race,
creed, color or national origin." President Nixon upped the ante in 1969,
imposing "goals and timetables" for racial and ethnic hiring on federal
contractors who have "underutilized" minority groups. The mandatory hiring goals
were instated after white-dominated unions had offered fierce resistance to
hiring blacks. Since the 1970's, the agency has expanded its power with one
ruling after another, and the OFCCP is now symbolic of the corruption and
deception at the heart of affirmative action.

Nowadays, the agency routinely begins its investigation of a federal
contractor by "discovering" the "underrepresentation" of women or certain racial
or ethnic groups in particular jobs. It then requires the contractor to
establish "goals and timetables" to increase its minority hiring. Agency
director Wilcher brazenly lied to Congress last June about this, claiming that
"the numerical goals not based on racial or gender preferences"
and that, under OFCCP regulations, "selections for employment or promotion must
be made without regard to race or gender."

Yet OFCCP documents make explicit the agency's agenda. A September 1994
discussion paper on affirmative action requirements for construction contractors
stated: "OFCCP's experience has demonstrated that utilization goals [for
minorities and women] are the most concrete and effective system for
implementing the affirmative action obligation contained in the Executive
Order." In other words, the demand for goals and preferences is automatic --
even when there is no evidence of racial bias in the past or present practices
of the company.

Large companies can more easily withstand the random strictures enforced by
the OFCCP. But for many products, from nuclear submarines to mail-processing
equipment, the federal government is a monopoly buyer. And the companies that
manufacture those products have only two choices: meeting the government's
whimsical demands -- or going under.

Those demands can be inscrutable, contradictory, and downright bizarre.
Indeed, the agency's methods often amount to bureaucratic carpet-bombing.
Jennifer Taylor, personnel director of City Utilities of Springfield, Missouri,
testified in February to the House Committee on Economic and Educational
Opportunities about her company's nightmare OFCCP audit. A compliance officer
descended upon her firm in 1995 and spent almost an entire year going through
its files and documentation. After he went through the company's 250-page
affirmative action plan and found no violations, he ordered the utility to
completely recalculate its personnel analyses, hoping that the revised version
would yield grounds to condemn its hiring and promotion policies. The official,
Taylor testified, demanded "documentation and reasons why virtually every
minority and female considered for promotion and new hire was not selected for
nearly every opening." Though the company has roughly the same number of
minorities on payroll as in the local labor market, the OFCCP demanded that the
company recruit in the future from the Kansas City area -- 170 miles away.
Taylor told the committee, "We must ignore a readily obtainable source of local
labor, which is more motivated to remain with us because of geographical
preference, simply because of their race." Though the OFCCP inspector could not
even gin up enough evidence to file a Notice of Violation, the inspection cost
the company over $26,000 and tied up key personnel throughout 1995.

Even when OFCCP officials admit they have no policy, companies are sometimes
still found guilty. New Jersey personnel expert Mary Jane Sinclair consults for
a company that has a high percentage of temporary workers. Sinclair contacted
OFCCP headquarters about how to account for the temps in the company's annual
affirmative action plan. OFCCP officials were mystified by her questions, and
informed her that guidance was not yet available on that subject. But soon
after, the local compliance officer demanded that the temps be included in the
plan -- and then announced that the company was guilty of not hiring enough
blacks. The firm in question has spent tens of thousands of dollars providing
training and recruitment for low-income blacks, and has almost three times the
percentage of blacks on its payroll than the percentage of the local population.
Yet, Sinclair says, the OFCCP compliance officer became "obsessed" with those
who had not been hired -- and threatened to seek a huge settlement for the

Former OFCCP Director Ellen Shong Bergman notes that, because of vague or
sometimes nonexistent regulations, the OFCCP is "free to find that a contractor
has violated the Executive Order if it fails to perform the availability
analysis in exactly the way the particular compliance officer wishes -- always
in a way that results in the highest availability percentage for minorities or
women, irrespective of how inaccurate that might be." According to one former
high-ranking OFCCP official, "The way the regs are, they can always find a
prima facie case of numerical disparity."

Not surprisingly, the virtual mandate to find disparity inevitably leads to
preposterous situations -- ordering companies to hire men with hernias to
perform heavy lifting, for example. On May 23, 1995, the OFCCP triumphantly
announced that the Jack B. Kelley trucking firm of Amarillo, Texas, had agreed
"to pay $76,749 in back wages to five qualified applicants that were denied jobs
based on physical examinations." The company's drivers routinely handle
hazardous waste, missile propellants, sulfuric acid, and nitric acid. Drivers
and maintenance personnel must be able to move heavy loads while wearing
respirators that make breathing significantly more difficult. According to Lee
Drury, who handled the OFCCP's charges for the company, two of the applicants
the company rejected were heavy smokers who showed sharply diminished lung
capacity as well as possible signs of emphysema. The OFCCP condemned the company
for not hiring them. Another case involved a man who suffered from epileptic
seizures; even though the seizures could not be fully controlled, the OFCCP
ruled that the man should have been hired and put behind the wheel of a truck
full of hazardous waste.

The OFCCP also penalized the company for not hiring a man who, due to a
recent operation, lacked the strength in his hands and arms to drive a large
truck. Even though Department of Transporation regulations someone in that
condition from driving a heavy truck, the OFCCP found the company guilty,
claiming its own rulings trumped DOT safety regulations. If the company had
hired the man and he had subsequently been involved in a fatal accident, the
company would have likely been found guilty of negligence in hiring him.

Drury describes the year-long investigation and settlement negotiations as a
"nightmare," and notes that none of the individuals in question had complained
either to the company or the government about not being hired. The OFCCP located
the individuals by searching the company's files; Drury says that two of the
individuals "called us and brought it to our attention that we may not have been
treated fairly. They told me, We don't want any hard feelings. We didn't ask for
your money.' Two of these guys said they felt bad about taking our money."

The OFCCP's arbitrariness has understandably caused a general paranoia among
contractors, who are often afraid to fight the agency and all its bureaucratic
might. Asked about her members' problems with the OFCCP, Diane Generous, of the
National Association of Manufacturers, skirts the issue: "Our concern is the
paperwork." As Wayne State law professor Kingsley Browne puts it, "Everybody
knows what is going on. The problem is that the business community has been
completely spineless on this issue."

But that "spinelessness" is rooted in the OFCCP's wanton disregard for fair
play and even the law. Former Director Bergman told Congress last year: "There
is an institutional tolerance for compliance officers who can cajole, defraud or
bully contractors into behavior that goes beyond the agency's legitimate
authority, and sometimes goes beyond that permitted by any law. Some such
compliance officers and like-minded managers even take on heroic status within
the agency because they succeed in implementing the wishful thinking of many
others. Never, never have I seen or heard of such an employee being dismissed;
sometimes they are promoted. There are not, and never have been, any meaningful
consequences to individual employees of the OFCCP who engage in intimidating
contractors or misrepresentation of law or policy. Contractors...are fearful of
retaliation -- and with a few managers of the agency, their fear is well
founded." Bergman notes that some high-ranking officials routinely and openly
lie about what federal law requires contractors to do.

Furthermore, many OFCCP compliance officers abuse their power on the work
site. One lawyer told me, "They used to show up and demand coffee and donuts and
demand to be taken to lunch." He noted a different form of abuse when an OFCCP
agent was "on location" at a California movie studio. "The investigator was so
enthralled that she basically moved in. She would show up every morning with a
huge bag of popcorn and a pack of Cokes. And every time the company needed to
talk to her, they would find her on a movie set someplace."

Almost every expert interviewed for this story complained about the extremely
poor training and preparation of many of the compliance officers. One lawyer
complained, "We have had investigators who can't read." Expert after expert
stated that OFCCP compliance officers routinely execute gross abuses of their
power. One human resources director complained of OFCCP officers "just coming on
site and scaring everyone to death in time and effort." Another noted that the
officers "wield a lot of power and they know it -- very often they don't act in
compliance with the law, and they attempt to coerce and intimidate employers
into doing what they think they should do."

Some officials even arm-twist businesses to make payments to activist
political groups such as the NAACP, the Urban League, and the Mexican-American
Legal Defense Fund. Says former director Bergman: "The OFCCP, on an individual
basis -- on a district office by district office basis -- has at some time in
the past pressured contractors to make contributions of one sort or another.
When I was director, I had an incident when an agency employee took issue with
the size of the contribution" -- the OFCCP official believed the company should
have kicked in even more.

Despite the flagrant abuses, however, Shirley Wilcher refuses to admit that her
agency does anything but good; she announced earlier this year, for example,
that "the employer is never, never required to hire a person who does not have
the qualifications needed to perform the job successfully or hire an unqualified
person in preference to another applicant who is qualified." What she didn't
mention is how the OFCCP reconciles its brand of affirmative action and
competence -- by harshly punishing companies that have high standards for
hiring. While Labor Secretary Robert Reich tours the country preaching the need
for better trained workers, OFCCP is turning high standards for workers into a
very expensive liability for government contractors.

In 1994 the agency announced that it had wrung a $173,684 settlement from
Siecor, a North Carolina company that produces fiber-optic cables and optical
instruments for the U.S. Air Force. The settlement was allegedly for the back
wages of 514 women and 238 minorities to whom Siecor had denied employment. In a
press release, the OFCCP declared that "from January 1992 through Sept. 1993,
Siecor failed to hire 752 qualified applicants because of their low scores on a
test which had not been properly validated and was not job related." The OFCCP
press release proudly noted that Siecor "has stopped using the test that led to
the hiring disparities and has agreed to review its application procedures
annually to ensure equity."

Last year, the agency reached a settlement with Prestolite Wire Corp., an
automotive-parts manufacturer, compelling it to pay over $1.2 million to 231 job
applicants who were not hired allegedly because they were black or
handicapped. Illegal job tests were the crux of the OFCCP's case: Prestolite
issued a press release confessing that it "had retained the services of an
expert testing firm during 1993 to administer certain pre-employment tests and
was not aware that the tests may have had a discriminatory impact on minority

But, as Herman Belz, author of that unheralded masterpiece Equality
Transformed, observes, "Since 1966, the underlying purpose of the [federal civil
rights] test guidelines was to place enough obstacles in the way of employee
selection so that employees would choose to hire by race rather than objective
criteria of merit." Since blacks and Hispanics tend to score significantly lower
on written tests of cognitive ability than do whites, the OFCCP routinely
presumes that practically any written test can be evidence of discrimination.
Indeed, the OFCCP Compliance Manual is written based on the assumption that any
hiring standards that do not generate the correct diversity of employees is
presumptively illegal. In the agency's view, the fact that a company believes
its workers need to read at a certain level is an injustice to every illiterate
person who applies for the job.

The OFCCP announced last year: "No distinction is made between minimum and
other qualifications in an evaluation of the total selection process" for hiring
and promotion. Former director Bergman noted that one OFCCP district director
penalizes contractors for "failure to select a woman, Black, or Hispanic who is
as qualified as the least qualified incumbent, irrespective of superior
qualifications of other non-minority applicants."

In other words, if a company has the ill fortune to have one incompetent
person on its payroll, then the OFCCP seeks to drag down the company's hiring to
that person's level. Essentially, then, it becomes a federal crime if a company
tries to raise its hiring standards above what they may have been when the least
competent person was taken on board.

This war on hiring standards may well be a reason for the much lower rate of
productivity growth of American workers since the 1960's. As Peter Brimelow and
Leslie Spencer reported in Forbes, "The civil rights revolution has virtually
aborted the use of tests devised by industrial psychologists, which in the
1950's promised to make employee selection a science...Today, industrial
psychologist John Hunter estimates that total U.S. output would be about $150
billion higher if every employer in the country were free to use tests and
select on merit. That's about 2.5% of GNP."

But for the OFCCP, the GNP seems to be an inconvenient number best not
thought about; the agency is far more interested in puffing up its own "numbers"
-- the dollar value of its settlements and the number of cases it handles. In
fact, under Bill Clinton the OFCCP explicitly measures its success by the amount
of coercion it brings to bear on federal contractors. An agency report last year
proclaimed, "A record $40 million for 12,574 individuals was recovered with
$14.4 million in back pay for nearly 11,000 victims of discrimination. The 75
enforcement recommendations to the Solicitor of Labor greatly exceeded the 46 of
the previous year. The Solicitor in turn filed 30 administrator complaints,
compared to 17 in 1993. Most notably the Department ordered five debarments,
more than in the last five years combined."

The concern for the public-relations angle leads the agency routinely to
misstate its "successes" (as it did in the Carolina Steel case). On November 9,
1994, the OFCCP announced that Humphrey Inc., a defense contractor, would be
coughing up as much as $147,000 in back pay to black job applicants who were
"not hired by reason of race." In reality, Humphrey paid only $30,000 to settle
the case; the OFCCP knowingly inflated its settlement numbers, as one party
involved with the case said, to "put a feather in their cap."

On April 17, 1995, it declared that it had secured $80,337.53 for "five
victims of race or gender discrimination" at the Oklahoma State University in
Stillwater, Oklahoma. OSU attorney Scott Fern, however, stated that the "press
release was not an accurate press release. In fact, $36,000 of that had nothing
to do with the OFCCP investigation." And in 1994, the OFCCP claimed it had
achieved a $72,743.41 affirmative action settlement from Seattle City Lights, a
municipal utility. The small print of the press release showed that only $2
,882.41 went to one disabled veteran. The rest of the money was to be spent on
training the company's managers on affirmative action obligations and hiring a
"manager of veterans' affairs with an annual salary rate of $42,699 to $49
,861." The OFCCP, in its yearly calculation of victories for victims of
discrimination, counted the entire amount. Yet more than 95 percent of the
settlement went for paper-pushing and personnel meddling, not to victims of

The OFCCP's preoccupation with settlement numbers is also reflected in how
its compliance officers are evaluated. The amount of money gained in
conciliation agreements is one of the most important measures for whether an
OFCCP employee is promoted or receives bonus awards. Congress long since
prohibited the IRS from imposing "production quotas" on its auditors -- but the
OFCCP's similar abuse has received little or no attention. The more baseless
accusations an OFCCP agent makes against a private contractor, the higher up the
career ladder that person can move.

Nothing has possessed the OFCCP of late, however, as much as the so -called
"glass ceiling" -- invisible barriers to the advancement of women or minorities
into the top ranks of corporate power. The agency's fascination with the glass
ceiling began in 1991 with Labor Secretary Elizabeth Dole. Counting votes for
the upcoming election, Republicans decided that sending out feds to pummel
corporations for supposed bias against women could help George Bush overcome the
gender gap in the presidential race.

Ever since, it has remained the OFCCP's pet project. One glass-ceiling
episode earlier this year gives fair indication of the contortions the agency
will go through to push its agenda. In January it sent a notice of violation to
the University of Cincinnati, instructing the school to inform 157 faculty
members that they were "part of a group of female and minority professors whose
salary should be adjusted."

The formula that the OFCCP used, however, should have been an embarrassment
even to government workers. James Wesner, the university's general counsel,
explained the crackpot statistical method by which the agency supposedly proved
the university's guilt: "It involves creating a hypothetical faculty member --
one male, one female -- [that has an] average salary of X. You then go through
and compare females or minorities with different salaries. And there are certain
percentages above and below that average salary -- and the ones that are below
are [presumably illegally] underpaid, and the ones that are above are irrelevant
because we never count good deeds."

Even when one professor had an Ivy League doctorate and another a master's
from Ball State, or one had twenty years of experience and another was a new
hire, the OFCCP made no adjustment in comparing salaries. Wesner observed that
no court had ever accepted this type of statistical "proof" of discrimination -
- but though its statistical method was a farce, the agency's slipshod
calculations did not keep it from trying to browbeat the university into paying
millions of dollars of back pay and raises to the protected groups. "They do
that [kind of audit] all the time," says an experienced Washington labor lawyer.
"They see this as a quick and dirty way to collect a lot of back pay from
institutions that are very dependent on government contracts."

In a "comparable worth" case at a factory in the northeast, the OFCCP is
demanding $550,000 in back pay because the women work in lower-paying jobs than
do men. Most of the mens' jobs involve very heavy lifting and hard manual labor
, while most of the female jobs involve intricate tasks requiring extensive
manual dexterity rather than heavy exertion. The factory is unionized and has a
strict system by which workers have the right to "bid" for any posted job in the
plant. The exasperated lawyer for the company says, "OFCCP has come in and said
-- your jobs are discriminating. When the company showed the bid system by which
workers have a free choice, the OFCCP responded that they must be discouraging
people by an informal way."

The goal for the glass ceiling audits is simply to use government threats to
redistribute salaries and positions. According to one former high-ranking OFCCP
official, "I remember one instance of a glass ceiling review of a Fortune 100
company -- where they found they did not have any African Americans among its
top fifteen officers. Structurally, the institution did all the things they are
supposed to do. Shortly, thereafter -- what a coincidence! An African American
was named to one of the top positions. The senior [regional] OFCCP official was
going around and saying that it was the result of his review that they got
themselves a black vice president. That is the mindset. That was trumpeted by
everybody as an example of the benefits of these glass ceiling reviews."

A report by the Equal Employment Advisory Committee, an organization of large
government contractors, notes that OFCCP auditors consider compensation
decisions based on "performance ratings history" -- and that "promotion,
demotion, or downgrades" might be unacceptable to the OFCCP "because these may
be seen as subjective' factors over which the employer has some control." The
report adds, "The federal pay system with which compliance officers are most
familiar is a very rigid one consisting of 15 grades and 10 steps within each
grade. Over time, everyone progresses through the same series of within-grade
step increases and/or promotion-related grade increases. Few large corporations
today have compensation systems as regimented as the one that prevails in the
federal sector." The fact that a private company does not treat its employees
like government workers -- i.e., paying them largely according to the number of
years they have hung around the office -- can thus be interpreted by compliance
officers as foul play.

This situation leads to a Catch-22 that can spell trouble for even those
companies that have used the most fervent racial and gender-preferential hiring
and promotion policies. Thanks to the OFCCP, minorities and women often get
promoted faster than they otherwise would. Because of their quick ascension into
senior corporate ranks, however, their pay is sometimes below average for the
senior grades that other employees reached after long years. Then the OFCCP
comes in and pronounces the company guilty because of the pay differentials.

The issue of OFCCP affirmative action goals and timetables cuts to the heart
of the coerciveness of the welfare state. These vague, sweeping regulations
maximize the power of government agents to intimidate and browbeat private
business. The essence of the OFCCP's concept of social justice is compelling
companies to pay people for work they never did -- based on secret rules the
agency continually changes.

Bob Dole and Rep. Charles Canady proposed the Equal Opportunity Act of 1996,
a bill prohibiting the use of gender and racial preferences in federal
government programs. The bill would gut the OFCCP's power to impose racial
hiring goals. If the Republicans ever decided to think seriously about the
meaning of freedom, the Dole bill would be a fine place to begin. And though
the OFCCP feels entitled to make unscrupulous demands of its investigation
targets, the agency itself remains as secretive as the CIA. This investigation
was begun by filing a series of questions with the OFCCP press office. After
numerous delays, someone high up in the agency got word that The American
Spectator was working on a story about the OFCCP. My inquiries were then
re-classified as Freedom of Information Act requests -- and have since vanished
into bureaucratic oblivion. Alas, that's not an option available to the
companies facing the agency's outlandish abuses of power.