WASHINGTON — Last year, just before the National Labor Relations Board accused Boeing of illegally punishing strike-prone Puget Sound-area Machinists by building a new 787 assembly plant in South Carolina, that state's senior senator privately warned the agency's top lawyer of "nasty, very very nasty" consequences if he didn't yank the complaint.
Otherwise, Sen. Lindsey Graham pledged, he would go "full guns ablazing," according to notes taken at the time by Lafe Solomon, the NLRB's acting general counsel.
Nine days later, in April 2011, Solomon greenlighted the unfair-labor practice case against Boeing. Graham — along with many of his fellow conservatives — was furious.
Republicans in South Carolina and in Congress accused Solomon of colluding with the Machinists union and the White House to undermine employers' rights. Mitt Romney slammed the NLRB as a "rogue agency."