Welcome Back, Hoffa

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NEW YORK: Ron Carey, who promised to clean up the long-corrupt Teamsters, has been deemed part of the problem. Judge Kenneth Conboy has disqualified Carey from a rerun of the disputed 1996 election that re-elected Carey over challenger Jimmy Hoffa, Jr., finding that Carey was involved in a plan to funnel union money into the coffers of his own campaign.

Since his campaign manager and two other aides plead guilty to the scheme on Sept. 18, Carey has claimed that his subordinates acted without his knowledge. In his decision, however, Judge Conboy disagreed, finding "substantive additional information with respect to Mr. Carey’s knowledge of certain of these improper schemes," with most of that evidence coming from the testimony of the indicted aides.

TIME's Edward Barnes expects the continuing federal grand jury investigation to have a major impact on the Democratic Party. "This basically gives the election to Hoffa," he says. "And with Carey's fall, his coalition with (AFL-CIO head) John Sweeney, which was so lucrative for pro-labor Democrats (and so successful in dragging down fast-track), is basically finished. As for Hoffa, so far he's playing it very close to the vest." Somewhere, Dick Gephardt is sweating.