A new book claims that Jill Biden’s former husband raised thousands of dollars to help block deliveries of a Delaware newspaper so that Joe Biden could win his first U.S. Senate race in 1972, though he wasn’t favored to do so.
According to the Daily Mail, the book by Ben Schreckinger called, “The Bidens: Inside the First Family’s Fifty-year Rise to Power,” to be published Sept. 21 by Twelve Books, provides details about how the current first lady’s “former husband says he raised $3000 to fund a union picket line organized by notorious mob hitman Frank ‘The Irishman’ Sheeran designed to help” her future husband win.
The purpose of the union strike was to block anti-Biden advertisements from getting to voters in the last days of the campaign nearly 50 years ago, the outlet reported, citing details in the book.
Joe Biden’s campaign was a long-shot by any stretch, coming from 30 points down in the weeks before the election to defeat GOP incumbent J. Caleb Boggs.
In 1972, Sheeran, who openly supported Biden, was a Teamsters official in Wilmington where Biden lived at the time; film producer and director Martin Scorcese made a movie about his life that was released in 2019. Sheeran also talked about how he prevented Boggs from being able to address union members.
“But he apparently offered more information about his role in a series of interviews that formed the basis of the book ‘I Heard You Paint Houses’ by Charles Brandt,” which was published in 2004, the Daily Mail noted further.
The details include how an unidentified Democratic lawyer came to see Sheeran in his office near the Wilmington train station to ask if he could keep copies of the Morning News and Evening Journal newspapers from going out to subscribers and residents in the campaign’s final days.
“I told him I would hire some people and put them on the picket line for him. They were people nobody would mess with,” Sheeran said, according to the book.
After the line was formed, Sheeran said he would make sure no delivery trucks got in or out of the warehouse where the newspapers were stored after being printed.
“I have no way of knowing if Joe Biden knew if that picket line thing was done on purpose on his behalf,” Sheeran said, adding: “If he did know he never let on to me.”
A number of details were refuted by newspaper reports at the time, but the book by Schreckinger, a reporter for Politico, provides new details from Bill Stevenson, who was Jill Biden’s husband from 1970 to 1975.
“He told me that toward the end of the campaign, Frank paid him a visit and asked for some cash,” the author wrote.
“‘There’s a plan that will probably win us the election,'” Sheeran allegedly told Stevenson, who then reportedly raised nearly $3,000 and gave it to the union mobster.
“After the election, Stevenson said that one of the Bidens, he could not remember which one, told him his money had paid for the strike,” Schreckinger wrote.
“Stevenson said that after the new senator was sworn in, his friend Joe ‘Boom’ Beck, an official with the Carpenters Union, took Sheeran around to the Stone Balloon [a bar owned by Stevenson], where he introduced Stevenson to the Teamsters boss as ‘the guy who took care of the tab for the News Journal strike,'” the author wrote.
Schreckinger said he attempted to track down the lawyer Sheeran described but one of two possibilities denied any knowledge and the other did not respond to any inquiries.
“Whether or not the Bidens played any role in ginning up the strike as Stevenson claims, their 1972 campaign sealed an alliance with organized labor that would last for decades,” the author wrote.
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