In 1980, Ronald Reagan forged a close political relationship with (Teamsters president) Jackie Presser. During Reagan's 1980 campaign for president, Jackie Presser served as one of Reagan's hosts at a private luncheon for Teamster and other union leaders and escorted Reagan to private meetings with Teamster officials. After the November 1980 presidential election, Reagan named Presser as a labor advisor to his transition team. The media soon reported that Presser was reputed to have links to organized crime and that he was the object of a DOL civil suit for financial malfeasance. Reagan and his advisors claimed to have been unaware of the accusations, and Presser denied having any ties to organized crime. Just days after the story broke in the national press, however, New Jersey State Police witnesses testified that Presser was the primary contact for the DeCavalcante crime family of New Jersey and the Patriarca crime family of Boston whenever crime figures needed loans from Teamster pension funds. The courtroom testimony intensified the pressure on the Reagan transition team.Oh, I forgot. It wasn't that president's ties to the Teamsters. Or another president's ties to the Teamsters. It was the current president's ties to the Teamsters. Sorry. My indignant mistake.
Democrats and leaders of the Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU), a Teamster reform group, demanded that Reagan remove Presser from the transition team. But Reagan aides said that the transition team had completed its task and the issue was now moot.