The label of an AFL-CIO union has been stripped from Phoenix, Ariz., fire department vehicles after the legality of the endorsement was questioned and a city official determined they might be illegal.

In a victory for Washington-based Judicial Watch, Phoenix ordered the removal of labels for the International Association of Firefighters after the national taxpayer's watchdog group raised legality questions.

In a memo obtained by Judicial Watch, a city official said "the display of IAFF logos on PFD vehicles may constitute a violation of Arizona laws."

Judicial Watch had suggested that by letting the union logo be displayed, some might see it as an endorsement of Big Labor's political activities.

Said the group:

"It appears that there never was any formal procedure in place to grant the AFL-CIO free ad space on public vehicles in Phoenix. Based on the information JW has gathered, it's reasonable to conclude that this is an example of a back-room deal between liberal mayors, enamored city council members and the longtime power of the AFL-CIO on the political arena. After all, how is it possible that a city manager, which serves as the crucial chief executive of a municipality's government, not know what's on his fire trucks? If JW didn't investigate this matter, the powerful leftwing labor conglomerate would continue receiving free taxpayer-funded advertisement from the city of Phoenix."

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at