Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania
Wed, September 30, 2015
Will Harrisburg Ever Fix Pension Crisis?
The rate of "success" Harrisburg is having with the budget, coupled with the incompetence of our legislators who work for the taxpayers of Pennsylvania raises the possibility that the ...
Thu, September 10, 2015
Unions Spending Big Money on Supreme Court Races
Leading up to the May primaries we noted that organized labor had made significant contributions to the campaign of Judge Kevin Dougherty. (Note: Dougherty's brother was just made the head of the ...
Thu, September 03, 2015
Former PLCB Official Facing Federal Charges
The good news is that the PA Liquor Control Board (PLCB) went nearly four months without making the news for a public corruption story. The bad news is that a former Marketing Director is now facing ...
Thu, August 27, 2015
Why Would Wolf Want to Send Kids Back to Failing Schools?
"...I'm in this spot where I have to call the school that failed my kids and reenroll them...I'm heartbroken over this."
That quote comes from Amy Millar ...
Wed, August 19, 2015
How State Redevelopment Projects Really Work
We have long been critical of "economic development projects". Many times, the projects amount to little more than corporate welfare. Project backers frequently over promise, and under ...
Wed, August 12, 2015
Bad Legislation Never Dies
Bad (Pension) Legislation Never Dies
So the Tobash plan for changing the design of pensions for certain classes of new employees is getting another push. The Tobash plan, HB 1499, is ...
Thu, August 06, 2015
Special Election Strengthens Conservatives, Not Wolf
It didn't take long for Democrats to try to spin the loss of a union boss in the 161st district as a referendum on Republicans. According to the statement from the Democratic Representative-elect, as ...
Wed, August 05, 2015
Union Boss Defeated in Special Election
The CAP PAC is proud to have supported Lisa Esler's campaign. She provided a real choice for taxpayers. At the end of the day, her campaign came up short. Lisa's campaign faced ...
Thu, July 30, 2015
CAP: GOP Spending Big to Elect Union President
Campaign finance reports were filed with the PA Department of State last Friday.
Although they are not yet available online, we spent some time reviewing the filings and wanted to pass on some ...
Tue, July 21, 2015
GOP Spending Money to Elect Union Boss
A few weeks ago, we noted that the Delaware County GOP had selected the local AFL-CIO boss to be their candidate in an upcoming special election.
The state Republican Party is now getting ...
Mon, July 13, 2015
Never-Ending Campaign of Intimidation
After vetoing the budget because the legislature refused to raise taxes on Pennsylvanians, Governor Wolf has unleashed the attack dogs.
Fri, July 10, 2015
Wolf Vetoes Pension Reform
UPDATE: Governor Wolf vetoed the pension reform proposal passed by the General Assembly. When it came to employees of the Wolf group (and its bottom line) a 401k was fine. However, with taxpayers ...
Wed, July 01, 2015
A Busy Day in Harrisburg
Prior to the June 30th end of the state fiscal year, the Pennsylvania Senate passed a $33 billion budget; that is an increase of $1 billion over last year's budget. Despite claims that the budget ...
Wed, June 17, 2015
More Corruption at PLCB
Just in time for the coming debate about privatizing Pennsylvania's antiquated state store system, another former PLCB official has been accused of violating state ethics laws. As noted by the ...
Tue, June 09, 2015
CAP to Oppose Union President in Special Election
As we have frequently noted there are two parties in Pennsylvania, the taxpayer party, and the party of big government. In a decision bordering on absurd, the Delaware County GOP chose the President ...
Thu, May 21, 2015
Wolf Administration Demonizes Pension Reform
The Wolf administration promptly demagogued and misrepresented the Senate's pension reforms. First, the Governor's Chief of Staff, Kathleen McGinty, offered some criticisms primarily based on ...
Thu, May 14, 2015
Senate Pension Plan Step in Right Direction
Yesterday the Senate passed, by an overwhelming margin, much needed changes to government employee retirement benefits. One Republican, Senator Stewart Greenleaf, joined all Democrats in voting ...
Tue, May 12, 2015
Since We're Paying for It . . .
Last week the Senate passed two pieces of legislation designed to provide much-needed transparency on public union contracts. Both bills were sponsored by CAP members, Senators Folmer and Stefano. ...
Wed, May 06, 2015
CAP Launches Budget Campaign
Proponents of bigger government and higher taxes are out in force pressuring lawmakers to soak taxpayers once again. Take a few moments to contact your Representative and Senator. Tell them it ...
Tue, April 28, 2015
Meet Eight Republicans OK With Union Violence
We noted last year unions and management are currently exempt from prosecution under Pennsylvania's laws governing stalking, harassment and threatening to use weapons of mass destruction. The two ...
Wed, April 22, 2015
Big Labor's PA Supreme Court Pick
April 22, 2015:
On May 19th, Pennsylvanians will take their first step to fill three open spots on the commonwealth's Supreme Court. There are twelve ...
Wed, April 15, 2015
Will Governor Wolf Call for Kane Resignation?
As we've previously noted, Attorney General Kane dropped the ball when it came to prosecuting Democratic officials caught on tape accepting bribes. It turns out that was not the only case she ...
Mon, March 30, 2015
A Caution on Property Tax 'Reform'
A number of competing property tax reform and elimination bills have been introduced in recent history. The Governor has made property tax reduction a part of his budget, and we are likely to see a ...
Wed, March 25, 2015
A Fundamentally Un-serious Plan for Pension Reform
March 25, 2015:
Governor Tom Wolf has a plan for fixing Pennsylvania's pension mess, but it is a bad plan. Wolf's proposal is to use extra revenues generated by the ...
Wed, March 18, 2015
Bloom Named Trustee of PSERS
Here's Some Good News: CAP Member Named PSERS Trustee
March 18, 2015:
It is easy to get caught up in all the bad news. When you consider our new Governor's policy ...
Wed, March 11, 2015
Legislators Arrested in Sting Case
In March of 2014, Pennsylvanians learned about a sting operation that snared a number of Democratic officials accepting bribes. The public did not learn about the sting due to high profile arrests. ...
Wed, March 04, 2015
Wolf Budget: Good, Bad, Ugly
There was a lot not to like in Governor Wolf's first budget address. For the most part, it was a wish list of higher taxes and more government spending. The Governor wants to increase the sales tax ...
Thu, February 26, 2015
Taxpayer Protection Act Long Overdue
Taxpayer Protection Act is Long Overdue
February 25, 2015:
Pennsylvania taxpayers now face the 10th highest state and local tax ...
Wed, February 18, 2015
PA Doesn't Need an Extraction Tax
February 18, 2015:
Governor Wolf is off and running to increase taxes on the natural gas industry. He intends on using the money from an extraction tax to increase school funding. As our ...
Wed, February 11, 2015
Wolf's Medicaid Expansion: Flushing $95 Million
February 11, 2015:
Earlier this week Governor Wolf began the process of dismantling "Healthy PA". Then-Governor Corbett proposed the Health PA plan as an alternative to ...
Wed, February 04, 2015
Treasurer McCord Resigns
Pennsylvania Treasurer Resigns, Faces Extortion Charges
February 4, 2015:
On Thursday January 29th, Pennsylvania Treasurer Rob McCord resigned ...
Wed, January 28, 2015
Wouldn't It Make Sense . . .
Wouldn't it Make Sense to Put a Guy with a Ph.D. in Finance on the Finance Committee?
January 28, 2015:
At the start of each session in ...
Wed, January 21, 2015
Tom Wolf Has Big Plans
On Tuesday, January 20th, Tom Wolf took the oath of office and became Pennsylvania's forty-seventh governor. His inauguration speech included a number of interesting points. Some of the items will ...
Wed, January 14, 2015
Laws Are for Other People
January 14, 2015:
Last summer, we learned that a number of union bosses had never bothered to register as lobbyists. The year before that, we found out that unions were exempt from ...
Wed, January 07, 2015
Eighteen CAP Members Take Oath
The Pennsylvania Constitution requires the General Assembly to meet on the first Tuesday in January each year. The January after a legislative election, newly elected and returning members of the ...
Thu, December 18, 2014
Charges Filed Against Lawmakers
December 18, 2014:
Pennsylvanians learned earlier this year that four lawmakers from Philadelphia were caught on tape accepting cash and money orders in a sting operation conducted ...
Thu, December 11, 2014
Another Spike in Pension Costs
December 11, 2014:
The big news lately has been a $2 billion projected deficit for the next fiscal year. The incoming Wolf administration is busy pointing the finger at the outgoing ...
Thu, December 04, 2014
Attorney General Spends Millions on Outside Legal Counsel
It recently came to light that Attorney General Kathleen Kane's office has spent over $1.5 million hiring private lawyers since 2013; this comes despite having 180 lawyers on staff. According to a ...
Fri, November 14, 2014
House and Senate Leadership Changes
House and Senate Leadership ...
Wed, November 05, 2014
CAP Scores Election Wins
Although the Governor's race will receive the lion's share of attention, there were some important victories for taxpayers last night in House and Senate races.
CAP's lone endorsed ...
Thu, October 16, 2014
Six Republicans Side with Union Bosses over Taxpayers
October 16, 2014:
Union dues, fees and political contributions are deducted automatically from government employees' paychecks and wired directly to unions at taxpayers' expense. No other ...
Wed, October 08, 2014
Barbarians Inside the Gates
On the eve of Scotland's vote on independence, News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch was on the phone from London to Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto. Said Mr. Murdoch, a man with a legendary political ...
Wed, October 01, 2014
Is Senate GOP Leader Impediment to Reform?
October 1, 2014:
One of the most common questions people ask us is, why can't Harrisburg enact reforms like they have in Wisconsin, Indiana or Michigan?
According to a letter sent ...
Fri, September 12, 2014
Corbett Takes on Common Core
On September 9th, Governor Corbett took a strong stand against the implementation of Common Core in Pennsylvania. In addition to being a federal takeover of the state education system, there is scant ...
Thu, September 04, 2014
What Could You Do With $14,500?
Although it probably was not the first thing to come to mind, you could pay off Pennsylvania's debt.
According to a report by the organization Truth in Accounting, the Commonwealth has ...
Thu, August 28, 2014
Very Little Evidence for Common Core
According to proponents, Common Core Standards and the "modified" PA Core Standards will improve the quality of our students' education. We have noted previously that this is not the case. ...
Thu, August 21, 2014
First Teacher Strike in PA Underway
August 21, 2014:
Summer is drawing to a close but instead of returning to school students in the Millville Area School District are getting a little extra time off. The local ...
Thu, August 14, 2014
Lawmakers Decline Pensions
John Baer has an interesting article at the Philly.com website. He put together a comprehensive list of Representatives and Senators who have opted out of the legislative pension and/or ...
Thu, August 07, 2014
Crony Capitalism at Its Finest
On Tuesday, ABC 27 ran a revealing two-part story about one of the more influential lobbying firms in Harrisburg. Opinions vary about how influential Long ~Nyquist are in reality. However, their ...
Thu, July 24, 2014
PA Bond Rating Downgraded
Moody's Investor Services downgraded over $11 billion in "general obligation" bonds. As an individual's credit rating, a lower score makes borrowing more expensive; that is bad news for ...
Wed, July 16, 2014
How to Spur Job Growth
Despite being number one in corporate welfare, Pennsylvania ranks in the bottom ten when CEO's are asked about where they want to do business. Sadly, it isn't just big businesses that have a problem ...
Wed, July 09, 2014
One Ugly Piece of Legislation
On July 8th, the Senate passed HB 278; the House passed the legislation on July 1st. The bill makes changes to the fiscal code. Similar legislation is passed every year as a companion to the budget. ...
Wed, July 02, 2014
Why We Can't Get Pension Reform
Let's be honest and expose the reason we cannot get Pension Reform. It is not Governor Corbett or Majority Leader Turzai. It is State Rep. Gene DiGirolamo (R-Bucks) who thwarted Republican Gov. Tom ...
Thu, June 26, 2014
State Budget Progressing
Harrisburg has been busy deciding how to spend your tax dollars, and there are only a few days left before the June 30th budget deadline.
On Tuesday, the House Appropriations Committee ...
Wed, June 18, 2014
How Much is Corruption Costing You?
June 18, 2014:
A recent study compared looked at the number of officials convicted for violations of federal corruption laws between from 1997 to 2008. It probably will not come ...
Thu, June 12, 2014
Shrinking Legislature Won't Solve Our Problem
Once again, proposals are circulating to reduce the number of Representatives and Senators elected to the General Assembly. This time around the Senate bill being also debated makes reductions to the ...
Wed, June 04, 2014
Hide Your Wallets; It's Budget Season in Harrisburg
June 4, 2014:
Final revenue numbers are coming in short of projections as Representatives and Senators begin hammering out the details of the next budget.
Wed, May 14, 2014
Does the Law Apply Equally?
May 14, 2014:
When is lobbying not considered lobbying?
A report from Media Trackers PA makes clear that lobbying is not lobbying when a union boss says so.
Wed, April 30, 2014
PA Does Not Need an Extraction Tax
April 30, 2014:
One thing all the Democratic candidates for Governor and some Republicans in the general assembly agree is on is that Pennsylvania needs a severance (or extraction) tax on ...
Thu, April 24, 2014
Do Portraits of Felons Hang at the Capitol?
True or False: Portraits of Felons are Hanging in the Sate Capitol
The answer is "True", unfortunately.
Speakers of the House and the ...
Wed, April 16, 2014
Lawmaker Tries to Do the Right Thing
When he was elected in 2010, Rep. Eli Evankovich* did what most newly elected lawmakers do; he signed up for the legislative pension.
As he learned more about the $50 Billion in unfunded ...
Tue, April 08, 2014
Minimum Wage = Maximum Harm to Jobs
By, Stephen Bloom
State Representative, 199th District
Everybody deserves a chance to work for a living. Having a job, any job, is the most important factor in keeping people from ...
Wed, March 19, 2014
Scott Wagner in Historic Victory
On March 18th 2014, a write-in campaign for a Senate seat was successful. This is the first time in modern history a candidate who was not on the ballot won an election at this level. And, this is ...
Tue, February 11, 2014
Re-Elect or Send to Jail?
February 11, 2014:
Dr. John D. McGinnis
Pennsylvania Representative, 79th District
Suppose a corporation's CEO, with full approval of its board of ...
Thu, January 23, 2014
Competition Best Test in Education
As the new year begins, legislators in Harrisburg are still talking about reforming state laws affecting charter schools in the Commonwealth. Complicating the discussions are many misconceptions ...
Thu, January 16, 2014
Contract Review Legislation Advances
All too often the ink is barely dry on a proposed teachers' union (or support staff) contract before it is voted on by a school board. Thanks to legislation recently passed by the House that could ...
Wed, January 08, 2014
Union Bosses Get Six Figure Raises
January 8, 2014:
Although most union bosses claim to stand in solidarity with dues paying members the facts often undercut that statement.
A recent report from Mediatrackers ...
Thu, December 19, 2013
The Value of Just Showing Up
Something interesting happened in a school district in western Pennsylvania: the taxpayers actually won.
According to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review:
"A longtime ...
Fri, November 15, 2013
More Road ~Bridge Funding, No Tax Hike
November 15, 2013:
Maintaining transportation infrastructure is a legitimate function of government. The challenge for Pennsylvania government has become ensuring that tax dollars are ...
Thu, November 07, 2013
How Much Welfare Budget Lost to Fraud?
November 7, 2013:
Pennsylvania's Department of Public Welfare (DPW) has an almost $11 billion budget for 2013-2014. A recent report by CBS 21 (video here) should prompt close ...
Thu, October 24, 2013
One Step Closer to Equal Protection
October 24, 2013:
In August, the Judiciary Committee of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives held a hearing on legislation (HB 1154) that would close loopholes in the criminal laws ...
Thu, October 03, 2013
How is Prioritizing Spending on Bridges Offensive?
October 3, 2013:
One of the top priorities for the Governor and the Senate has been the passage of a transportation bill. Before they went on summer vacation, the Senate passed a massive ...
Wed, September 25, 2013
The Ultimate Unfair Advantage
September 25, 2013:
Imagine this: a representative from the NRA enters a school board meeting. He proceeds to explain that most of the teachers and employees of the district are members ...
Thu, September 19, 2013
CAP Unviels New Video
September 19, 2013:
For the past fifty years, Pennsylvania taxpayers have taken it on the chin. Our government continues to get bigger and more expensive, but the folks paying the bills ...
Tue, September 17, 2013
Happy Constitution Day!
On September 17, 1787 the Constitutional Convention came to a close. The final draft of the Constitution was signed and sent to the states for ratification. There are few better sources for ...
Tue, September 10, 2013
PA Should Follow Germany on Smart Meters
By Peter K Sour,
Member, The Coalition to Stop SmartMeters in PA
Pennsylvanians, thanks to a 2008 law are forced to accept Smart Meters into their homes - something that is happening ...
Wed, August 21, 2013
No Good Reason to Exempt Union Activity
Late in 2012, the US Chamber of Commerce released a report that highlighted criminal laws that granted exemptions to union members. In their report, the Chamber highlighted the fact Pennsylvania's ...
Wed, July 31, 2013
Philly Dems Pick Union Boss to Negotiate with Himself
July 31, 2013:
First a little background. The Philadelphia Convention Center is not doing too well booking events there.
A consistent theme has been the poor service that ...
Mon, June 24, 2013
What is Wrong with PA Senate GOP?
Last week Sen. Chuck McIlhinney released his liquor "privatization" plan. If it were the 1950's his plan would have been considered revolutionary; in the twenty-first century, not so much. ...
Wed, June 19, 2013
CAP Blasts McIlhinney Liquor Plan
Senate Liquor Plan: "Privatization Lite" Is Being Generous
June 19, 2013:
Senator Chuck McIlhinney (R-Bucks) unveiled his "privatization" plan yesterday ...
Thu, June 06, 2013
PA Could Have Highest Gas Tax in Nation
June 6, 2013:
With a 45-5 vote, the Pennsylvania Senate approved legislation that would increase gas taxes and a host of other fees on Pennsylvania drivers. Should SB 1 become law anyone ...
Tue, June 04, 2013
Charter Funding 'Reform' Bill Logically Bankrupt
By Dan Truitt,
Representative House District 156
I don't think anyone who has been paying attention to education funding in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania would argue that we have ...
Thu, May 30, 2013
PA Still Arresting for Bootlegging
Pennsylvania's state run liquor stores lose millions of dollars a year in sales because folks who live near a state border chose to leave the commonwealth and make their purchases in a neighboring ...
Thu, May 23, 2013
Impact of Gas Tax Hike on Small Business
Earlier this month, the Senate Transportation Committee passed a massive $2.5 Billion transportation package. It has yet to be voted on by the full Senate. However, its contents should be of concern ...
Tue, May 14, 2013
CAP: PA in Bottom 10 (again) for Business
May 14, 2013:
Chief Executive Magazine released its 2013 ranking of the states. Once again
Pennsylvania is in the bottom ten with a rank of ...
Wed, May 08, 2013
Pension Overhaul Introduced
Legislation to Overhaul Government Workers' Pensions Introduced
May 8, 2013:
Pennsylvania's state employee and teacher pension programs (SERS and PSERS respectively) are ...
Wed, March 27, 2013
Will PA Senate GOP Sellout Consmers?
Will Pennsylvania's Senate Republicans Sellout Consumers?
March 27, 2013:
The Pennsylvania House has passed legislation aimed at dismantling our prohibition-era state store ...
Fri, March 22, 2013
CAP: Victory for Consumer Choice
A Significant Victory for Consumer Choice, Convenience and Taxpayers
March 22, 2013:
The passage of HB 790 is a significant victory for consumers and taxpayers in ...
Wed, February 06, 2013
CAP: Budget Highlights ~Lowlights
Highlights and Lowlights of Governor Corbett's 2013 Budget Address
February 5, 2013:
The thousand pound gorilla in the room for ...
Thu, January 03, 2013
Arson Tied to Philly Unions
January 3, 1013
A few days before Christmas, the construction site for a Quaker meeting house (akin to a church or synagogue) was vandalized. Bolts and steel columns where cut with an ...
Fri, December 21, 2012
Union Republicans Rewarded with Committee Chairs
We noted last week that the Pennsylvania GOP should take a lesson in leadership from Michigan.
Judging by the list of committee chairs released by the House Republican Caucus yesterday, ...
Tue, December 04, 2012
Progressive Think Tank Honors GOP Reps
Fri, October 05, 2012 Attention Taxpayers: The General Assembly Authorized Another $1 Billion in Debt October 5, 2012: In May we brought the little ... Fri, September 28, 2012 Mon, September 24, 2012 Economic Development or Legal Plunder September 24, 2012: Should taxpayers "give" $2 million to a $16 BILLION ... Wed, September 19, 2012 September 19, 2012: Over the summer, one of the ideas floated to close the hole in the Harrisburg School Districts budget was to eliminate kindergarten. While it ... Mon, September 17, 2012 In Honor of Constitution Day September 17, 2012: On September 17th, 1787 the Constitutional Convention approved the Constitution ... Tue, September 04, 2012 New Website to Track Campaign Contributions from Government Unions September 3, 2012: To help taxpayers track government (or public sector) union influence in ... Tue, June 12, 2012 06.12.12: Yesterday, we told you about the Neshaminy School Teachers strike and share the ad we placed in local newspaper featuring the teachers' salary and benefit costs. Fri, December 09, 2011 Four Senators Trying to Jack Up Auto Insurance Rates Mon, October 10, 2011 Mon, April 25, 2011 HARRISBURG (4.25.11) - Senate Bill 1, the Opportunity Scholarship Act, will enable tens of thousands of low- and middle-income parents to send their children to the school that gives them the ...
General Assembly Adds Another $1.6 Billion in Debt
No More Per Diem Piggy Bank for Lawmakers
September 28, 2012:
CAP previously brought the 2011 Per Diem King to your attention, he collected $39,000 tax free:
"Members of the General Assembly don't have to ...
Economic Development or Legal Plunder?
Nearly Bankrupt School Pays $400k in Unused Sick Time
CAP Honors Constitution Day
New CAP Web Site Tracks Union Donations
Striking Neshaminy Teachers Face Reality
Today, we have ...
Four Senators Trying to Jack Up Auto Insurance Rates
Lemoyne (12.8.11) — At a time when many Pennsylvania families are struggling to make ends meet, four Pennsylvania Senators have ...
Citizens Alliance Targes GOP Senators
CAP Targets Anti-SB 1 Republicans for Defeat
Fri, October 05, 2012
Attention Taxpayers: The General Assembly Authorized Another $1 Billion in Debt
October 5, 2012:
In May we brought the little ...
Fri, September 28, 2012
Mon, September 24, 2012
Economic Development or Legal Plunder
September 24, 2012:
Should taxpayers "give" $2 million to a $16 BILLION ...
Wed, September 19, 2012
September 19, 2012:
Over the summer, one of the ideas floated to close the hole in the Harrisburg School Districts budget was to eliminate kindergarten. While it ...
Mon, September 17, 2012
In Honor of Constitution Day
September 17, 2012:
On September 17th, 1787 the Constitutional Convention approved the Constitution ...
Tue, September 04, 2012
New Website to Track Campaign Contributions from Government Unions
September 3, 2012: To help taxpayers track government (or public sector) union influence in ...
Tue, June 12, 2012
06.12.12: Yesterday, we told you about the Neshaminy School Teachers strike and share the ad we placed in local newspaper featuring the teachers' salary and benefit costs.
Fri, December 09, 2011
Four Senators Trying to Jack Up Auto Insurance Rates
Mon, October 10, 2011
Mon, April 25, 2011
HARRISBURG (4.25.11) - Senate Bill 1, the Opportunity Scholarship Act, will enable tens of thousands of low- and middle-income parents to send their children to the school that gives them the ...