House Votes Special Privilege for Major Donors

Member Group : Commonwealth Foundation

Commonwealth Partners
Contact: Gina Diorio, 862-703-6670
[email protected]

Pa. House Votes to Keep Special Privilege for Major Political Donors
Wolf’s Allies Retain Political Perk for Gov’t Unions that Gave Millions to Their Campaigns

HARRISBURG, December 12, 2017–Today, Gov. Wolf’s allies in the Pa. House voted to ensure their campaign coffers remain filled at taxpayers’ expense. By a 102-90 vote, House members voted against SB 166, which would have ended the use of public resources to collect political campaign contributions–all other union dues deductions would have remained legal under the amended bill.

“Only one type of political organization in the state–government unions–can legally use government payroll systems to collect their PAC (political action committee) money–campaign contributions given directly to politicians and candidates for office,” commented Matthew Brouillette, president and CEO of Commonwealth Partner Chamber of Entrepreneurs. “Today, the politicians who are among the top recipients of government union campaign cash voted to continue exempting their big donors from commonsense ethics laws that govern everyone else in the state.”

Since 2014, Gov. Wolf has accepted $4.3 million in campaign contributions from government union leaders, and Wolf’s allies in the legislature have accepted millions more–much of which was collected and bundled with taxpayer resources. These unions are the only organizations in the state that can carry out their campaign fundraising on the backs of taxpayers. Not a single Democrat voted to end this special legal, financial, and political privilege for their major campaign contributors.

Brouillette continued:

“Wolf and his allies have long railed against ‘special interests’ in Harrisburg, but given the chance to end the unique political privilege awarded to the state’s most powerful special interests, they chose to side with their donors rather than uphold ethics and integrity in government. No compelling argument exists for forcing taxpayers to be the bagman for anyone’s political fundraising.

“While this may have been the first time the House voted on this ethical reform, it won’t be the last. Pennsylvanians overwhelmingly support ending the use of public resources for political fundraising, and House and Senate leadership have shown their commitment to this good-government reform. Today’s vote was the first in the House, but the taxpayers will make sure it is not the last.“

Matthew Brouillette is available for comment. Please contact Gina Diorio at [email protected] or 862-703-6670 to arrange an interview.

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