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.
Leading the pack is America Works, USA. This "dark money" group is affiliated with the Democratic Governors Association (DGA). Although America Works does not disclose its donors, the DGA does. Four out of the Top Five donors to the DGA are government unions. According to OpenSecrets.org, the top four unions contributed over $13 million to the DGA in 2014 alone.
America Works, USA has targeted a number of Representatives and Senators including Senator Scott Wagner. He has been an outspoken critic of the Governor’s tax and spend policies. Wagner has also been a vocal supporter of pension reform and ending the practice of using tax dollars to collect union dues. The mailer (which you can see here and here) accuses Wagner and others of having the wrong priorities. Considering that the government unions filling the DGA’s coffers survive off of tax dollars, it’s easy to understand why they think more spending and higher taxes is the right way to go. However, the taxpayers of Pennsylvania know otherwise.
The attempted intimidation doesn’t end there. Other CAP members, including Representatives Jason Ortitay and Aaron Kaufer have had union members showing up at their office demanding that they vote for higher taxes. Their encounters have been largely civil. However, the same cannot be said for Senator John Eichelberger. Eichelberger has had to call the police to report the intimidation tactics undertaken by members of the teachers’ union who want him to reverse his position on pension reform.
Despite the strong arm tactics of the Governor and his union allies, it looks like Republicans in both chambers are standing their ground. This willingness is a welcome departure from what happened during the Rendell years. Despite controlling the Senate for Rendell’s entire tenure and the House for a portion of it, the Republican caucus went along with a massive expansion of government spending.
Because of CAP and other conservative organizations, we don’t see that same complicity today. For the first time since Republican Governor Raymond Shafer caved and gave government employees, our employees, the right to strike, we see the General Assembly standing firm. The political environment has changed because the "sleeping giant" of Pennsylvania taxpayers is finally rousing from its slumber.
CAP’s supporters, our allies in the General Assembly and other conservative organizations are taking the fight to Big Government special interests. We aren’t about to let up.
In the coming days, CAP will be launching a media campaign to thank the members of the general assembly who refuse to be intimidated. Until then we would encourage you to use this tool on our website to contact the Governor, your Senator, and Representative know how you feel about the Governor’s budget. You are welcome to use the text we’ve provided, but feel free to personalize it any way you’d like.
CITIZENS to 41444 to support CAP
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