Unfinished Business

Member Group : Guest Articles

Let’s imagine you were instructed by your employer to accomplish a task. I know this isn’t very hard to do. Many of us have been there. We were hired for a purpose because of specific skills and abilities to get the job, whatever it is, done. If you had a specific time period in which to do your job, you would do everything in your power to not only do it, but also do it well.

Those of us that went to the polls on Tuesday, November 6th, 2012 went with a purpose. As the employer of the legislature, we hired 203 House members and 25 Senators that day to get a job done. We set a very specific date in which to finish the job – November 30th, 2014. That day in November, 5,742,040 or about 45 percent of our population, went to the polls to vote.

This job is not something that should be taken lightly. Our employees cannot merely show up in Harrisburg, punch a clock, and go home at the end of the shift. We, the employer have much higher expectations.

Even before 2012, we had high expectations for the employees we hired in 2010; some of which survived the round of pink slips that were dolled out four years ago. The people of PA had hired a Republican Governor, a Republican majority in the Senate and a Republican majority in the House. We were certain we would see good government legislation. We expected by 2014 we may have real pension reform and a robust education system where teachers are hired and fired based on talent, not only seniority. We thought parents would actually have a choice in where they send their children to school and dollars would follow those students. We dreamed of privatizing liquor stores and the day we could pull into a grocery store and pick up a bottle of wine and a six-pack of beer as well as other necessities for a dinner party. We even talked about the real possibility of right-to-work – what champion of the people of Pennsylvania wouldn’t want to run to vote for that?

Somewhere along the line, we the employer thought maybe our expectations are too high. We don’t want to be unfair. After all, we do want to give our employees every opportunity to succeed. So we readjusted some of the performance measures. So long as they didn’t raise taxes and ended the ability for labor unions to legally stalk, harass and threaten the use of Weapons of Mass Destruction. We even offered to make their jobs easier – and asked they pass paycheck protection and end the immoral and unethical collection of political and political action committee money utilizing taxpayer resources.

Folks, the time is ticking, and as I’m attempting to write up the bi-yearly review of my employees, I’m staring at a blank sheet of paper.

The Legislature has been on summer vacation since the first week of July, and they just started back to work this month. The Senate, even with the above expectations, will only be clocking-in to their Harrisburg offices for five days in September and five days in October. The one day they are scheduled in November is for leadership elections. The House has a similar schedule – they are scheduled to be in Harrisburg on voting session six days in September, and five days in October. And like the Senate, they will only be in session in November for leadership elections. Let me remind you that in 2012, we hired them to work until November 30, 2014.
On November 4th, we the employer will decide whether to pass out a pink slip and hire a replacement, or give our employee another shot. What decision will you make?

At Americans for Prosperity, our motto is "policy not people." We do not engage candidates in elections. We do not have a Political Action Committee nor do we endorse candidates. That keeps us honest. Yet, we have to look at the reality. Policy cannot get passed without people. We need an economic freedom majority in Harrisburg – whether that is made up of Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Green Party – as long as they are pro-economic freedom I do not care what letter is behind their name.
Until we reach that economic freedom majority in Harrisburg, we work with what we have. Pick one of the issues I mention above. Call the Senator and House member that you hired in 2012 and tell them what you expect to be accomplished by November 30. Just in case you forgot their office extension, you can look it up in the company directory where we list the contact information for all of our employees – www.legis.state.pa.us. While you’re talking to them, remind them that they have been hired until November 30, and you expect they will work every waking hour, Monday through Friday, until that date to get the job done. Don’t accept any excuses. Failure is not an option.

I’m Anna McCauslin, Director of Policy with Americans for Prosperity – Pennsylvania. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @AFPPennsylvania and activate with us at www.americansforprosperity.org/pennsylvania.