The Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) remains one of the most powerful special interest groups in Harrisburg, whether it be fighting school choice and merit pay for teachers, denying the state pension crisis while being complicit in it, or lobbying for higher taxes.
In addition to their lobbying and dues-funded political activity, the PSEA has one of the largest Political Action Committees (PACs) in Pennsylvania. Last election cycle, the Political Action Committee for Education (PSEA-PACE) was the second largest contributor to state candidates, giving over $2 million.
So far, PSEA-PACE has contributed $492,460 in the 2009-2010 election, with more to come. So who gets PSEA campaign money?
The Big Winners
The largest beneficiary was gubernatorial candidate Dan Onorato who received $177,459.59 from the PSEA. However, given Onorato’s recent support for a new school choice scholarship program in Pennsylvania, the union might be regretting their substantial campaign support.
Lawmakers that received more than $10,000 from the PSEA-PACE were Rep. Todd Eachus (D-Hazleton, House Majority Leader), Rep. Dwight Evans (D-Philadelphia, Appropriations Committee Chair), Rep. James Roebuck (D-Philadelphia, Education Committee Chair), Rep. Ron Buxton (D-Harrisburg), Rep. Bill DeWeese (D-Greene County), Rep. Mike Gerber (D-Montgomery County), and Rep. Rick Taylor (D-Montgomery County).
Gov. Rendell, though term limited, still received $20,000 this cycle in PSEA money for his “campaign.”
General Assembly Breakdown
- Donations to House members totaled $227,300, with the majority ($203,100) going to House Democrats.
- 62% of House members received PSEA PAC funds, including 86% of House Democrats.
- Donations to Senate members totaled $67,700, with contributions split nearly evenly between parties; $34,350 for Democrats and $33,350 for Republicans.
- 70% of all Senate members received PSEA PACE funds.
You can see the complete list of House and Senate PSEA-PACE recipients below.