Union Party Speaks: Defend Union Agenda

We’ve mentioned many times that the real party controlling the Pennsylvania legislature is not the Republican Party, but rather the Union Party.

Today, in a story by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Tom Barnes, the Union Party “Republicans” lay their cards on the table for all to see.

Republican Rep. Gene DiGirolamo, a Bucks County Union Party member, has formed his own political action committee (PAC) called Good Jobs PA—primarily funded by union PACs—to funnel money to Republicans who will vote against high priority items like prevailing wage reform or liquor store privatization.  As Barnes notes:

He has created a political action committee, called GoodJobsPa, which gets donations, mostly from labor unions, and gives the money to liberal-leaning House Republicans, such as Mr. Marshall ($5,000) and Reps. Tom Murt of Montgomery ($2,500), Rep. Bob Godshall of Montgomery ($500) and Rep. Joe Hackett of Delaware County ($2,500).

DiGirolamo reads straight from the union’s talking points when trying to explain why he is working to thwart reforms that will save taxpayer dollars. On prevailing wage—a mandate that local governments pay state-established wages on construction projects, regardless of the going market wage—he claims that identified savings won’t benefit taxpayers, but will only increase “profits” for contractors.  This, of course, is untrue as the lower costs of public projects on the front end would reduce taxpayer outlays to these very same contractors at the back end.

Furthermore, DiGirolamo conveniently overlooks the fact that contractors make a profit off of government projects now, and he intentionally ignores real-world examples of savings identified by local governments. Indeed, a broad coalition, including local government officials from townships to boroughs to counties to school boards across Pennsylvania, has called for prevailing wage reform.

DiGirolamo also criticizes plans to let the private sector run liquor stores, claiming that privatization will lead to more alcohol abuse, and repeats myths about liquor store “profits”. Of course, these talking points have long been debunked, but union money trumps facts and evidence.

Republican Rep. Jim Marshall, one of the key recipients of Good Jobs PA PAC money, backs up DiGirolamo, taking the union side against taxpayers. Marshall claims that paying construction workers market wages—freeing up money for additional projects, or for tax reductions—represents an “attack” on jobs. Marshall adds that he doesn’t see a “glaring problem” with government-run liquor stores—a claim that has 70 percent of voters scratching their heads.