“Save the PA Lottery,” “Seniors pay the price,” and “Corbett’s secretive scheme” are just a few examples of how government union bosses employed scare tactics to conduct a massive misinformation campaign and drive away billions in guaranteed lottery funding.
Over the past year, AFSCME union officials created websites, radio ads, billboards and more to convince Pennsylvanians that contracting out management of the lottery with guaranteed revenue protections was dangerous for elderly Pennsylvanians. Never mind that the waiting lists for lottery-funded services grew by 52 percent in 2011 and 2012.
Late last month, Gov. Corbett announced the contract would expire for good, leaving $2.3 billion in promised revenue on the table and no guarantees for seniors and taxpayers. That could put senior programs in jeopardy with a $530 million budget deficit projected for next fiscal year, never mind future years.
Even more appalling than the unions’ hyperbole is their hypocrisy. In early December, AFSCME tentatively agreed to private management contract if workers could remain unionized. What does this tell us? All union bosses cared about was maintaining their special privilege to members’ money. Their opposition was just political posturing.
Meanwhile, state lottery workers will continue to pay approximately $100,000 in forced dues to fund six-figure salaries for AFSCME union bosses. Joseph Kleman, assistant to AFSCME Executive Director David Fillman, received $244,860 in 2012, while the average state worker salary is around $50,000.
The lottery misinformation campaign is strikingly similar to union leaders’ attempts to thwart liquor store privatization. No one can reasonably argue against choice and convenience, but union leaders will say anything to keep dues money rolling in to fund their lifestyles.
It’s time union bosses are exposed for all of the good they prevent in the name of padding their own pockets.