This morning, union bosses and hundreds of union members stormed the Capitol to protect their unfair political privilege. Threatened by legislation that would level the playing field—ending the taxpayer-funded collection of government union dues and campaign contributions—union bosses issued rhetoric and outright lies from the podium, while union members (most of whom were paid to attend the rally) chanted.
Here’s the truth: Government union dues are spent on politics, and it’s unfair that taxpayer resources are used to collect that money. We placed this billboard is in front of the Capitol to share this truth on behalf of taxpayers:
Several brave taxpayers and CF staffers attended the rally, injecting truth into the unions’ rhetoric. Taxpayers carried government union ads with the message, “I don’t support this ad. Why were my tax dollars used to collect the money that funded it?”
Not surprisingly, protesting union members didn’t appreciate their message.
Union members bullied the activists and CF staffers, blocking their signs and forcing them further back in the crowd. Claiming that paycheck protection would silence their voice (note: it doesn’t) union members were unironically content to silence the voices of the taxpayer activists in the crowd.
From the podium, union bosses did nothing to hide their blatant political bent. One leader pointed to Pennsylvania’s “next governor” and promises were made to lobby all state lawmakers. Union bosses completely ignored the 79 percent of Pennsylvanians that think taxpayer resources shouldn’t be used for politics. Instead, they repeated tired claims of “outside billionaires” infiltrating Pennsylvania.
One speaker called out CF president Matt Brouillette too—while claiming he “wouldn’t know him if he had his tongue stuck against the flagpole outside,” he proceeded to read from our news release, and further attacked CF and our supporters.
But the verbal attacks weren’t just directed toward CF. A loud, off-color chant of “Corbett sucks” (directed at Governor Tom Corbett) echoed through the Rotunda (video here). And at multiple times during and after the rally, union members attempted to damage and deface CF‘s mobile billboard. The driver, fearing for his safety, called the police.
“This is just like Wisconsin,” was the sentiment of attendees, as well as national observers. This kind of bullying from these people is nothing new in Harrisburg. But here’s what is new: Today, taxpayers were the ones who had the union bosses in a panic—because real reforms like those in Wisconsin are within reach. Yes, even here in Pennsylvania! There would have been no rally today otherwise. And despite the hypocrisy and hysteria, taxpayers made their voices heard.