This week a “Republican wave” swept the country and propelled many fiscally conservative governors to reelection. And in Pennsylvania, candidates that ran on pension reform, liquor privatization, choice in education, and paycheck protection were elected—expanding Republican control of the state Legislature.
So, why did the same voters hand the keys to the governor’s mansion over to a candidate promising higher taxes and more spending?
Matt Brouillette, discussing the election results on WSBA’s The Gary Sutton Show on Wednesday, offers an explanation:
Ultimately it was [public sector union leaders] using tax payer collected union money that framed that narrative of billion dollar cut in education, a lack of a severance tax—these were the things that unfortunately Tom Corbett was not able to counter, nor did he confront it head on.
Matt says governors in other swing states took a more direct approach to combating government union leaders’ undue influence and were rewarded by voters:
This biggest takeaway I think, and we certainly see this in the context of nationally, where you saw Republican governors in blue states—such as Scott Walker in Wisconsin, Rick Snyder in Michigan, as well as Bruce Rauner who is the governor elect in Illinois—these folks took head on the opponents of the taxpayers and that was the public employee unions. When you have bold leadership and you fight those battles that are absolutely necessary, you will win!
Listen here or below:
The Gary Sutton Show airs daily on WSBA 910AM in the York area.
Follow Commonwealth Foundation’s SoundCloud stream for more of our audio content.