Union Rally for ‘Equality’ Really about Political Pressure

Commonwealth Foundation
Contact: 717-671-1901

Union Rally for ‘Equality’ Really about Political Pressure

Campaign Finance Records Indicate Rally Sponsor SEIU Wants Return on Political Investment

Good morning,

Today, government union SEIU staged a rally for “good jobs & healthy communities” at the capitol. But what are their real motives? The latest state campaign finance records are a big giveaway.

“The fact is, SEIU has a contract with state government worth hundreds of millions of dollars that’s being negotiated as we speak,” commented Matthew Brouillette, president and CEO of the Commonwealth Foundation. “In a large sense, this rally, ostensibly for ‘good jobs’ and ‘healthy communities,’ is just another in a series of attempts to put pressure on Gov. Wolf during the negotiating process.”

Brouillette continued:

“SEIU gave nearly $2.5 million in campaign contributions to candidates in the last election cycle, and gave just shy of $1 million to Gov. Wolf during his gubernatorial campaign when you include ‘in kind’ contributions. SEIU also sponsored Wolf’s inauguration event with a $10,000 donation. The fact that public resources are used to collect this political money is a huge conflict of interest for the governor.”

The Top 5 Government Union PAC Spenders in the 2014 Election Cycle

  1. PSEA-PACE:                   $3,180,987
  2. SEIU:                                $2,411,275
  3. AFSCME “People”:         $1,525,242
  4. AFSCME Council 13:      $1,227,133
  5. AFT:                                 $1,057,315

See the full list here.

Brouillette concluded:

“The perception of undue influence could be alleviated by making union contract negotiations more transparent. Making proposed contracts available to the public before signing them behind closed doors would help fulfill Gov. Wolf’s pledge of promoting more fairness and transparency in government. Further, paycheck protection, which has advanced in the Senate this week, would go a long way towards ending conflict of interest during union contract negotiations, where billions of taxpayer dollars are at stake.”

Matthew Brouillette and other Commonwealth Foundation experts are available for comment today. Please contact me at 717-671-1901 schedule an interview.



Cindy Hamill
Dir. of Strategic Communications
Commonwealth Foundation
Harrisburg | King of Prussia
Office: 717-671-1901
[email protected]