Philly Corruption All-Stars, that's the title of the recent Philadelphia Citizen series featuring a decade-by-decade rundown of the most corrupt city politicians. Philadelphia and Pennsylvania's reputation for political corruption is well documented. Today it is clearly a crime for Pennsylvania elected officials to use one dollar of public resources for politics. But there remains a yawning loophole in our ethics laws.
State and local governments across Pennsylvania regularly collect dues and political action committee funds for public sector unions. Government unions are the only organizations in Pennsylvania that can use public resources to raise their political dollars. Paycheck protection legislation would change this.
House Majority Whip Bryan Cutler breaks down the ethical reasons for paycheck protection in a recent op-ed,
The truth is this immoral practice, which would land any elected official in jail, has gone unchecked for years. If we care about ethics and integrity in government, we cannot let this continue. It is not fair to force taxpayers to pay for partisan politics.
Paycheck protection isn't just good for taxpayers, it also benefits union members. Requiring public unions to collect their own political money fosters greater accountability and transparency between union leaders and members.
Months ago, the state Senate voted to close this gaping loophole in our ethical rules. It's time for the state House to take up this anti-corruption measure and stop the use of taxpayer dollars for political purposes.