Political Privileges Create an Unfair and Unequal Society

In Pennsylvania, government unions enjoy a wealth of legal and political privileges not awarded to other organizations. Here are just a few: 

While all special privileges—for unions, corporations and individuals alike—should be debated and addressed, the third on this list is garnering the attention of the General Assembly.

House lawmakers have moved to end the taxpayer-subsidized collection of political campaign contributions. This inexplicable practice solely benefits government unions. They are free to use taxpayer-financed payroll systems to collect money which they then give directly to candidates for public office.

Utilizing public resources for private, political purposes has landed several legislators in prison. Yet, government unions legally engage in the same behavior. Basic fairness requires that all be treated equally under the law. We’re far removed from upholding this principle, but lawmakers can make progress toward this goal by closing this ethical loophole and ending the taxpayer collection of campaign money.

The elimination of this political carveout will signal a commitment to fairness and equality. It will also begin to address the problem of compelling taxpayers to subsidize political causes they wouldn’t support voluntarily.

For too long, state law has elevated government unions to a privileged political class. And government union leaders have solidified their power using the numerous privileges granted to them. Imagine if the National Rifle Association or Planned Parenthood requested the same treatment government unions receive. Few would find this request acceptable, and rightly so.

Gov. Wolf should support Senate Bill 166, which would begin to require government unions to abide by the same rules that govern everyone else. Any opposition would demonstrate his willingness to tolerate inequality for the sake of political expediency.

Click here to email your representative and show your support for ending the use of public resources to collect campaign contributions.