Paycheck Protection, the Ethics Reform Wolf Should Pursue

Governor Wolf unveiled today his Citizens First Ethics Plan, which should cause Pennsylvanians to wonder, how willing is the governor to truly pursue ethics reform?

The plan includes a gift ban for public officials, “no budget, no pay” legislation, and reform to public officials’ expensing. While these provisions deserve some further analysis, we can immediately agree with one thing—Pennsylvania needs ethics reform. Which is why the governor should support paycheck protection.

This legislation (SB 166) is simple: Government should never collect political money.

Paycheck protection would prohibit government from collecting or distributing political funds. Currently, government union leaders are the only special interest enjoying the political perk of using taxpayer resources to gather their PAC contributions and dues used for politics. Paycheck protection would apply the same ethical standards to all organizations. That’s why it enjoys widespread support from Pennsylvania voters, the state Senate, and from many members of the House, where it narrowly failed to pass in December.

It is contradictory that Wolf would veto this commonsense ethical reform, while also promoting Citizens First Ethics Plan. Perhaps it’s because he has received more than $6 million from Pennsylvania’s top government union PACs.

Paycheck protection reform requires government unions, who have spent more than $100 million on politics over the past decade, to collect their own political money, just like every other special interest and elected official in Pennsylvania.

The governor claims he wants to ensure “citizens are the ones calling the shots—not entrenched special interests.” If he truly supports ethics reform—even when it would impose ethics regulations on his campaign donors—Governor Wolf will reverse his stance and support paycheck protection.