As the 2018 election season gains momentum, Governor Wolf’s campaign friends are ramping up their financial support–and Pennsylvania taxpayers have helped them.
Since his first campaign in 2013, Governor Wolf has received nearly $8 million dollars from Pennsylvania’s public sector union political action committees (PACs).
These same unions gave $4 million to candidate Wolf in 2013-14 and then negotiated rewarding (i.e. costly) employee contracts with the governor.
In 2017-18, union leaders have so far funneled $3.6 million to Governor Wolf through PAC contributions, accounting for 36 percent of all his donations in 2018. These figures do not include dues money spent supporting his campaign.
Why does this matter? Firstly, it’s a conflict of interest when unions negotiate closed-door, taxpayer-funded contracts with a governor they help elect. Secondly, Pennsylvanians have been a forced-participant in collecting this political money.
Union members can have their PAC contributions deducted directly from their paychecks, via public payroll systems, and sent to government unions. This is clearly an abuse of taxpayer resources. Paycheck protection legislation would prohibit this misuse of public resources for politics—for all organizations, including government unions.
With the influx of political money during the election season, it’s more important than ever to prioritize ethics reform in Pennsylvania. Governor Wolf and legislators can demonstrate they are serious about good government and ethical practice by increasing contract negotiation transparency and by passing paycheck protection.