pennsylvania political union spending

Commonwealth Foundation Releases Analysis of Government Union Political Spending in Pennsylvania’s 2021-22 Election Cycle

October 10, 2022, Harrisburg, Pa. — The Commonwealth Foundation today released an analysis of government union political spending during the 2021–22 Pennsylvania election cycle. The report finds that government unions have donated almost exclusively to Democratic candidates. 

“Our most recent analysis shows that more than 90 percent of government union campaign contributions have gone to Democratic candidates or PACs,” said Jennifer Stefano, executive vice president of the Commonwealth Foundation. “Pennsylvania is not unique in this regard, but is part of a longtime trend.”

The report illustrates gross discrepancies in government union spending. Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano has received $1,000 from government union PACs, which amounts to just 0.028 percent of the $3,575,900 given to Democratic candidate Josh Shapiro.

Races down the ballot are being impacted as well. Nine of the ten largest recipients of government union money are state legislative candidates, and only one of those nine is a Republican.

“This is a classic example of how government unions rig the game in their favor at the taxpayers’ expense,” said Stefano. “They spend heavily to elect one political party to power and then negotiate with them over pay and benefits. As a result, there is no one in these ‘negotiations’ looking after the taxpayers’ interests.  

“One-sided giving is terrible for taxpayers,” she said.

The Commonwealth Foundation’s report finds that state government union PACs have a combined $6.3 million cash on hand. It predicts that political spending will increase as Election Day approaches. 

To read the full report, click here.

The Commonwealth Foundation transforms free-market ideas into public policies so all Pennsylvanians can flourish.