Government Union 2018 Election Spending

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Pennsylvania’s top government union political action committees (PACs) spent over $12 million during the 2017-18 election cycle.

Contributions to Governor Wolf

  • Gov. Wolf was the number one recipient at $5.8 million—19 percent of his total election cycle donations.
  • When accounting for independent expenditures spent on behalf of Wolf, that number surpasses $11 million since 2013.

  • The United Homecare Workers of Pennsylvania—the union representing the Medicaid-funded home care workers forcibly unionized via Gov. Wolf’s executive order—spent $45,000 helping reelect Gov. Wolf. Simply put, the governor’s campaign benefitted from his unilateral action to skim Medicaid funds for union dues.

Contributions to Legislative Candidates

  • These unions gave $2.75 million directly to legislative candidates on the 2018 ballot.
  • This doesn’t include independent expenditures spent on behalf of candidates.
  • In 34 legislative races, government unions donated to both candidates vying for a seat.

Contributions to Political Organizations

  • Union leaders funded political entities, which in turn donated to candidates or ran advertisements on their behalf. For example:
    • $909,303 to the State Democratic party and campaign committees.
    • $139,050 to the State Republican party and campaign committees.
    • $390,000 to PA Alliance Action.
      • This 501(c)4 gave $1.4 million to Fund for Change, a trial lawyer PAC which issued ads and mailers attacking Republicans, including those who had voted for union and trial lawyers’ interests and received union donations.
    • $345,000 to Fairness PA, one of Gov. Wolf’s largest donors, a PAC formed by trial lawyers who owned pharmacies and opposed workers comp reform.

Since 2007, these top government union PACs have spent $58.5 million. The 2018 election is the most expensive election cycle in the last ten years, more than doubling spending in each of the 2008, 2010, and 2012 election cycles.