14 Oct Paycheck Protection: It Is All About Politics
“This is about politics, pure and simple.” That is what Wythe Keever, the eminently capable spokesman for the Pennsylvania State Educators Association said to Capitolwire yesterday about pending Senate action on Senate Bill 501 which provides for “Mary’s Law,” or “paycheck protection,” as many call it. Mr. Keever is absolutely correct. Senate Bill 501 is all about politics.
It’s about the free speech rights and political views of each and every one of their members. Every day, tens of thousands of Pennsylvania citizens wake up early, take care of their family, and go to work in a school building where they then take care of the most precious elements of other families – children. We entrust them every day with not only taking care of children, but educating them. Is it so difficult to fathom empowering these individuals we entrust with our children every day to choose how they spend their own money and what political causes they support? We all know that not every single Pennsylvania teacher would support funding political causes such as:
- The Ohio Democratic Party;
- Millions of dollars on TV and radio ads opposing liquor privatization;
- Advocacy and lobbying efforts for higher taxes in Pennsylvania;
- TV ads and mailers from “America Works USA”, a political group set up by the Democratic Governors Association;
- Recall efforts in Wisconsin; and
- Donations to SuperPACs to support or oppose candidates with “independent expenditures.”
This has all occurred using a component of Pennsylvania teachers’ (and other public union members’) dues money. So yes, Senate Bill 501 is all about politics. It is about empowering individual union members to be able to spend their own money as they see fit and on political causes that they actually support. And union members understand that. Polling from September shows that 67% of all Pennsylvanians support paycheck protection. Polling from 2014 of statewide union households showed that 80% of union households believe taxpayer resources should not be used to collect campaign contributions and 58% of union households support passing paycheck protection. Why? Because they know their own political views better than state union CEOs know their political views. They know paycheck protection is all about politics – it is all about preserving their very own political views and endeavors.
With that much support from union households and all other Pennsylvania households for paycheck protection, why do state union CEOs continue to oppose the legislation? Well, that answer is also fairly simple. To use Mr. Keever’s words, it “is about politics, pure and simple.”
The House of Representatives would do well to follow the Pennsylvania Senate’s lead on Senate Bill 501. And Governor Wolf, who won a Democratic primarily with the help of self-funding his own campaign, would do well to independently consider the legislation. After all, a government that works is not one that peddles political funds.