STOP TAXPAYER FUNDING OF POLITICS

PMA calls for government to stop collecting political money for private groups

HARRISBURG, PA -- The Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association supports House Bill 1507, sponsored by Representative Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster), and Senate Bill 1034, sponsored by Senator John Eichelberger (R-Blair), to end the corrupt practice of using taxpayer money on political activities.

“Government entities should never use public resources for politics,” said Frederick W. Anton III, President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association. “When taxpayer dollars are spent collecting public sector union dues and political contributions, the government is outside the bounds of its proper role as a neutral authority.  This is especially true considering those monies are spent on lobbying, issue advocacy, and direct campaign contributions to legislators, political action committees.”

Ending taxpayer funding of politics does not impede the ability of unions to collectively bargain, nor does it discourage the involvement of union members in the political process. If a union member wants to donate to a political cause through their union, they’re more than free to contribute. This reform simply requires public sector union leaders to collect their political money and campaign contributions directly from their employees, without the aid of taxpayer resources.

“Former state lawmakers and staffers are in prison today for doing political work on the taxpayer’s dime, so there is no reason to allow the exact same practice to benefit public sector unions,” said David N. Taylor, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association. “We thank Representative Cutler and Senator Eichelberger for taking a principled stand against this corrupt practice.”

No other organization, business, or association gets the privilege of government-funded payroll services. Membership based organizations should be responsible for their own billing and payment collection. It would be acceptable for a union member to authorize automatic dues deduction from a bank account or a credit card rather than from a state-issued paycheck. Today, the state acts as the public sector unions’ accountant, banker, and debt collector.

Despite efforts to increase transparency in state government, taxpayers continue to subsidize the collection of political money and campaign contributions. This practice must end so that fairness and accountability in our political process can be restored. The Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association asks for public and legislative support for House Bill 1507 and Senate Bill 1034.

About PMA

Founded in 1909 by Bucks County industrialist Joseph Grundy, the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association is the nonprofit, statewide trade organization representing the manufacturing sector in Pennsylvania’s public policy process.  Headquartered near the state Capitol in Harrisburg, PMA works to improve Pennsylvania’s ability to compete with other states for investment, jobs, and economic growth.  To learn more about the association and its work, visit www.pamanufacturers.org.