In April of 2013, we published a story on our website which focused on a fundraising letter sent out by the Commonwealth Foundation. The letter announced, and sought donations to support, a new campaign which they called “Project Goliath,” which promises to “finally take down” and “slay” labor unions in Pennsylvania.
In a surprisingly detailed and lengthy letter, the Commonwealth Foundation went on to explain their legislative strategy, modeled after recent campaigns in states like Michigan and Wisconsin. On Page 7 of their letter is where they show all of their cards on the so-called “Paycheck Protection” bills that they are currently pushing in the Pennsylvania House and Senate.
They state in this letter that the “overriding key” to their whole plan will be their ability to “starve the giant.” They go on to say “Of all the reforms Gov. Walker pursued in Wisconsin, this very tactic was the most important. So very early on, he sought a ban on the automatic dues deduction for public employees.” They claim this strategy succeeded beyond their “wildest imagination” in Wisconsin, and they believe that a similar approach in Pennsylvania will leave public sector unions unable to advocate on behalf of their members. “Obviously, we must do the same thing here!” They conclude.
This is their means to an end, and they spell out in clear terms how this victory would lead to the success of future legislation to eliminate pensions and prevailing wage laws, to decimate public schools through unregulated school choice, and ultimately to take away workers rights to collective bargaining altogether.
It’s time to send a message to our Governor and our Legislature in Pennsylvania. It’s time to remind them that while the Commonwealth Foundation’s donors are secret, their motives are not. It’s time to remind them that the workers who will be hurt by this legislation are our first responders and our teachers. They are our nurses, utility workers, bus drivers and countless others who dedicate their lives to public service; and they are hundreds of thousands of workers in the private sector whose labor drives Pennsylvania’s economy.
Tell them to reject the lobbying of out-of-state billionaires, and stand up for our Pennsylvania workers by OPPOSING HB 1507 and SB 1034.