Public Unions Funding Nearly a Quarter of PA Democrat’s Campaign as State Weighs Laws Challenging Their Power

As Pennsylvania legislators advanced bills furthering the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on workers’ rights, a report revealed that the state’s Democratic gubernatorial nominee received nearly a quarter (24 percent) of his donations from public sector unions.

Last week, the Commonwealth Foundation released a report showing that Tom Wolf, Pennsylvania’s current governor who’s running for re-election in November, received more than $10 million in political support since 2013 from organizations like the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

The report came months after the Janus v. AFSCME decision in which the Supreme Court ruled that mandatory union fees violated the First Amendment, as much of that money went toward political candidates.

In Pennsylvania alone, the state’s government unions have reportedly spent $122.7 million on politics since 2007, according to the Commonwealth Foundation.

“Because union leaders’ political money is collected from workers using public payroll systems, taxpayers are forced to be part of unions’ political machine,” Nathan Benefield, the vice president of the organization, said in a release.

For Wolf, however, the Janus decision was a “major step backward”:

Wolf’s office did not respond to IJR’s request for comment before the time of publication.

IJR previously reported on research from the Center for Union Facts that claimed that unions spent billions of dollars on left-leaning causes:

According to the data, labor unions in the United States sent more than $1.3 billion in member dues to liberal advocacy groups aligned with the Democratic Party in the last seven years alone and never obtained approval from members beforehand.

Pennsylvania also reportedly considered legislation that would require union members receive notification that their dues were voluntary.

Other bills focused on workers’ resignations and employees having a say in authorizing a strike.

What do you think?

11 pledges
Upvote Downvote
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

Unions still benefit their membership . The “left leaning causes” which Unions contribute to are those which promote workers needs like: a living wage, health benefits, and a safe and healthy workplace. Janus was a horrible decision. Unions have never used money from members for political purposes without a vote from membership. The claim that fair share fees of Janus were used against his will to fund politicians he did not agree with are blatant lies. His fees were used to pay the operating costs of the Union maintaining the contract from which he benefitted. However we are seeing have… Read more »


The problem is not unions. The problem is money in politics. This country’s political system is corrupted by money, top to bottom.

To eliminate this problem, support any initiative in your state that is designed to stop it. Support groups, such as (5 out of 34 states) or others, which do the hard unenviable work, to protect us all from money’s corrosive power.


Remember when unions focused on benefitting their members? q.v. the dying PRIVATE sector unions. Of course the public service unions want bigger spots at the public trough. That’s their whole reason for being and they contribute politically to further that. Janus was an excellent decision. Maybe someone ought to pass a law barring public-service unions from political participation as a clear conflict of interest, least of which is “you work for the public, the public should vote if you receive more”. I could write a book on the abuses of Oregon’s PERS, which is going to eventually either implode or… Read more »

Trump Empowers Chicago Law Enforcement and Promises to ‘Do Everything Possible’ to Stop City’s Violence

Michael Avenatti

Avenatti at Odds With ‘Coward’ Dems After They Didn’t Apply ‘Believe All Women’ Mantra to His Client