Good Afternoon –
I am writing this email to give you an update on the stalled legislative reforms in Harrisburg.
As I have mentioned in previous emails, people ask me repeatedly, "why are we unable to get important reforms passed in Harrisburg?"
When I campaigned for the Special Election and the Primary, I pledged to go to Harrisburg to identify the road blocks and propose solutions so we can get meaningful legislation passed.
After 6 months in the Senate I have found the problem. The roadblock standing in the way of getting any real reforms passed is our Republican Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi.
The Senate Majority Leader is the most powerful position in the Senate. He or she determines the legislative priorities, manages the Senate calendar and builds consensus on legislation to be voted on.
Our current Senate Majority Leader, Dominic Pileggi, represents Pennsylvania’s 9th
District which includes Chester and Delaware counties in Southeast Pennsylvania, which border Philadelphia. Senator Pileggi has served as Senate Majority Leader since November of 2006.
There have been countless times since I have taken office, where at least two-thirds of our Republican Caucus members wanted legislation to go to the floor for an up or down vote. Senator Pileggi has continually refused to do so.
I have been trying to understand why our Republican Senate Majority Leader would keep meaningful Republican sponsored reforms from being voted on, purposely blocking good legislation. I believe I have discovered the reason.
After reviewing Senator Pileggi’s Political Action Committee campaign finance reports, I have concluded that Senator Pileggi is heavily influenced by public sector unions and private trade unions. In fact, on May 28, 2014 the Philadelphia Inquirer published an article referencing the Electricians’ Union “Local 98’s $100,000 Club” which lists Senator Pileggi as having received $175,000. Senator Pileggi is 9th on the list behind President Obama and seven other Democrats. Local 98 is just one of many unions that Senator Pileggi has taken a significant amount of money from.
After spending considerable time considering how best to address this issue, I sent a letter last Friday to Senator Pileggi informing him of my conclusion that it is not in the best interest of Pennsylvanians for him to continue as the Senate Majority Leader. He has compromised himself, stalled the Republican agenda and prevented Pennsylvania from moving forward. Instead of responding to my letter, Senator Pileggi made a decision to forward my letter to all Republican members of the Senate. If you would like to read the full letter, please click here
In addition, Senator Pileggi's Political Action Committee has received significant amounts of union money and has in turn given large contributions to other southeast Republican senators including: Senator John Rafferty, Senator Tommy Tomlinson, Senator Patrick Browne, Senator Stewart Greenleaf, and Senator Chuck McIllhinney. Several of these same Republican Senators were endorsed by the nation’s largest labor union, the PA AFL-CIO. Click here to view the endorsements.
In closing, I want to be clear to everyone that I consider serving in the Pennsylvania State Senate an honor, a privilege and a huge responsibility. Pennsylvania is essentially an entity that has revenues of roughly $72 Billion dollars. I consider my position in the PA State Senate similar to serving as a member on the board of directors of a large company such as General Motors. As a board member of GM it would be my job to represent the shareholders.
Serving in the PA State Senate, it is my job to represent the citizens ("shareholders") of Pennsylvania.