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  • June 23, 2014 7:49 PM | Anonymous
    Today, the House State Government Committee advanced House Bill 1507 to the floor, taking the first step towards ending the taxpayer collection of government union campaign contributions and political money. We applaud the House State Government Committee’s determination to restore fairness and accountability to a process that harms both taxpayers and public employees.


    Thanks to today’s vote, teachers like Keith Williams, who testified before the committee, now have hope that their voices will no longer be co-opted by union executives who abuse taxpayer resources and teachers’ paychecks to advance their own political agendas.

    big thanks to Chairman Daryl Metcalfe and the Committee members who voted 'YEA' on paycheck protection—an important step in order for the legislation to move on for a full House vote.

    READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE


  • June 22, 2014 5:15 PM | Anonymous

    Why I Left Teaching: Union Politics

    Guest commentary by Bill Frye

    As posted on the Commonwealth Foundations website, June 17, 2014

    I taught science full-time for more than two decades and enjoyed a rewarding career educating a generation of public school students in Westmoreland County. I retired from teaching earlier than I wanted, though, and I’d like to tell you why.

    As a union member for most of my teaching career, I never disguised the fact that I disagreed with much of the Pennsylvania State Education Association’s political dogma. The union promoted values and ideals that I not only disagreed with, but also routinely had no relevance to education.

    Before you jump to conclusions, let me assure you that I’m not anti-union. I’ve been generally happy with the local union in my old school district. I’ve also been a member of the farmers’ union all my life. Unions have an important place in society.

    It is the state and national teachers’ unionsundefinedthe PSEA and the National Education Associationundefinedthat I grew to resent. Their use of my union dues to support political causes I disagreed with ultimately led me to leave education.

    Case in point: A school year’s first teacher in-service day usually consists of the administration welcoming teachers, introducing new staff and outlining goals for the year. But in the fall of 2012, PSEA sponsored a pep rally and played a video for the entire school staff to encourage us to help re-elect President Barack Obama. Normally, events like this happen after the school workdayundefinedwhen attendance is voluntary, not when teachers are a captive audience.

    What’s more, the PSEA’s magazine The Voiceundefinedwhich is sent to 180,000 members and paid for with our duesundefinedregularly featured ads praising President Obama while denigrating and lampooning his opponents. Teachers paid for this political activity no matter which candidate we personally supportedundefinedand every other taxpayer paid for it as well.

    How? Pennsylvania allows government unions to use taxpayer-funded payroll systems to collect their members’ duesundefinedas well as optional political action committee contributions that can be sent directly to politicians.

    But aren’t unions prohibited from using members’ dues for politics? Take it from the PSEA itself: Last year, their magazine featured a notice that 12 percent (which amounts to $7 million) of teachers’ dues would be used for political activity and lobbying. That’s in addition to millions in PAC money.

    Unions use teachers’ money to advocate for policies that will leave teachers, students and all of us poorer. The main example is how the PSEA is advocating against reforming our deeply indebted public pension system.

    One incentive for me to continue in public education was the pay and working conditions for educators. I looked forward to what, at least in my opinion, is a very generous retirementundefinedwhich I will credit the unions for helping to achieve. But I’m also a landowner and property tax payer. I’m told the pension systems are $50 billion in debt and will require huge property tax hikes if nothing is done.

    I feel sorry for people on fixed incomesundefinedlike some of my teacher colleagues who retired years agoundefinedwho will have to struggle to pay these rising taxes.

    Everyone agrees the pension system, as it currently exists, is not sustainable. There are solutions to bring economic viability to the system. But the PSEA, using members’ dues money, is one of the main roadblocks to reasonable reform. In a recent “alert” email to members, the union called the latest compromise proposal a “pension attack” that “targets women and new employees” while offering no solutions except to raise taxes.

    I couldn’t take any more of PSEA’s fear-mongering and divisiveness on political issues, so I spoke out. As a result, the personal attacks I received (from union members!) made me choose to retire and focus on my farm business.

    But, as a taxpayer, there’s no escape: I’m still forced to help PSEA collect its political money.

    Legislation called paycheck protection would stop PSEA and other government unions from using public payroll systems to siphon their political money from teachers’ pay.

    I think if legislators truly support teachers, they should pass this effort to give them a bigger say over how their money is spent in the political world. Government unions might then engage in productive negotiation instead of political lobbying.

    # # #

    Bill Frye is a retired public school science teacher from Westmoreland County.


  • June 14, 2014 3:20 PM | Anonymous
    Great article!  Please read! One of the best descriptions of "Tea Party" I've seen in the 5 years we've been doing this.  It continues to probe the question, "What is the Tea Party".  We all know the answer - simply put, we are the conscience and protectorate of America.

                                                                                                                       ---John Emmons


    Life is a matter of perspective, as much as recognition of longstanding truths. Today, the Tea Party is a force in American politics, in the same way that discovering an elephant in your living room would be a newly discovered force in your life. But what is the Tea Party? Like the six blind men who all touch an elephant and see it differently, that depends on your perspective.  

    One of the blind men in the iconic poem by John Godfrey Saxe (1816-1887) touches the side of the elephant and feels a wall.  While few of the Tea Party’s adherents urge voter registration under that name, they are grounded in limited government, lower taxes, and the Bill of Rights. They see the movement as a wall of wisdom, built one brick at a time, since the days of our Nation’s Founding.




  • June 08, 2014 6:06 AM | Anonymous

    A great article from the Commonwealth Foundation - follow the link to see videos of some of the participants - including CAF member Donna Hendrie.  Please attend the meeting on Monday evening, June 9th, to continue to conversation and learn what we need to do.

    Paycheck Protection Supporters Rally at the Capitol

    JUNE 5, 2014 | by JOHN BOUDER

    Yesterday, hundreds of concerned citizens packed the Capitol rotunda to voice their support for paycheck protection legislation. Watch TV reports from ABC27 and CBS21 to see the impressive turnout and enthusiasm at the rally.

    The rally is part of PA Independent calls a “Full-Court press for paycheck protection coming to the Capitol”undefinedwhich includes a hearing on House Bill 1507 today.

    Click the links below to see what a few paycheck protection supporters had to say after the rally.

    Click here to view the videos



  • May 26, 2014 11:37 AM | Anonymous
    Thoughts for the day...  as relevant today as it was 31 years ago.

    Message on the Observance of Memorial Day 
    Ronald Reagan
    May 26, 1983

    Memorial Day is a time to take stock of the present, reflect on the past, and renew our commitment to the future of America

    Today, as in the past, there are problems that must be solved and challenges that must be met. We can tackle them with our full strength and creativity only because we are free to work them out in our own way. We owe this freedom of choice and action to those men and women in uniform who have served this nation and its interests in time of need. In particular, we are forever indebted to those who have given their lives that we might be free.

    I don't have to tell you how fragile this precious gift of freedom is. Every time we hear, watch, or read the news, we are reminded that liberty is a rare commodity in this world.

    This Memorial Day of 1983, we honor those brave Americans who died in the service of their country. I think an ancient scholar put it well when he wrote: "Let us now praise famous men . . . All these were honored in their generation, and were the glory of their times. Their bodies are buried in peace; but their name liveth for evermore." As a tribute to their sacrifice, let us renew our resolve to remain strong enough to deter aggression, wise enough to preserve and protect our freedom, and thoughtful enough to promote lasting peace throughout the world.


  • March 24, 2014 12:52 PM | Anonymous
    Pileggi, Corbett and Cawley fail to control PA Senate race.  Congratulations to Scott Wagner, CAP and principled patriots everywhere.  When will they learn that command & control along with manipulation and intimidation are not the recipe for success nor positive traits of leadership?  Read the article below and know the grassroots are alive, strong and growing. 

    SCOTT WAGNER BEATS THE GOP ESTABLISHMENT

    CAP and a Pennsylvania write-in revolt.

    First, it was a Florida congressional race. Now? A Pennsylvania special election for the state Senate. The Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania scores a major win undefined and yes, the winner says he heard about Obamacare. Scott Wagner is a Pennsylvania state Senator this morning. It wasn’t supposed to happen.

    In a stunning upset, the York County businessman, taking a stand against the state’s political establishment of both parties, made state history by winning a special election for the Pennsylvania state Senate undefined in a write-in landslide, defeating both the Republican and Democrat nominees.

    READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE


  • March 23, 2014 12:49 PM | Anonymous
    A great opportunity available to young people in our area!!

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    For more information and learn about Wallbuilders click here
  • February 14, 2014 7:40 AM | Anonymous
    PA Republican Party passes resolution supporting paycheck protection. We are being heard.  Let's "pour the coal and stoke the fire" to encourage the PA Senate to find the votes to pass SB 1034.  The House is ready to pass the sister bill, HB 1507.  Spread the word to all you know in PA.  Ask them to contact their senator and ask them to support this most important piece of legislation.  - We have momentum and 79% of Pennsylvanians on our side.

  • January 25, 2014 9:17 AM | Anonymous

     "You need to be aware of this.  The mainstream media (nor Fox) did not report on this.  Yet it is the best news we conservatives could hope for.  Conservatism works in government...again...still.  This offers real hope.  Remember this between now and 2016...and keep your eye on Scott Walker."

  • January 11, 2014 5:42 AM | Anonymous
    Pennsylvania is now fully engaged in the battle over public sector union power.  Read the article below and see the reference to Chester County.  The PSEA is now attacking the Commonwealth Foundation as CF exposes them.

    "His name is Matt.

    Matt E. His last name not given, presumably for fear of retribution.

    Matt is a teacher in Chester County, Pennsylvania. And he is a victim of Power Inequality.

    President Obama and New York’s Mayor de Blasio have decided to focus on “income inequality” as the major issue facing Americans, with Obama calling income inequality “the defining challenge of our time.”

    Earlier this week, the President introduced America to Katherine, a woman who has tried and failed to find a job.

    But you can rest assured that neither the President nor any other progressive is interested in telling you about Matt E.

    Why?"

    READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE

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