Union Cash Didn’t Deter Top PA Senate Republican From Backing Privatization

Published July 3, 2015

Money talks in politics, but sometimes not loudly enough.

In March, the political action committee for the union representing employees at Pennsylvania’s state-owned wine and spirits stores cut a check for $7,000 to state Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson. Yet, just months later, Scarnati helped muscle through a bill privatizing the state stores and jeopardizing union jobs.

“Residents across Pennsylvania have spoken loud and clear, voicing that they want to see Pennsylvania’s liquor system move into the 21st century,” Scarnati said in a statement earlier this week.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776 PAC got a better deal out of the $5,000 it sent to Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf in February. He vetoed the privatization bill Thursday afternoon.

“This legislation falls short of a responsible means to reform our state liquor system and to maximize revenues to benefit our citizen,” Wolf said in a statement that lent support to modernizing state stores instead.

Consideration how the liquor privatization debate has played out, the fact the union gave more money to Scarnati than Wolf is an interesting twist. The senator notably even introduced the amendment that became the final privatization plan that Wolf struck down.

Read More at Pennsylvania Watchdog.

Andrew Staub ([email protected]) is an investigative reporter for Watchdog.org. An earlier version of this article appeared at http://watchdog.org/227291/scarnati-privatization-union-cash/. Used with permission.