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Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania

    Thu, January 11, 2018

    Ending the Cycle of Poverty

    By, Aaron D. Kaufer
    Representative for House District 120

    Ronald Reagan once said, “The best social program is a job.” I happen to agree with him. Our ...

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    Wed, December 13, 2017

    Time for a State Constitutional Convention

    I was privileged to represent the citizens of the 88th Legislative District in Cumberland County from 1981-1988. I believed then, as now, that citizens should serve in the General Assembly for a ...

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    Thu, November 30, 2017

    Government Must Stop Doing Union's Work

    Most people don’t realize it, but the state government and localities across the commonwealth collect campaign contributions for political action committees (PACs) controlled by government ...

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    Fri, October 20, 2017

    Reforming PA Government in One Fell Swoop

    On October 17th Senator John Eichelberger and Representative Stephen Bloom introduced legislation to enable a limited state constitutional convention. We are proud to count Sen. Eichelberger and Rep. ...

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    Thu, October 05, 2017

    CAP Budget Update

    UPDATE: Not much has changed on the budget since last week. On the plus side, Governor Wolf changed his position on using fund transfers to balance the budget. He went from saying all of the money ...

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    Tue, September 26, 2017

    It is a Tax Hike, Not 'Recurring' Revenue

    Politicians have long used Orwellian double-speak to hide their true intentions. The latest iteration of this trend in Pennsylvania is the Governor's, Senate's and House Democrat's insistence on ...

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    Mon, August 28, 2017

    Proposal to Trim State Budget Introduced

    Often times the news media, Governor Wolf, and the allies of Big Government in both parties present Pennsylvania's budget choices as raising taxes or shutting down "vital services." Two ...

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    Thu, August 10, 2017

    PA Budget Chock Full of Earmarks

    Governor Wolf and Senate Republicans are calling on the House to take up the "Fiscal Code" passed on July 27th. This legislation contained tax hikes that would impact anyone with a cell ...

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    Fri, July 28, 2017

    Wolf Nominates 'Ghost Teacher' for Labor Secretary

    Is a Ghost Teacher and Union President the Best Choice for Labor Secretary?
    Last week, Governor Wolf once again put his ideology ahead of what is best for Pennsylvania when He nominated Jerry ...

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    Mon, July 24, 2017

    Another Tax Hike Won't Get PA Out of Bottom Ten

    Pennsylvania has a lot of problems. In many rankings of the states, Pennsylvania is in the bottom ten. 24/7 Wall St, a business focused website, ranked Pennsylvania 42nd on its list of Best and Worst ...

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    Thu, July 13, 2017

    Two Budget Approaches, Neither Work

    On Monday, Governor Wolf allowed the state budget to become law without his signature despite the fact that the budget didn't balance. The budget passed by the House and Senate spends more than the ...

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    Wed, June 21, 2017

    'Get Out of Town' Budget Does Not Inspire Confidence

    At the beginning of April, the Pennsylvania House passed a $31.5 billion general fund budget. Since then there has been an overwhelming silence on the budget in the Senate. The deadline for passing ...

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    Thu, June 15, 2017

    $800 Million Radio System Doesn't Work

    The government does a remarkable job of throwing good money after bad when it comes to projects. In April, we highlighted the unemployment compensation system that was $60 million over budget and ...

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    Thu, June 08, 2017

    Pension Reform: Symbolism Over Substance

    On Monday, the Senate passed SB 1 with an overwhelming majority, 40-9, vote. The House is widely expected to pass the pension "reform" legislation this week and send it to Governor Wolf's ...

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    Mon, June 05, 2017

    PA Shouldn't Repeat Michigan's Pension Mistake

    Some members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly continue to push a "hybrid" defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) plan as the solution to the Commonwealth's pension problems. ...

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    Thu, May 25, 2017

    School District Reserves Top $4.4 Billion

    The amount of money held by school districts in "reserve" has more than doubled over the last ten years according to a new report by the Commonwealth Foundation. At the end of the 2015-2016 ...

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    Wed, May 10, 2017

    Convicted Senator Wants Pension Restored

    In 2012, former Senator Robert Mellow was sentenced to 16 months in prison, three years parole, and ordered to pay nearly $150,000 in fines and restitution. Now he wants his $20,000 per month pension ...

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    Thu, May 04, 2017

    State Pension Fund Takes Baby Steps

    Last week the State Employee Retirement System (SERS) took a baby step toward reality and lowered their estimated return on investment (ROI). SERS moved their estimated ROI from 7.5 percent to 7.25 ...

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    Thu, April 27, 2017

    Auditor General Faults Labor and Industry

    Who Will be Held Responsible?

    Last November, the Governor announced the closure of several unemployment compensation (UC) call centers. He blamed Republicans in ...

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    Wed, April 19, 2017

    Nuclear Power Industry Wants a Bailout

    It has become standard practice for industries that cannot compete on their own to look to the government for protection or an outright bailout. Pennsylvania taxpayers spend over $700 million per ...

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    Wed, April 12, 2017

    Major Wolf Contributor Nets $135 Million Contract

    Suppose that a business owner gave a politician nearly $1 million in campaign contributions and then received a $134.9 million contract. What kind of reaction would expect from the media? Most people ...

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    Tue, April 04, 2017

    Pension Reform Must Include Funding Reform

    No matter what pension plan design reforms the legislature enacts for future employees, the Commonwealth will still have a massive unfunded liability. The unfunded liability is the result of ...

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    Wed, March 15, 2017

    Bill to Address Skilled Craftsmen Shortage Introduced

    According to a survey by the Associated General Contractors of America, sixty-two percent of Pennsylvania contractors reported that they were having a hard time filling positions for skilled craft ...

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    Wed, February 22, 2017

    Increasing Minimum Wage Will Hurt People Who Can Least Afford It

    To solve the budget deficit, Governor Wolf's mathematically magical budget also includes an increase in the minimum wage. He is advocating an increase from $7.25 to $12.00 per hour. The Governor ...

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    Wed, February 15, 2017

    A Pension Ponzi Scheme?

    Most people have heard the term Ponzi scheme and have a vague sense that the victim of the scheme is getting ripped off. In an actual Ponzi scheme, early investors see a substantial return on their ...

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    Thu, February 09, 2017

    Wolf's Mathematically Magical Budget

    On February 7th Governor Wolf gave his latest budget address. Since he has his eye on re-election, this was the Governor's most realistic budget to date. There are still a lot of problems with what ...

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    Thu, February 02, 2017

    Good News on Paycheck Protection

    Good News on Paycheck Protection
    Two important pieces of legislation were moved out of the Senate State Government Committee on January 31st on a party line vote.

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    Thu, January 26, 2017

    Governor Wolf: Right Thing, Wrong Reason?

    As surely as night turns to day, politicians make decisions to improve their chances of re-election. For Governor Wolf, that means a proposal to close two state prisons. Just like his move to close ...

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    Thu, January 05, 2017

    New Senator Breaks Pledge on Day One

    After signing a pledge not to take a taxpayer-funded pension, a freshman state senator from Cambria County has ... you guessed it ... signed up for a taxpayer-funded pension.

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    Tue, December 20, 2016

    Is This Governor Wolf's Bridgegate?

    In November, the Wolf administration announced that they would be laying off 600 employees from unemployment call centers across the state. The official line is that the layoffs were due to the ...

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    Thu, December 08, 2016

    State Budget: GOP Should Go on Offense

    In November, Pennsylvania voters handed Republicans in the General Assembly historic majorities. In the Senate, the Republicans have a veto-proof majority. Across the Capitol, the Republicans in the ...

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    Thu, December 01, 2016

    A Sign of Things to Come

    In mid-November, Governor Wolf announced that the Department of Labor and Industry would be laying off employees. According to the Governor, this was due to the intransigence of Senate Republicans in ...

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    Wed, November 09, 2016

    Citizens Alliance Scores Election Wins

    The most unorthodox and unpredictable presidential election in our nation's history is now over. What nearly all thought impossible has come to fruition.

    But what's next?

    With ...

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    Wed, October 26, 2016

    'Frankenpension' Update

    UPDATE: On Monday, the Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) released their analysis of the Conference Committee Amendment (A10803) to SB 1071. The IFO report confirms what we said last week (see below). ...

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    Fri, October 21, 2016

    'Frankenpension' Should Frighten Taxpayers

    A House and Senate conference committee is taking another shot at pension reform. In keeping with the Halloween spirit, they have resurrected their hybrid pension proposal one more time in an attempt ...

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    Thu, October 13, 2016

    Happy Birthday William Penn

    On October 14, 1644, Pennsylvania's founder William Penn was born in London, England. Penn had a rebellious streak and was a man who was ahead of his time. Ivan Martin's introduction to Penn's book ...

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    Thu, September 29, 2016

    PA Highway's Expensive

    Pennsylvania Spends More per Mile on Roads Than Twenty-Seven Other States
    In last week's guest post, Lowman Henry discussed the slow-motion fiscal train wreck that the Pennsylvania Turnpike ...

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    Fri, September 23, 2016

    Judge Jeanine Pirro to Headline CAP Event

    Judge Jeanine Pirro from Fox News will be joing the Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania (CAP) and our supporters on October 6th, 2016 for a CAP fundraiser. The event will be held at the Crowne Plaza in ...

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    Wed, September 07, 2016

    Guard Your Wallets!

    Guard Your Wallets; the General Assembly is Coming Back

    In early August we mentioned that the "balanced" budget passed by the General Assembly was ...

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    Thu, September 01, 2016

    Why Don't They Cut Costs First?

    Last year the CAP PAC made its first major foray into county politics and it just paid dividends for residents of Montgomery County. In his race for Commissioner, Joe Gale ran as an unabashed ...

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    Wed, August 10, 2016

    Electrical Workers Union Under Federal Investigation

    You are probably not alone if you've never heard of IBEW Local 98, or John "Johnny Doc" Dougherty, Jr. However, they are names that are familiar to people who follow state politics closely, ...

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    Wed, August 03, 2016

    PA's 'Balanced Budget' Falling Apart

    In the search for revenue to cover the General Assembly's insatiable need for more spending, the legislature looked for new sources of revenue and taxes. Ignoring the $200 million that they borrowed ...

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    Thu, July 28, 2016

    PA Liquor System Restrictive

    Pennsylvania has one of the most restrictive alcohol sales systems in the country. We are one of only two states that have state-run retail and wholesale liquor sales. Despite strident opposition ...

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    Thu, July 21, 2016

    Loss for 'Ghost Teachers,' Win for Taxpayers

    As we have previously noted, it is fairly common and legal in Pennsylvania for teachers to engage in union activity while continuing to collect their teaching salary. The practice, officially known ...

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    Thu, July 14, 2016

    PA Tax Hikes Get Green Light

    State Budget Balanced with Higher Taxes
    The irresponsible budget passed by the General Assembly became law without the Governor's signature early Tuesday morning. Because spending exceeds ...

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    Thu, June 23, 2016

    Good News, Bad News on State Budget

    News about the 2016-2017 budget negotiations is starting to trickle out of the Capitol. The good news is that Governor Wolf has dropped his demands for increases in the sales and personal income tax. ...

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    Mon, June 20, 2016

    Wake Up PA!

    $15 million of new pension debt each and every day over the last 15 years! That's what our state government has dumped on the taxpayers of the Commonwealth, all the while falsely claiming to have had ...

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    Wed, June 15, 2016

    Lesson to Learn from Philly Bait and Switch

    Philadelphia may soon have the distinction of being one of two municipalities in the state with a beverage tax. As usual, the purported beneficiaries were "the children", and the Mayor of ...

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    Wed, June 08, 2016

    Liquor Modernization: Better Than Nothing

    On Tuesday, the Pennsylvania House overwhelmingly passed HB 1690 to modernize Pennsylvania's Prohibition-era alcohol sales. The bill passed the Senate in December of 2015. By all indications, ...

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    Thu, May 26, 2016

    Legislators Proposed Revolutionary Change to Budget Process

    And, by revolutionary we mean something the private sector has been doing for

    On Tuesday, the "Taxpayers Caucus" released a report ...

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    Thu, May 19, 2016

    Wrong Formula for Pension Reform

    There are times when we can almost repost an old blog verbatim, and this is one of those times. On May 17th, the House State Government Committee voted HB 1499 out of committee to the floor of the ...

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    Thu, May 12, 2016

    Will Wolf Side With Bad Teachers?

    Pennsylvania is one of only six states to use teacher seniority as the only factor considered when making layoff decisions. On May 9th, the Senate passed HB 805 to correct this problem.

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    Thu, May 05, 2016

    Cutting Unfunded Pension Liabilities Down to Size

    No matter what pension plan design reforms the legislature enacts for future employees, the Commonwealth will still have a massive unfunded liability. The unfunded liability is the result of ...

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    Wed, April 27, 2016

    CAP Scores Election Wins

    A Great Night for CAP and CAP PAC Endorsed Primary Candidates
    CAP and the CAP PAC enjoyed our most successful primary election results to date. Six out of the seven candidates endorsed by the ...

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    Thu, April 14, 2016

    CAP Announces Primary Endorsements

    Primary 2016: CAP and CAP PAC Endorsements
    This has been an incredible year for CAP and the CAP PAC. We have met with and interviewed amazing candidates from around the state. The following ...

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    Thu, April 07, 2016

    Our Imperial Governor Strikes Again

    Included in the 2014-2015 budget was $200 million in additional funding for schools. The budget also included language that required "enabling" legislation to spell out how the new funds ...

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    Thu, March 31, 2016

    DEP Secretary's Math Doesn't Add Up

    First, a little background. In 2010, the EPA in Washington, DC imposed regulations governing nutrients that made their way into the Chesapeake Bay. The Susquehanna River is part of the Chesapeake Bay ...

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    Thu, March 24, 2016

    Gov. Wolf Accepts Reality

    At a press conference Wednesday, Governor Wolf begrudgingly accepted reality and announced that he would allow the recently passed budget to become law. He will not sign the budget, but the ...

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    Thu, March 17, 2016

    Teacher Pension System Lost Money

    The Pennsylvania Public Schools Employee Retirement System (PSERS), released its 2015 performance results last week, and they weren't good. PSERS assumes a 7.5 percent rate each year to avoid ...

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    Thu, March 10, 2016

    Wolf Temporarily Reverses Course on Pension Commission

    One of the casualties of Governor Wolf's budget veto was a little-known agency that independently reviews proposed changes to pubic pensions and regulates municipal pensions. The Public Employee ...

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    Sat, March 05, 2016

    Tomlinson Conflict of Interest Persists

    In early January, we noted the conflict of interest between Senator Tomlinson's role in the legislature and professional life as a funeral director:

    "These two ...

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    Thu, February 25, 2016

    Ghost Teachers Costing Taxpayers Millions

    On February 24th, the Fairness Center filed another lawsuit on behalf of taxpayers against ghost teachers. Officially known as "release time," ghost teachers are being paid by taxpayers to ...

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    Thu, February 11, 2016

    Wolf Budget Includes Retroactive Tax Hike

    Governor Wolf gave his annual budget address to a joint session of the General Assembly on Tuesday. One of the strangest things about the speech was that he didn't talk about any of the details of ...

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    Thu, February 04, 2016

    Wolf Demands More Spending

    Despite being unable to force the legislature to raise taxes to cover a laundry list of campaign promises, Wolf will demand that the government spend even more money in his second budget address. ...

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    Thu, January 28, 2016

    Kane Hearing Theatre of the Absurd

    UPDATE: On January 27th, the Special Committee on Senate Address recommended that the full Senate vote on whether or not to remove Attorney General Kane from office pending the outcome of her appeal ...

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    Thu, January 21, 2016

    Corman Leaves Door Open to Tax Hikes

    In an interview with the PLS Reporter on Tuesday, Sen. Jake Corman (R-Centre) left the door wide open for increasing the personal income tax (PIT) or sales and use tax (SUT). The subject of the ...

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    Wed, December 30, 2015

    Gov. Wolf Continues to Lie About Education Funding

    On Tuesday, Governor Wolf announced that he was going to use his line-item veto on the budget lawmakers sent him right before Christmas. He could have and should have done the same thing back in ...

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    Tue, December 29, 2015

    Senator Tomlinson's Conflict of Interest

    In Harrisburg, most people know Robert "Tommy" Tomlinson as a state senator from Bucks County, serving his fifth four-year term. A career politician, he also represented the people of the ...

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    Wed, December 23, 2015

    Which Republicans Set Up Tax Hike Vote?

    Tuesday there was some procedural wrangling in the Pennsylvania House. The activity set up a vote tomorrow on a budget, which if passed, will set us up for a massive tax hike. Here is the list of ...

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    Fri, December 18, 2015

    House to Vote on Massive Tax Hike

    KEY VOTE: Senate Budget Proposal

    This weekend the House will vote on a tax package to fund the Senate's budget proposal. The tax increases include:

    [View Full Article]

    Tue, December 15, 2015

    Is the Senate Negotiating in Good Faith?

    It appears that House Majority Leader Rep. Dave Reed has finally accepted reality and abandoned his push for a tax hike. As we noted last week, the Senate is now pushing for a spending increase that ...

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    Thu, December 03, 2015

    GOP Leader Still Advocating Higher Taxes

    A couple weeks ago, we noted that Republicans were considering a shell game to hike your taxes. The good news is that budget framework fell apart as soon as people learned the details. The bad news ...

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    Thu, November 19, 2015

    Philly Teacher Union Diverts Pension Funds

    How is this legal?

    As surely as night follows day, teachers' unions insist every year that Pennsylvania needs to spend more money on education. One of the loudest voices for more money is ...

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    Tue, November 10, 2015

    Potential Budget Agreement Shell Game, Tax Hike

    According to media accounts, there is some movement on the state budget, and it sounds like a bad deal for taxpayers:

    "Under the preliminary deal, state ...

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    Wed, November 04, 2015

    Conservatives Post Victory in Montgomery County

    Some of the Pennsylvania General Assembly's most liberal Republicans come from Montgomery County. They've voted against everything from liquor store privatization to ending union members' exemption ...

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    Wed, October 28, 2015

    Union Bullying Bills Heads to Governor's Desk

    Pennsylvania law currently exempts union members and management from prosecution under the laws governing stalking, harassment and threatening to use weapons of mass destruction. The legislation ...

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    Thu, October 22, 2015

    Sen. Bartolotta Backs Uber, Lyft

    By, Sen. Camera Bartolotta
    District 46 (Beaver, Greene, and Washington Counties)

    Popular new transportation network companies, such as Uber and Lyft, offer ...

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    Wed, September 30, 2015

    Will Harrisburg Ever Fix Pension Crisis?

    The rate of "success" Harrisburg is having with the budget, coupled with the incompetence of our legislators who work for the taxpayers of Pennsylvania raises the possibility that the ...

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    Thu, September 10, 2015

    Unions Spending Big Money on Supreme Court Races

    Leading up to the May primaries we noted that organized labor had made significant contributions to the campaign of Judge Kevin Dougherty. (Note: Dougherty's brother was just made the head of the ...

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    Thu, September 03, 2015

    Former PLCB Official Facing Federal Charges

    The good news is that the PA Liquor Control Board (PLCB) went nearly four months without making the news for a public corruption story. The bad news is that a former Marketing Director is now facing ...

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    Thu, August 27, 2015

    Why Would Wolf Want to Send Kids Back to Failing Schools?

    "...I'm in this spot where I have to call the school that failed my kids and reenroll them...I'm heartbroken over this."

    That quote comes from Amy Millar ...

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    Wed, August 19, 2015

    How State Redevelopment Projects Really Work

    We have long been critical of "economic development projects". Many times, the projects amount to little more than corporate welfare. Project backers frequently over promise, and under ...

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    Wed, August 12, 2015

    Bad Legislation Never Dies

    Bad (Pension) Legislation Never Dies

    So the Tobash plan for changing the design of pensions for certain classes of new employees is getting another push. The Tobash plan, HB 1499, is ...

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    Thu, August 06, 2015

    Special Election Strengthens Conservatives, Not Wolf

    It didn't take long for Democrats to try to spin the loss of a union boss in the 161st district as a referendum on Republicans. According to the statement from the Democratic Representative-elect, as ...

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    Wed, August 05, 2015

    Union Boss Defeated in Special Election

    The CAP PAC is proud to have supported Lisa Esler's campaign. She provided a real choice for taxpayers. At the end of the day, her campaign came up short. Lisa's campaign faced ...

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    Thu, July 30, 2015

    CAP: GOP Spending Big to Elect Union President

    Campaign finance reports were filed with the PA Department of State last Friday.
    Although they are not yet available online, we spent some time reviewing the filings and wanted to pass on some ...

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    Tue, July 21, 2015

    GOP Spending Money to Elect Union Boss

    A few weeks ago, we noted that the Delaware County GOP had selected the local AFL-CIO boss to be their candidate in an upcoming special election.

    The state Republican Party is now getting ...

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    Mon, July 13, 2015

    Never-Ending Campaign of Intimidation

    After vetoing the budget because the legislature refused to raise taxes on Pennsylvanians, Governor Wolf has unleashed the attack dogs.

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    Fri, July 10, 2015

    Wolf Vetoes Pension Reform

    UPDATE: Governor Wolf vetoed the pension reform proposal passed by the General Assembly. When it came to employees of the Wolf group (and its bottom line) a 401k was fine. However, with taxpayers ...

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    Wed, July 01, 2015

    A Busy Day in Harrisburg

    Prior to the June 30th end of the state fiscal year, the Pennsylvania Senate passed a $33 billion budget; that is an increase of $1 billion over last year's budget. Despite claims that the budget ...

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    Wed, June 17, 2015

    More Corruption at PLCB

    Just in time for the coming debate about privatizing Pennsylvania's antiquated state store system, another former PLCB official has been accused of violating state ethics laws. As noted by the ...

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    Tue, June 09, 2015

    CAP to Oppose Union President in Special Election

    As we have frequently noted there are two parties in Pennsylvania, the taxpayer party, and the party of big government. In a decision bordering on absurd, the Delaware County GOP chose the President ...

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    Thu, May 21, 2015

    Wolf Administration Demonizes Pension Reform

    The Wolf administration promptly demagogued and misrepresented the Senate's pension reforms. First, the Governor's Chief of Staff, Kathleen McGinty, offered some criticisms primarily based on ...

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    Thu, May 14, 2015

    Senate Pension Plan Step in Right Direction

    Yesterday the Senate passed, by an overwhelming margin, much needed changes to government employee retirement benefits. One Republican, Senator Stewart Greenleaf, joined all Democrats in voting ...

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    Tue, May 12, 2015

    Since We're Paying for It . . .

    Last week the Senate passed two pieces of legislation designed to provide much-needed transparency on public union contracts. Both bills were sponsored by CAP members, Senators Folmer and Stefano. ...

    [View Full Article]

    Wed, May 06, 2015

    CAP Launches Budget Campaign

    Proponents of bigger government and higher taxes are out in force pressuring lawmakers to soak taxpayers once again. Take a few moments to contact your Representative and Senator. Tell them it ...

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    Tue, April 28, 2015

    Meet Eight Republicans OK With Union Violence

    We noted last year unions and management are currently exempt from prosecution under Pennsylvania's laws governing stalking, harassment and threatening to use weapons of mass destruction. The two ...

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    Wed, April 22, 2015

    Big Labor's PA Supreme Court Pick

    April 22, 2015:

    On May 19th, Pennsylvanians will take their first step to fill three open spots on the commonwealth's Supreme Court. There are twelve ...

    [View Full Article]

    Wed, April 15, 2015

    Will Governor Wolf Call for Kane Resignation?

    As we've previously noted, Attorney General Kane dropped the ball when it came to prosecuting Democratic officials caught on tape accepting bribes. It turns out that was not the only case she ...

    [View Full Article]

    Mon, March 30, 2015

    A Caution on Property Tax 'Reform'

    A number of competing property tax reform and elimination bills have been introduced in recent history. The Governor has made property tax reduction a part of his budget, and we are likely to see a ...

    [View Full Article]

    Wed, March 25, 2015

    A Fundamentally Un-serious Plan for Pension Reform

    March 25, 2015:

    Governor Tom Wolf has a plan for fixing Pennsylvania's pension mess, but it is a bad plan. Wolf's proposal is to use extra revenues generated by the ...

    [View Full Article]

    Wed, March 18, 2015

    Bloom Named Trustee of PSERS

    Here's Some Good News: CAP Member Named PSERS Trustee

    March 18, 2015:

    It is easy to get caught up in all the bad news. When you consider our new Governor's policy ...

    [View Full Article]

    Wed, March 11, 2015

    Legislators Arrested in Sting Case

    In March of 2014, Pennsylvanians learned about a sting operation that snared a number of Democratic officials accepting bribes. The public did not learn about the sting due to high profile arrests. ...

    [View Full Article]

    Wed, March 04, 2015

    Wolf Budget: Good, Bad, Ugly

    There was a lot not to like in Governor Wolf's first budget address. For the most part, it was a wish list of higher taxes and more government spending. The Governor wants to increase the sales tax ...

    [View Full Article]

    Thu, February 26, 2015

    Taxpayer Protection Act Long Overdue

    Taxpayer Protection Act is Long Overdue

    February 25, 2015:

    Pennsylvania taxpayers now face the 10th highest state and local tax ...

    [View Full Article]

    Wed, February 18, 2015

    PA Doesn't Need an Extraction Tax

    February 18, 2015:

    Governor Wolf is off and running to increase taxes on the natural gas industry. He intends on using the money from an extraction tax to increase school funding. As our ...

    [View Full Article]

    Wed, February 11, 2015

    Wolf's Medicaid Expansion: Flushing $95 Million

    February 11, 2015:

    Earlier this week Governor Wolf began the process of dismantling "Healthy PA". Then-Governor Corbett proposed the Health PA plan as an alternative to ...

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    Wed, February 04, 2015

    Treasurer McCord Resigns

    Pennsylvania Treasurer Resigns, Faces Extortion Charges

    February 4, 2015:

    On Thursday January 29th, Pennsylvania Treasurer Rob McCord resigned ...

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    Wed, January 28, 2015

    Wouldn't It Make Sense . . .

    Wouldn't it Make Sense to Put a Guy with a Ph.D. in Finance on the Finance Committee?

    January 28, 2015:

    At the start of each session in ...

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    Wed, January 21, 2015

    Tom Wolf Has Big Plans

    On Tuesday, January 20th, Tom Wolf took the oath of office and became Pennsylvania's forty-seventh governor. His inauguration speech included a number of interesting points. Some of the items will ...

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    Wed, January 14, 2015

    Laws Are for Other People

    January 14, 2015:

    Last summer, we learned that a number of union bosses had never bothered to register as lobbyists. The year before that, we found out that unions were exempt from ...

    [View Full Article]

    Wed, January 07, 2015

    Eighteen CAP Members Take Oath

    The Pennsylvania Constitution requires the General Assembly to meet on the first Tuesday in January each year. The January after a legislative election, newly elected and returning members of the ...

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    Thu, December 18, 2014

    Charges Filed Against Lawmakers

    December 18, 2014:

    Pennsylvanians learned earlier this year that four lawmakers from Philadelphia were caught on tape accepting cash and money orders in a sting operation conducted ...

    [View Full Article]

    Thu, December 11, 2014

    Another Spike in Pension Costs

    December 11, 2014:

    The big news lately has been a $2 billion projected deficit for the next fiscal year. The incoming Wolf administration is busy pointing the finger at the outgoing ...

    [View Full Article]

    Thu, December 04, 2014

    Attorney General Spends Millions on Outside Legal Counsel

    It recently came to light that Attorney General Kathleen Kane's office has spent over $1.5 million hiring private lawyers since 2013; this comes despite having 180 lawyers on staff. According to a ...

    [View Full Article]

    Fri, November 14, 2014

    House and Senate Leadership Changes

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    House and Senate Leadership ...

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    Wed, November 05, 2014

    CAP Scores Election Wins

    Although the Governor's race will receive the lion's share of attention, there were some important victories for taxpayers last night in House and Senate races.

    CAP's lone endorsed ...

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    Thu, October 16, 2014

    Six Republicans Side with Union Bosses over Taxpayers

    October 16, 2014:

    Union dues, fees and political contributions are deducted automatically from government employees' paychecks and wired directly to unions at taxpayers' expense. No other ...

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    Wed, October 08, 2014

    Barbarians Inside the Gates

    On the eve of Scotland's vote on independence, News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch was on the phone from London to Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto. Said Mr. Murdoch, a man with a legendary political ...

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    Wed, October 01, 2014

    Is Senate GOP Leader Impediment to Reform?

    October 1, 2014:

    One of the most common questions people ask us is, why can't Harrisburg enact reforms like they have in Wisconsin, Indiana or Michigan?
    According to a letter sent ...

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    Fri, September 12, 2014

    Corbett Takes on Common Core

    On September 9th, Governor Corbett took a strong stand against the implementation of Common Core in Pennsylvania. In addition to being a federal takeover of the state education system, there is scant ...

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    Thu, September 04, 2014

    What Could You Do With $14,500?

    Although it probably was not the first thing to come to mind, you could pay off Pennsylvania's debt.

    According to a report by the organization Truth in Accounting, the Commonwealth has ...

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    Thu, August 28, 2014

    Very Little Evidence for Common Core

    According to proponents, Common Core Standards and the "modified" PA Core Standards will improve the quality of our students' education. We have noted previously that this is not the case. ...

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    Thu, August 21, 2014

    First Teacher Strike in PA Underway

    August 21, 2014:

    Summer is drawing to a close but instead of returning to school students in the Millville Area School District are getting a little extra time off. The local ...

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    Thu, August 14, 2014

    Lawmakers Decline Pensions

    John Baer has an interesting article at the website. He put together a comprehensive list of Representatives and Senators who have opted out of the legislative pension and/or ...

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    Thu, August 07, 2014

    Crony Capitalism at Its Finest

    On Tuesday, ABC 27 ran a revealing two-part story about one of the more influential lobbying firms in Harrisburg. Opinions vary about how influential Long ~Nyquist are in reality. However, their ...

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    Thu, July 24, 2014

    PA Bond Rating Downgraded

    Moody's Investor Services downgraded over $11 billion in "general obligation" bonds. As an individual's credit rating, a lower score makes borrowing more expensive; that is bad news for ...

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    Wed, July 16, 2014

    How to Spur Job Growth

    Despite being number one in corporate welfare, Pennsylvania ranks in the bottom ten when CEO's are asked about where they want to do business. Sadly, it isn't just big businesses that have a problem ...

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    Wed, July 09, 2014

    One Ugly Piece of Legislation

    On July 8th, the Senate passed HB 278; the House passed the legislation on July 1st. The bill makes changes to the fiscal code. Similar legislation is passed every year as a companion to the budget. ...

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    Wed, July 02, 2014

    Why We Can't Get Pension Reform

    Let's be honest and expose the reason we cannot get Pension Reform. It is not Governor Corbett or Majority Leader Turzai. It is State Rep. Gene DiGirolamo (R-Bucks) who thwarted Republican Gov. Tom ...

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    Thu, June 26, 2014

    State Budget Progressing

    Harrisburg has been busy deciding how to spend your tax dollars, and there are only a few days left before the June 30th budget deadline.

    On Tuesday, the House Appropriations Committee ...

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    Wed, June 18, 2014

    How Much is Corruption Costing You?

    June 18, 2014:

    A recent study compared looked at the number of officials convicted for violations of federal corruption laws between from 1997 to 2008. It probably will not come ...

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    Thu, June 12, 2014

    Shrinking Legislature Won't Solve Our Problem

    Once again, proposals are circulating to reduce the number of Representatives and Senators elected to the General Assembly. This time around the Senate bill being also debated makes reductions to the ...

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    Wed, June 04, 2014

    Hide Your Wallets; It's Budget Season in Harrisburg

    June 4, 2014:

    Final revenue numbers are coming in short of projections as Representatives and Senators begin hammering out the details of the next budget.

    Budget ...

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    Wed, May 14, 2014

    Does the Law Apply Equally?

    May 14, 2014:

    When is lobbying not considered lobbying?

    A report from Media Trackers PA makes clear that lobbying is not lobbying when a union boss says so.

    It ...

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    Wed, April 30, 2014

    PA Does Not Need an Extraction Tax

    April 30, 2014:

    One thing all the Democratic candidates for Governor and some Republicans in the general assembly agree is on is that Pennsylvania needs a severance (or extraction) tax on ...

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    Thu, April 24, 2014

    Do Portraits of Felons Hang at the Capitol?

    True or False: Portraits of Felons are Hanging in the Sate Capitol

    The answer is "True", unfortunately.

    Speakers of the House and the ...

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    Wed, April 16, 2014

    Lawmaker Tries to Do the Right Thing

    When he was elected in 2010, Rep. Eli Evankovich* did what most newly elected lawmakers do; he signed up for the legislative pension.

    As he learned more about the $50 Billion in unfunded ...

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    Tue, April 08, 2014

    Minimum Wage = Maximum Harm to Jobs

    By, Stephen Bloom
    State Representative, 199th District

    Everybody deserves a chance to work for a living. Having a job, any job, is the most important factor in keeping people from ...

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    Wed, March 19, 2014

    Scott Wagner in Historic Victory

    On March 18th 2014, a write-in campaign for a Senate seat was successful. This is the first time in modern history a candidate who was not on the ballot won an election at this level. And, this is ...

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    Tue, February 11, 2014

    Re-Elect or Send to Jail?

    February 11, 2014:

    Dr. John D. McGinnis
    Pennsylvania Representative, 79th District

    Suppose a corporation's CEO, with full approval of its board of ...

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    Thu, January 23, 2014

    Competition Best Test in Education

    As the new year begins, legislators in Harrisburg are still talking about reforming state laws affecting charter schools in the Commonwealth. Complicating the discussions are many misconceptions ...

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    Thu, January 16, 2014

    Contract Review Legislation Advances

    All too often the ink is barely dry on a proposed teachers' union (or support staff) contract before it is voted on by a school board. Thanks to legislation recently passed by the House that could ...

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    Wed, January 08, 2014

    Union Bosses Get Six Figure Raises

    January 8, 2014:

    Although most union bosses claim to stand in solidarity with dues paying members the facts often undercut that statement.

    A recent report from Mediatrackers ...

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    Thu, December 19, 2013

    The Value of Just Showing Up

    Something interesting happened in a school district in western Pennsylvania: the taxpayers actually won.

    According to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review:

    "A longtime ...

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    Fri, November 15, 2013

    More Road ~Bridge Funding, No Tax Hike

    November 15, 2013:

    Maintaining transportation infrastructure is a legitimate function of government. The challenge for Pennsylvania government has become ensuring that tax dollars are ...

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    Thu, November 07, 2013

    How Much Welfare Budget Lost to Fraud?

    November 7, 2013:

    Pennsylvania's Department of Public Welfare (DPW) has an almost $11 billion budget for 2013-2014. A recent report by CBS 21 (video here) should prompt close ...

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    Thu, October 24, 2013

    One Step Closer to Equal Protection

    October 24, 2013:

    In August, the Judiciary Committee of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives held a hearing on legislation (HB 1154) that would close loopholes in the criminal laws ...

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    Thu, October 03, 2013

    How is Prioritizing Spending on Bridges Offensive?

    October 3, 2013:

    One of the top priorities for the Governor and the Senate has been the passage of a transportation bill. Before they went on summer vacation, the Senate passed a massive ...

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    Wed, September 25, 2013

    The Ultimate Unfair Advantage

    September 25, 2013:

    Imagine this: a representative from the NRA enters a school board meeting. He proceeds to explain that most of the teachers and employees of the district are members ...

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    Thu, September 19, 2013

    CAP Unviels New Video

    September 19, 2013:

    For the past fifty years, Pennsylvania taxpayers have taken it on the chin. Our government continues to get bigger and more expensive, but the folks paying the bills ...

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    Tue, September 17, 2013

    Happy Constitution Day!

    On September 17, 1787 the Constitutional Convention came to a close. The final draft of the Constitution was signed and sent to the states for ratification. There are few better sources for ...

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    Tue, September 10, 2013

    PA Should Follow Germany on Smart Meters

    By Peter K Sour,
    Member, The Coalition to Stop SmartMeters in PA

    Pennsylvanians, thanks to a 2008 law are forced to accept Smart Meters into their homes - something that is happening ...

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    Wed, August 21, 2013

    No Good Reason to Exempt Union Activity

    Late in 2012, the US Chamber of Commerce released a report that highlighted criminal laws that granted exemptions to union members. In their report, the Chamber highlighted the fact Pennsylvania's ...

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    Wed, July 31, 2013

    Philly Dems Pick Union Boss to Negotiate with Himself

    July 31, 2013:

    First a little background. The Philadelphia Convention Center is not doing too well booking events there.

    A consistent theme has been the poor service that ...

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    Mon, June 24, 2013

    What is Wrong with PA Senate GOP?

    Last week Sen. Chuck McIlhinney released his liquor "privatization" plan. If it were the 1950's his plan would have been considered revolutionary; in the twenty-first century, not so much. ...

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    Wed, June 19, 2013

    CAP Blasts McIlhinney Liquor Plan

    Senate Liquor Plan: "Privatization Lite" Is Being Generous

    June 19, 2013:

    Senator Chuck McIlhinney (R-Bucks) unveiled his "privatization" plan yesterday ...

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    Thu, June 06, 2013

    PA Could Have Highest Gas Tax in Nation

    June 6, 2013:

    With a 45-5 vote, the Pennsylvania Senate approved legislation that would increase gas taxes and a host of other fees on Pennsylvania drivers. Should SB 1 become law anyone ...

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    Tue, June 04, 2013

    Charter Funding 'Reform' Bill Logically Bankrupt

    By Dan Truitt,
    Representative House District 156

    I don't think anyone who has been paying attention to education funding in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania would argue that we have ...

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    Thu, May 30, 2013

    PA Still Arresting for Bootlegging

    Pennsylvania's state run liquor stores lose millions of dollars a year in sales because folks who live near a state border chose to leave the commonwealth and make their purchases in a neighboring ...

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    Thu, May 23, 2013

    Impact of Gas Tax Hike on Small Business

    Earlier this month, the Senate Transportation Committee passed a massive $2.5 Billion transportation package. It has yet to be voted on by the full Senate. However, its contents should be of concern ...

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    Tue, May 14, 2013

    CAP: PA in Bottom 10 (again) for Business

    May 14, 2013:

    Chief Executive Magazine released its 2013 ranking of the states. Once again
    Pennsylvania is in the bottom ten with a rank of ...

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    Wed, May 08, 2013

    Pension Overhaul Introduced

    Legislation to Overhaul Government Workers' Pensions Introduced

    May 8, 2013:

    Pennsylvania's state employee and teacher pension programs (SERS and PSERS respectively) are ...

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    Wed, March 27, 2013

    Will PA Senate GOP Sellout Consmers?

    Will Pennsylvania's Senate Republicans Sellout Consumers?

    March 27, 2013:

    The Pennsylvania House has passed legislation aimed at dismantling our prohibition-era state store ...

    [View Full Article]

    Fri, March 22, 2013

    CAP: Victory for Consumer Choice

    A Significant Victory for Consumer Choice, Convenience and Taxpayers

    March 22, 2013:

    The passage of HB 790 is a significant victory for consumers and taxpayers in ...

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    Wed, February 06, 2013

    CAP: Budget Highlights ~Lowlights

    Highlights and Lowlights of Governor Corbett's 2013 Budget Address

    February 5, 2013:

    The thousand pound gorilla in the room for ...

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    Thu, January 03, 2013

    Arson Tied to Philly Unions

    January 3, 1013

    A few days before Christmas, the construction site for a Quaker meeting house (akin to a church or synagogue) was vandalized. Bolts and steel columns where cut with an ...

    [View Full Article]

    Fri, December 21, 2012

    Union Republicans Rewarded with Committee Chairs

    We noted last week that the Pennsylvania GOP should take a lesson in leadership from Michigan.

    Judging by the list of committee chairs released by the House Republican Caucus yesterday, ...

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    Tue, December 04, 2012

    Progressive Think Tank Honors GOP Reps

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    Fri, October 05, 2012

    General Assembly Adds Another $1.6 Billion in Debt

    Attention Taxpayers: The General Assembly Authorized Another $1 Billion in Debt

    October 5, 2012:

    In May we brought the little ...

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    Fri, September 28, 2012

    No More Per Diem Piggy Bank for Lawmakers

    September 28, 2012:

    CAP previously brought the 2011 Per Diem King to your attention, he collected $39,000 tax free:

    "Members of the General Assembly don't have to ...

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    Mon, September 24, 2012

    Economic Development or Legal Plunder?

    Economic Development or Legal Plunder

    September 24, 2012:

    Should taxpayers "give" $2 million to a $16 BILLION ...

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    Wed, September 19, 2012

    Nearly Bankrupt School Pays $400k in Unused Sick Time

    September 19, 2012:

    Over the summer, one of the ideas floated to close the hole in the Harrisburg School Districts budget was to eliminate kindergarten. While it ...

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    Mon, September 17, 2012

    CAP Honors Constitution Day

    In Honor of Constitution Day

    September 17, 2012:

    On September 17th, 1787 the Constitutional Convention approved the Constitution ...

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    Tue, September 04, 2012

    New CAP Web Site Tracks Union Donations

    New Website to Track Campaign Contributions from Government Unions

    September 3, 2012: To help taxpayers track government (or public sector) union influence in ...

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    Tue, June 12, 2012

    Striking Neshaminy Teachers Face Reality

    06.12.12: Yesterday, we told you about the Neshaminy School Teachers strike and share the ad we placed in local newspaper featuring the teachers' salary and benefit costs.

    Today, we have ...

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    Fri, December 09, 2011

    Four Senators Trying to Jack Up Auto Insurance Rates

    Four Senators Trying to Jack Up Auto Insurance Rates
    Lemoyne (12.8.11) — At a time when many Pennsylvania families are struggling to make ends meet, four Pennsylvania Senators have ...

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    Mon, October 10, 2011

    Citizens Alliance Targes GOP Senators

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    Mon, April 25, 2011

    CAP Targets Anti-SB 1 Republicans for Defeat

    HARRISBURG (4.25.11) - Senate Bill 1, the Opportunity Scholarship Act, will enable tens of thousands of low- and middle-income parents to send their children to the school that gives them the ...

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