By Leo Knepper
Campaign finance reports were filed with the Pennsylvania Department of State last Friday, July 24. Although they are not yet available online, we spent some time reviewing the filings and wanted to pass on some interesting information to our readers.
GOP-endorsed candidate and union boss, Paul Mullen raised $52,700 directly from union-affiliated political action committees (PACs). He also received a $10,000 contribution from County Council Member David White’s PAC. White owns a union mechanical contracting company. The direct union PAC contributions represent over 50 percent of Mullen’s fundraising total for the report.
Mullen also benefited indirectly from the generosity of the House Republican Campaign Committee (HRCC). The HRCC contributed $150,000 to the Pennsylvania GOP’s PAC. The GOP’s PAC then spent $88,825 on campaign materials provided by Hallowell and Branstetter, who are Mullen’s campaign consultants. Based on conversations we have had with folks in the 161st district the state GOP has sent at least 10 direct mail pieces to voters.
If you are a donor to the state GOP or the HRCC, you should be asking yourself if electing a union boss is how you want your money being spent. The argument that a Republican union boss is better than a Democrat certainly does not hold water. Having someone in the Republican caucus, who is likely going to continue collecting a paycheck from the union, will make closed-door strategy sessions meaningless. Mullen is opposed to moving state employees into a 401k style system; opposed to paycheck protection and opposed to enacting right-to-work laws. If the caucus is ever in a position to move those types of legislation, how likely is it that Mullen will not spill the beans to his buddies in the labor movement and keep his campaign promise to fight against these reforms?
If there are any further developments related to the Aug. 4 special elections, we will pass them along. Otherwise, we will let you know the election results as soon as they become available.