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Johnny Doc convicted of conspiracy in federal bribery trial
Philadelphia union leader John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty was convicted yesterday on eight of 11 charges of conspiracy in a federal trial that caught the attention of Pennsylvania’s political world. Johnny Doc has long been a political powerhouse, using his union to dole out more than $41 million in political contributions since 2010 to candidates across Pennsylvania. The Inquirer broke down how the jury decided each count. Sentencing is scheduled for February. Johnny Doc plans to appeal and has no plans to step down from his union position while the appeal is in process, according to a spokesperson for the union. Meanwhile, if you haven’t seen it, here’s our infographic showing Johnny Doc’s political spending in PA from 2010-2020.
Surprising no one, SEIU PA endorses Shapiro
The SEIU Pennsylvania State Council yesterday announced its endorsement for Democrat Attorney General Josh Shapiro in his bid for governor. SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania president Matt Yarnell highlighted Shapiro’s “focus on labor and human rights” as attorney general. This is curious, as Shapiro has accepted about $250,000 from Philly labor leader Johnny Doc—you know, the one who was convicted on eight of 11 charges of conspiracy yesterday. Interesting that Shapiro seemingly never thought to look into Johnny Doc’s labor practices.
House committee considers gov’t union reforms, Dems stage walkout
The House Labor & Industry Committee held a hearing yesterday on several bills addressing public sector union reform, including a bill that would prevent government unions from using taxpayer-funded payroll systems to collect their political campaign contributions (a perk not granted any other private organization). You can watch the hearing here. Democrats staged a walkout and refused to attend the hearing. Hmm, why on earth would Democrats be opposed to leveling the playing field for government unions? Can anyo$ne thin$k of a re$aso$n? (Hint.)
House committee to take up amendments to restore balance of power
The House State Government Committee is scheduled this morning to consider two proposed constitutional amendments that would further restore the balance of power between the executive and legislative branches. The first requires legislative approval after 21 days of any executive order issued by the governor that has the force of law, and the second says that if the General Assembly passes a disapproval of a regulation, that disapproval doesn’t require approval by the governor. The 8:30 am meeting will be live-streamed here. And see more info here.
What’s in the massive infrastructure bill for PA?
Calling the massive $1 trillion federal infrastructure bill “almost everything a lame-duck governor could want,” PennLive looks at what PA stands to get from the spending plan that President Biden signed yesterday (which, of course, PA taxpayers will help pay for). The story notes the federal bill is a “happy ending” for Gov. Wolf who hasn’t been able to convince Republicans in the General Assembly to impose a new tax on natural gas to fund his own spending wish list.