News & Brews May 21, 2024

Get News & Brews in your inbox each day: Subscribe here!

Shapiro announces new Pa. tourism slogan

”Pennsylvania: The Great American Getaway.” That’s the new state tourism slogan announced yesterday by Gov. Josh Shapiro. It replaces “Pennsylvania: Pursue Your Happiness,” which has been in place since 2016. To promote the new brand, Shapiro and his family are heading out on a weeklong RV trip across the state. PennLive notes, “The state’s tourism slogan has changed with almost every administration for at least [the] past 40-plus years.”

Where do union dues go? AFSCME edition

Our friends at Americans for Fair Treatment look at where AFSCME members’ union dues actually go. Spoiler alert: Only a small percent of dues money goes to representing members. “In 2023, membership dues accounted for over 86 percent of AFSCME’s revenue, with the national union charging $251.40 per member.” But “just 23 percent of AFSCME’s spending went toward representational activities.” So, where did the rest go? “Over half (57 percent) of AFSCME’s expenditures went toward just operating the union.” This includes overhead, employee benefits, and salaries. “AFSCME’s President, Lee Saunders, earned $398,105 in 2023, while Secretary-Treasurer Elissa McBride earned $326,048. Together, these two earned $724,153, the equivalent of 2,880 members’ annual dues.” Meanwhile, 17 percent of dues money went to political activity and lobbying, mostly for “left-wing causes.”

The dark side of the Left’s move to ban ‘dark money’

Behind the Left’s talk of banning so-called “dark money” is a much more chilling aim: to amend the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to “eliminate the bedrock principle of free speech and monitor Americans’ ideological affiliations.” What’s even more concerning: Multiple Republicans in Pennsylvania voted in favor of this change. Our president and CEO, Matt Brouillette, explains this in more detail in a new piece in RealClear Pennsylvania.

Mayor Parker orders city workers back to office; some unions aren’t happy

Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker announced yesterday that city workers will be expected to be in the office five days per week, beginning July 15. Basically, this ends COVID remote working allowances for city workers. Some local unions aren’t happy, claiming that the change (or, rather, the reversal to former rules) should have been negotiated as part of union contracts.

Reasons for mail-in ballot rejections in primary

The Inquirer reports that in the April primary election, 15,928 mail-in ballots were rejected. About half of these—8,010—arrived at an election office after the 8pm Election Day deadline. The other half—7,918—had errors with either the date, signature, or privacy envelopes.

Sign up to get News & Brews in your inbox