| Opinion/The Review

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Selective criticism

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Letters home ...

Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

The world's a big place. Bring it home with Letters Home.

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or

Daily Photo Galleries

Letter to the Editor
Monday, Aug. 11, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Barry Kauffman of Common Cause Pennsylvania commented in the news story “Corbett, election aides met in office, raising ‘appearance' of illegality” that “(p)ublic resources are not supposed to be used for partisan political purposes.” We agree.

But Mr. Kauffman and other critics were simply referring to allowing campaign staff to participate in a meeting held in the state Capitol. At the same time, Kauffman and other critics have been silent about, or even supportive of, using taxpayer resources to collect campaign contributions in that same state Capitol.

In Pennsylvania, public resources — including staff time and payroll systems — are used to collect political action committee (PAC) contributions that can be given directly to candidates. The state treasurer alone collects and transmits more than $700,000 each year to union PACs, while school districts and local governments collect millions of dollars more. This is on top of the hundreds of millions of dollars that taxpayers pay to collect government union dues that are given to “super PACs” to fund election ads.

These services offered to union leaders to collect their political money have real and measurable costs. While the marginal costs of payroll deduction for union PACs may be small, it is infinitely more than the nonexistent cost of a campaign staffer sitting in a taxpayer-funded chair for a meeting.

That's why we hope Common Cause and other so-called “good government” reformers will support us in fighting for paycheck protection.

Nathan A. Benefield


The writer is vice president of policy analysis at the Commonwealth Foundation (

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Letters

  1. Volkswagen’s ‘sin’
  2. CO2 propaganda war
  3. Tick carriers
  4. VA denies benefits
  5. Refugees ruse?
  6. Photo ID?
  7. Remove antibiotics from food
  8. Unprepared for an EMP
  9. Celebrate MLK, not day of disaster
  10. Bright lines: Boehner’s bombshell
  11. Traffic observation