Grover Norquist Sets His Sights on Pennsylvania


Anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist is calling Pennsylvania “The New Wisconsin” in a Reuters op-ed. For cheese-related reasons? No, in fact! Because he thinks it’s ripe for the sort of anti-union legislation that passed in the Badger State in 2011.

Pennsylvania is a longtime labor stronghold. Consider that a plaque directly across from the state capitol commemorates the unionization of government workers. But Pennsylvania lawmakers are now poised to pass a law to end automatic deduction of union dues from government employee paychecks.

(He thinks this is a good thing, in case you didn’t pick up on that.) For the most part, the fight is playing along regular lines. Union leaders are upset and are busing in protestors to the state capitol to claim the law will gut unions. Free market types like Norquist and the Republican sponsor of the bill, Bryan Cutler, say the current process unfairly penalizes workers. On the margins, though, there are some public employees who support ending the practice. PA Independent reports:

“Really it’s taking my say away,” Eason, a teacher in the Avon Grove School District near the Delaware state line, said of the deductions. “I feel like I’m forced into this without (the union) even caring about why I don’t want to do this.”

The “paycheck protection” legislation is currently stuck in committee, though it would seem Corbett would sign it should it reach his desk. Norquist, for what it’s worth, has actually clashed with Corbett in the past few years. His group Americans for Tax Reform has dinged the governor both for his proposed recent plan to expand Medicaid (ish) and  for lifting the cap on gas taxes.