By Alex Lloyd Gross
The state GOP will try any trick not to raise the state minimum wage.Consider this incident that happened yesterday, June 4, 2019 at a rally to raise the wage. While highly paid lobbyists travel across the country and across the state, seeking access to politicians. When they do get a sit down with them, they try to bring them to their side of the argument. They have expense accounts that pay for their hotels, meals and travel. So when the Raise the Wage Coalition found out that members from the Delaware Valley were interested in attending yesterdays rally at the Pennsylvania State Capitol Building but were having problems getting there, they offered gift cards to people that could come with at least four people. The gift cards were $50.00 each.
People making $9.00/hr and under, have a hard time with transportation. A trip to Harrisburg is easily a full tank of gas. The bottom line is that, according to John Meyerson, an activist with Raise the Wage, ” two gift cards were given out, to help people towards gas and meal expenses. a total of $100.00 was spent, which equates to $12.50 per person”, Meyerson said.
As soon as Jason Gottesman, a spokesperson for the statewide GOP got wind of that, he issued a statement blasting this and saying “Maybe if the left’s policy proposals were not so out of touch and disastrous, they’d be able to draw attendance at their advocacy days without compensation”, in an emailed statement. The fact that people who live within the state and wish to travel to the state capitol to have their voices heard, does not make them professional protesters, nor are they paid.
Taken in contest, a professional lobbyist for business groups or chambers of commerce, who are against raising the minimum wage, will happily pay said lobbyist $100,000 per year or more and they are issued an expense account or get a “Per Diem”which is tax free money . This is going to be far more than the $12.50 each person got to defray their expenses by coming to the rally yesterday. Gottesman said in a comment, “People come all the time and voice their opinion, they do it on their own dime, we just had a rally for the 2nd Amendment and those folks paid their own way, there were no gift cards. That the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center had to pay people to come to their so-called Day of Action is a prime example of people making a lot of noise, but their causes not having a lot of support.”
“Maybe if the left’s policy proposals were not so out of touch and disastrous, they’d be able to draw attendance at their advocacy days without compensation.”. Professional protesters are bused in from outside the area, ( Ohio, New Jersey, New York, for example) and are paid an hourly rate. Those protesters have no stake in the area they are protesting in. That was not the case here, with everyone attending was a Pennsylvania resident. The minimum wage issue has a lot of support from both sides of the aisle, in favor of a substantial increase..