As Think Progress reported earlier today, Governor Tom Corbett scapegoated the Commonwealth’s poor unemployment numbers on “unemployed drug users” saying:
The other area is, there are many employers that say we’re looking for people but we can’t find anybody that has passed a drug test, a lot of them. And that’s a concern for me because we’re having a serious problem with that.
But the story doesn’t end there. The governor’s latest blunder has made it across most of the main stream wires and one story in particular points out that the governor is turning to a union busting front group to cover up this mistake. The Huffington Post was one of the several media outlets to pick up the story, but then posted a mid-afternoon update to the story. The update revealed that Governor Corbett is turning to the Pennsylvania Manufactures Association to cover up his mistake. The update read:
Corbett’s office referred a request for more information to Dave N. Taylor, director of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association. Taylor said drug use is part of an overall workforce readiness problem that includes things like basic communication skills and punctuality.”Our manufacturing employers have to go through hundreds of applicants just to get a handful who are qualified,” Taylor said, noting that employers need clean workers in order to obtain insurance. “I don’t believe that many people understand that by being recreational drug users they’re rendering themselves unemployable.”One problem figuring out exactly how many job applicants disqualify themselves with drugs, Taylor said, is that some people drop out of the application process as soon as they know there’s a drug test.
This is the same Pennsylvania Manufactures Association that The Nation’s Lee Fang described in his article “Pennsylvania Think Tank Plans to ‘Slay’ Unions, Like in Wisconsin.” In his article, Fang explained that the Commonwealth Foundation is trying to push “Right-to-Work” legislation in the state, and the Pennsylvania Manufactures Association is one of the Commonwealth Foundation’s funders. Fang’s article reads:
“The Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy, a Pennsylvania-based affiliate of SPN that is pushing to pass right-to-work legislation, is financed in part by the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association, a lobbying group that represents US Steel, Hershey Foods, Sun Oil and many smaller firms. The lobbying group even provides office space for the Commonwealth Foundation and its media outlet, Pennsylvania Independent. The foundation has surged in size, with its budget climbing from $890,000 in 2008 to $1.95 million in 2011, the last available figure. The head of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association, Frederick Anton, has pushed right-to-work legislation for years. But this time, he’s being aided by grassroots organizers from Americans for Prosperity, as well as the media work of Pennsylvania Independent.”