Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A stealthy new PAC, the Philly Archdiocese, and the big-money push for "vouchers lite"

A stealthy new PAC, the Philly Archdiocese, and the big-money push for "vouchers lite"

0 comments

This is the story I've been working on for the past week, Check it out:

A NEW, big-money political-action committee turned up on the Pennsylvania radar screen this spring — at exactly the same time that the Philadelphia Archdiocese launched a full-court press for legislation in Harrisburg that would pump millions of dollars of scholarship money into its struggling schools.

The new Fighting Chance PA PAC shares a name with a self-described grass-roots campaign launched in March by the Pennsylvania Catholic Coalition, and it shares office space with wealthy King of Prussia developer Brian O'Neill, who spearheaded a drive to raise $12 million from 10 anonymous donors earlier this year to keep open four endangered Catholic high schools.

In just a couple of months, the Fighting Chance PA PAC already has doled out $225,000 to pro-voucher state lawmakers and other political committees in Harrisburg. Its biggest donation to an individual lawmaker, $25,000, was handed to obscure GOP Rep. Jim Christiana of Beaver County on May 9 — one month before Christiana introduced a bill that would support scholarships for Catholic and other nonpublic schools but would cost the state as much as $75 million.

Ironically, the money that the PAC has raised hasn't come from any source traditionally tied to the Archdiocese: The entire $395,000 has come from three wealthy Bala Cynwyd-based hedge-fund founders — and their Students First PA PAC — who have spent millions since 2010 on Pennsylvania candidates who support vouchers and school choice.

Read the whole story. Is there more to come on this? Stay tuned.

0 comments
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy:

Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
 
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog

Will Bunch
Also on Philly.com
letter icon Newsletter