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PennFuture Pilfers from Pennsylvania Taxpayers

John Quigley - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.



One member of the PennFuture insurgency still remains in Pennsylvania government after 18 months and she’s busy pilfering from taxpayers to aid a radical agenda.

It’s now been 17 months since I wrote about the PennFuture insurgency with regard to the efforts of the Heinz Endowments and William Penn Foundation, the elite members of Pennsylvania’s gentry class, to run Pennsylvania government under Governor Tom Wolf.

Since then, in that brief time, one of the three members of that insurgency, John Hanger, the former head of PennFuture and DEP as well as Wolf’s Policy Director, resigned after the severance tax he designed crashed and burned (it was so bad even fellow Democrats couldn’t support it).

Another, John Quigley, who moved from Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) to PennFuture and back into government as Secretary of DEP under Wolf, self-immolated in a fit of filthy anger fueled by his contempt for legislators who didn’t share his zealotry.

Now, it turns out the third member of thePennFuture triumvirate has been pilfering from Pennsylvania taxpayers to fund the attendance of her staff at a conclave of fractivists and other radicals put on by the Keystone Research Center, a public employee union hit squad.

PennFuture Cindy-Dunn-photo-2

Yesterday, one of our readers forwarded me a copy a leaked internal e-mail from Cindy Dunn, another former leader of PennFuture and Pennsylvania’s current Secretary of DCNR, to her staff inviting them to a Keystone Research Center (KRC) conference that took place Wednesday and Thursday in Harrisburg. The KRC is a public employee union political hack outfit focused on implementing socialistic schemes, raiding the public treasury and stealing money from businesses and consumers to fund sweetheart pension deals. Here is that e-mail (emphasis added), which I am told went from Cindy Dunn to her staff (she also has an assistant named Cindy, so it’s not entirely clear which Cindy’s name appears at the bottom):

Our friends at Keystone Research Center are holding a 20th Anniversary Conference next week June 8 (starting at 1 pm) and June 9 in Harrisburg (at the Crowne Plaza).

Forward as you wish.

KRC is an economic think tank but the conference has several sessions that should interest DCNR folks.

On Thursday, June 9 from 11:45 to 1 pm, there’ll be a dynamite “green infrastructure” session that brings together participants from Philadelphia, Lancaster, and the Pittsburgh Clean Rivers campaign. (John Norbeck helped put that together.)

On Wednesday, June 8 from 4:15 to 5:30 pm, Jordan Yeager, the lead lawyer in the Act 13 litigation that restored the power of local governments to manage drilling through zoning ordinances, and Jan Jarrett will present on “Shale Drilling.” Informed in part by KRC’s research as part of the Multi-State Shale Research Collaborative, they’ll highlight local government best practices and state policies critical to mitigating the negative local social and economic impacts of drilling.

On Wednesday, June 8 from 2:45 to 4 pm, John Hanger will lead a discussion about how the growing divide between establishment and working-class conservatives on economic issues might impact rural PA. He’ll be joined by DCNR’s old friend Danny Surra and others. (Meredith Hill is going to be there but others should too.)

At the same time as the Shale Drilling session, there’s another workshop on diversifying the pipeline to good construction jobs – which could be excellent background for DCNR’s new role overseeing youth conservation corps positions.

To find out about the whole program take three minutes to skim the program book or the conference web page. Steve Herzenberg has promised me that despite Dan, John and Steve, it’s not all old white men. In fact, it will showcase a new generation of diverse leaders in the fight for economic, social and environmental justice.

To register for one workshop for free, register online and enter “ONEW” as the discount code. Folks can attend the whole conference at half price (which covers food costs so doesn’t violate the gift ban) by entering ‘Budget 50’ in the discount code. And if folks have a way to pay for it should attend the conference at full price.

Cindy (of however you sign yourself!)

Stephen Herzenberg
cell: 717-805-2318

Come to the Keystone Research 20th Anniversary Conference
June 8-9, 2016 | Crowne Plaza Harrisburg


This is what our Pennsylvania Secretary of DCNR, an individual charged with responsibility for managing state lands in the public trust, including the administration of gas leases, is doing with our tax money; pilfering it to send out e-mails telling her employees how to get around the gift ban applicable to public employees, fight for “economic, social and environmental justice” and learn of the negative consequences of shale drilling. It is, in a word, outrageous; an example of just how little regard these people have for the solemn duty of government to exercise fairness and follow the rule of law. For them, it’s about nothing but the agenda, the power and pilfering the taxpayers.

Yes, the Secretary of Pennsylvania DCNR thinks it’s perfectly fine to send her staff to hear what Jordan Yeager, the radical attorney who represents the Delaware Riverkeeper, has to say, despite the fact Yeager is in the business of suing the Commonwealth and doing everything in his power to undermine the very shale gas development that helps fund the state parks she administers. Why does she think that’s just fine? Because she came from PennFuture and, like Quigley, apparently thinks she still works there on behalf of the same entities (the Heinz Endowments and the William Penn Foundation) who fund the Delaware Riverkeeper a/k/a Povertykeeper, StateImpactPA, the Clean Air Council, et al, as well as KBC.


There is no separation of duties from beliefs in the minds of these true believers who imagine government is merely there to be used, twisted and manipulated for their benefits and beliefs. It’s all just a big game to them; there’s nothing wrong in their minds with making an alliance with public employee union hacks to raid the taxpayers for severance tax money to pay for otherwise unaffordable pensions and kill private oil and gas development in the process. They have the same ultimate goal, after all; the upheaval of capitalism and substitution of some modified system of socialism.

Thinking I’m exaggerating? Well, check out the program booklet and look at the backgrounds of the speakers, who include a representative of The Next System Project, which, of course, is all about replacing capitalism with socialism so we can all be Venezuela. Here is, in fact, one of the speakers, Keane Bhatt, who supposed in 2014 that “elite forces in Venezuela and the US [were] determined to undermine the accomplishments of the Bolivarian revolution.”

We don’t have to wonder what Jordan Yeager or Jan Jarrett (another former PennFuture leader now working closely with the Keystone Research Center and affiliated Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center or PBPC) think, of course. They remind us of their relentless opposition to shale gas development every day. Moreover, the the revolving door and incestuous relationships between these organizations and state government isn’t limited to these folks. Stephen Herzenberg, KRC’s leader, is married to DCNR’s former Policy Director, Sara Nicholas, who was appointed during the Rendell Administration. He is a former Brit, which perhaps helps explain why he thinks we’re in a “post-industrial society” now that requires new rules and systems.

Jordan Yeager is also a member of the KRC Board of Directors, the roster of which reads like the names of some modern-era public employee union politburo with the SEIU playing a prominent role. It’s the same SEIU created by radical SDS member and ACORN founder Wade Rathke, big-time friend and ally of Food & Water Watch founder Wenonah Hauter. Two other former top guns at the KRC/PBPC, Sharon Ward and Michael Wood, also now work in Governor’s budget office. Plus, former Democrat legislator Danny Surra has been in and out of DCNR after a job was created there for him by Governor Rendell following his re-election defeat several years ago. Look, too, at the role of the Heinz Endowments at this conference, with this KBC and with PennFuture, as well as the funding from the Park Foundation.

Green Gangsters PennFuture

Green Gangsters?

It’s one big nest of what our friend Jim Willis has called out as “environmental gangsters” and political incest wherever you look. These people from PennFuture and their friends have turned Pennsylvania government into their own little playground for radical politics at taxpayer expense.

It’s disgusting and it’s time for legislators from both parties to call for Cindy Dunn’s resignation to end the PennFuture insurgency once and for all. More to the point, it’s time some honest reporters (is there still such a thing?) exposed just how pervasive the role of the Heinz Endowments and the William Penn Foundation in Pennsylvania government really is. Our government is not only being run by environmental gangsters, but by an elitist gentry class that employs these gangsters to advance their special interests to the detriment of ordinary working class Pennsylvanians for whom they dare to say they speak. They’re liars, cheats and, yes, gangsters themselves. Enough already!

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One thought on “PennFuture Pilfers from Pennsylvania Taxpayers

  1. Pingback: Cindy Dunn Was for Natural Gas Before She Was Against ItNatural Gas Now

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