Simon Campbell, a transported Brit who over the past five years took on state government, teacher unions and profligate school spending was ousted from his seat on the Pennsbury, Bucks County, School Board in Tuesday’s election,
Campbell lost his seat by 104 votes of slightly more than 6,000 cast.
A bright, articulate, naturalized American citizen and independent futures trader, Campbell became interested in local politics shortly after moving to Bucks County. After his daughter enrolled in the local schools, he became interested in local taxes, along with the power and costs of teacher unions. He was elected to the school board for a four year term in 2009 and soon became a political lightning rod who is highly respected in the state’s conservative community.
By demanding, obtaining and publishing teacher salaries and benefits statewide, Campbell’s findings stunned the taxpayer community. He took the state’s Open Records law to new levels causing the Association of State College and University Faculties to sue to block his access to the salary and benefits information of the 14 state run universities. The law suit was headed to the state Supreme Court in November of last year, when Campbell pulled out. He had already spent $20,000 of his own money on the effort and couldn’t afford to take the matter further.
Angered by public school teacher strikes, Campbell founded “Stop Teacher Strikes” to report on the problem caused by what he calls the “union party.”
At last year’s Pennsylvania Leadership Conference, Campbell told the gathered conservatives, “You can’t talk about right-sizing government, unless you are willing to talk about right-sizing the political power of public sector unions. They are a ‘beast’.” All they want is more money, more dues, more expenditures and higher taxes.”
“There are two types of legislators in Harrisburg, normal people and Union Zombies,” the outspoken Campbell told his audience at the time.
Campbell is also an vehement opponent of forced unionism, particularly when government workers are forced to join and pays union fees so they can work. He told Media Trackers-Pennsylvania 16,000 state workers are not union members, but are forced to pay their “fair share.”
And, he is a dedicated opponent of taxpayers funding the collection and distribution of union dues and union political contributions by state and local governments.
Campbell said there “were a lot factors” contributing to his defeat, “but, it is what it is.”
But, he won’t be disappearing from the political scene. He recently received a 501(c)4 to start up “Pennsylvanians for Union Reform.”
A new chapter for Mr. Campbell-and public employee unions- awaits.