Bob Casey: The rich are ‘mad as hell at me’ for exposing corporate price gouging

US Sen. Bob Casey speaking at a campaign rally with union members from AFSCME Council 13 on March 14, 2024. (Photo: Sean Kitchen).

By Sean Kitchen

March 15, 2024

US Sen Bob Casey accepted the endorsement of one of Pennsylvania’s largest public sector unions on Thursday, while continuing to hammer away at the costs of corporate price gouging.

If there’s one thing to take away from US Sen. Bob Casey’s campaign stop with union members in the Harrisburg area on Thursday, it’s that the rich are “mad as hell” at Casey over his corporate price gouging legislation—and he’s embracing their hatred with open arms. 

“They’re mad as hell at me because I have the audacity to say, ‘you are engaged in greedflation,’” Casey told the packed room filled with union workers. 

“‘You’re driving up the cost of groceries, you’re driving up the cost of household items,’ and we’re going to call you out on that and take action by way of price gouging legislation,” Casey said. “So they’re pretty damn mad at me, but I got news for them. They should get used to it, because I’m going to continue and prosecute the case on greedflation and shrinkflation.” 

Casey traveled to Harrisburg on Thursday to celebrate an endorsement from the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 13. 

The union represents over 65,000 public sector employees across the commonwealth and Casey received a unanimous endorsement from the union’s statewide steering committee.   

“AFSCME is proud to support Senator Bob Casey because he always supports us,” AFSCME Council 13 Administrator Mike Sukal said to the room of union members. 

“We are fired up and ready to join him in the fight for workers’ rights and against corporate greed.”

Casey, who is running against Dave McCormick, a former Connecticut based hedge fund manager, thanked the union members for their endorsement and started off the evening by remembering how he has worked with AFSCME members since getting elected to state office decades ago.

“I’ve been around a little while, and I know when I had races running for state office or running for the United States Senate, in every race I was in, the men and women of AFSCME have been there for me,” Casey said.

“We worked together when I was in state government. I was the Auditor General and Treasurer and I worked every day with AFSCME members who made sure that we did our job every day to serve the people of our state.”

Thursday could not offer up a better contrast between Casey and McCormick. While Casey was meeting with the union members, McCormick was attending a fundraiser in Philadelphia that included Pennsylvania’s richest billionaire and GOP mega donor Jeffrey Yass and two fake electors who played a role in trying to overturn Pennsylvania’s 2020 presidential election results.  

“My opponent even wants to…repeal the infrastructure law,” Casey said “The infrastructure law, which has brought billions of dollars to Pennsylvania, not just for roads and bridges, but for high-speed internet in rural areas and small towns that never had high-speed internet.”

Casey used the moment to poke fun at McCormick’s residency saying “I guess in Connecticut everybody has high-speed internet so you don’t have to worry about it, right?”

During President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address earlier this month, Casey and his work on corporate price gouging received a shoutout from the president when he mentioned Casey’s price gouging legislation. Following Thursday’s event, Casey spoke about the importance of Biden taking up corporate price gouging ahead of the upcoming presidential election. 

“I think it’s important for the nation to have a chance to debate these issues,” Casey said.

“I think too often they’ve been kind of in the corners of academia, not on the front burner of debates about issues. It demonstrates that he’s trying, and I’m trying to kind of meet people where they are when they’re going to the grocery store week after week, paying for food or paying for household items.”

Dian Roy Smith, a state worker and union member, praised Casey’s support for public sector workers following the campaign rally.

“It’s showing that he’s strong for the union, he’s strong for us,” Roy Smith said in an interview. “For example, I’m out on the highway sometimes and that OSHA bill that he’s trying to push through will really help us as far as making sure we’re safe and secure so we can get home to our families.”

Author

  • Sean Kitchen

    Sean Kitchen is the Keystone’s political correspondent, based in Harrisburg. Sean is originally from Philadelphia and spent five years working as a writer and researcher for Pennsylvania Spotlight.

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