The annual Pennsylvania Society gala was held in New York this weekend and close to 100 demonstrators greeted state Republicans outside Manhattan’s Metropolitan Club as they set their 2024 agenda. The event turned 125 years old and dates back to the Gilded Age.
Most of Pennsylvania’s biggest (and smallest) politicians, lobbyists, and business leaders took over Midtown Manhattan on Saturday for their swanky Pennsylvania Society gala.
The event turned 125 years old this weekend and dates back to the era of Gilded Age industrialists and robber barons who amassed insurmountable wealth and used it to wield their power over politics.
A large group of Pennsylvania residents followed the gathering out to New York City and held a demonstration outside. The event at the Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association’s luncheon at the Metropolitan Club, located on the Southeast corner of Central Park, and the invite-only event featured most of Pennsylvania’s prominent Republicans as they gathered to discuss their policy agenda for the upcoming year.
“We’re here today because we’re at the Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association meeting because we know that they’re taking money from Jeff Yass,” Bishop Dwayne Royster, the executive director of POWER Interfaith, said in an interview outside of the rally.
“There are political leaders that are coming in from around the state to the PA Society in New York to hobnob with the oligarchs, the autocrats, the plutocrats, the billionaires, and the millionaires so that they can take control of the Pennsylvania democracy.”
Attendees of the lunch event included conservative legislators, lobbyists and business officials. The event was also attended by Republican operatives Charlie Gerow and Kevin Harley, who played a role in orchestrating the fake electors scheme following the 2020 election.
Despite the exclusive nature of the event, Pennsylvania Republicans were unable to escape their constituents, as close to 100 Pennsylvanians from different grassroots organizations traveled to Manhattan to shine a light on Pennsylvania’s modern day richest man, Jeffrey Yass, who also uses his wealth to try and influence politics. Yass, who likes to remain private, wasn’t in attendance.
Yass, a supporter of charter schools and proponent of school vouchers, is Pennsylvania’s richest billionaire with a networth close to $30 billion thanks to his investments in TikTok. emonstrators wanted to draw attention to Yass’ political spending and how it undermines Pennsylvania’s democracy.
Yass’ love for his card games and gambling were the main themes for Saturday’s rally. Prior to becoming a mega-billionaire and running an investment bank, the Susquehanna Investment Group, Yass made his fortunes through gambling and his love of poker.
Rally goers constructed a “Yass House of Cards” outside the club to greet attendees as they were walking in. The cards contained the logos of all the organizations and Political Action Communities the mega-billionaire is associated with.
At one point during the rally, PMA President David Taylor confronted the residents who made the trek to Manhattan and demanded time to speak.
The billionaire Yass moves his money through a network of political action committees and has spent over $40 million dollars on political campaigns since 2018, with his money flowing to everything from school board elections to the governor’s race in the 2022 primary.
Previously, The Keystone reported on how Yass tried influencing the 2023 Pennsylvania Supreme Court race by spending over $4 million supporting anti-abortion Montgomery County Judge Carolyn Carluccio.
In total, he spent over $5 million supporting Carluccio and three other Republican candidates running for the Pennsylvania Superior Court and the Commonwealth Court. However, all four judges lost their respective races.
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