Partisan In-plants in PA
A TV news report this week by Channel 4 Action News expressed shock at the discovery that Pennsylvania Democrats and Republicans in the state House are running separate, but nearly identical, in-plant operations. Though the report tried to point out the waste inherent in having separate in-plants for each party, the subtext of the story seemed to be that printing itself was nothing but a big waste of money.
Emphasis was placed on the "shocking" fact that both in-plants have "leases for large printing presses costing taxpayers $168,000 a year." No mention was made of how much those presses were saving taxpayers compared to the cost of buying all that printing on the outside. In fact, the story implied that, "in an age of smartphones and email" doing any printing at all was a waste of money. How tiresome this message is getting.
The reporters did venture inside the Maryland Legislature’s bipartisan printing plant, where spokesman Karl Aro made a good point about the importance of having an in-plant when he said, "When something has to be on the floor in a half-hour or whatever, it gets there.”