Ed Rendell

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Posted by motoman 03/01/2009 @ 14:03

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Rendell: Budget impasse could mean suspended paychecks for state ... - Bizjournals.com
Ed Rendell sent a letter to state employees this week informing them they would not be paid after June 30 if a budget is not enacted by July 1. "As the end of the fiscal year approaches, the General Assembly and I are working hard to enact budget...
Former Pa. Lt. Gov. Ernest Kline is dead at 79 - Philadelphia Inquirer
Ed Rendell called Kline a true son of Pennsylvania and a consummate public servant, volunteering at charities even after he left public office. "Ernie was dedicated to making Pennsylvania a better place for everyone," Rendell said in a statement....
Torsella dropping out of Pa. Senate race - Politico
Ed Rendell (D-Pa.). But after Specter announced he was switching parties last month, most of the Democratic establishment rallied behind the senator, making Torsella's path to the nomination very difficult. Rendell endorsed Specter, and with many of...
DCNR: Republican Budget Could Close 35 State Parks - WGAL
Ed Rendell's proposal and the one put forward by Senate Republicans are still more than $1 billion apart from coming to a compromise, so by no means are these numbers finalized. However, the Republican proposal contains much deeper cuts....
Transportation Secretary Biehler named chair of Turnpike Commission - Leader Times
Ed Rendell fired in March after former Sen. Vincent Fumo was convicted of giving him $150000 in state consulting fees for no work. Biehler had no comment on his ascension and the circumstances surrounding Rubin's firing. Rubin received a letter from...
Local Schools Cut DARE Programs - WPXI.com
Ed Rendell and state budget cuts. At least one DARE officer openly criticized the school district for not coming through with the funds to educate the children. “I have a younger child that will be coming here in two years and I'm very disappointed...
• State support for hockey arena evaporates, according to Governor ... - The Express Times - LehighValleyLive.com
Ed Rendell said Thursday. State Rep. Jennifer Mann, D-Lehigh, had sought $40 million for Lehigh County, and Sen. Lisa Boscola, D-Northampton/Lehigh/ Monroe, had penned $30 million for Northampton County into the state's capital budget for a hockey...
Let Freedom Ring! - Jewish Exponent
Mayor Michael Nutter (center) receives the ADL Freedom Award at a special event at the National Constitution Center surrounded by some prime-time notables: (From left) President Bill Clinton; ADL regional director Barry Morrison; Gov. Ed Rendell; and...
School consolidation hearing set for Monday - Pottstown Mercury
Ed Rendell during his annual budget address in February. His plan involves creating a commission that would have on year to formulate two consolidation strategies. If the legislature does not approve either plan, Rendell would allow the state board of...
Obama's trifecta: Supreme Court, Specter and AIPAC - The Villager
Obama, Vice President Biden and Governor Ed Rendell are committed to supporting Specter in next year's Pennsylvania primary, while Specter continues to insist he cannot be considered a “loyal” Democrat. He also must have temporarily lost his memory...

Ed Rendell

Ed Rendell

Edward Gene "Ed" Rendell (born January 5, 1944) is an American politician and Governor of Pennsylvania. Rendell, a member of the Democratic Party, was elected Governor of Pennsylvania in 2002, and his term of office began January 21, 2003. He is currently a Member of the Democratic Governors Association Executive Committee, and also served as General Chairman of the Democratic National Committee during the 2000 presidential election. In July 2008, Governor Rendell was also elected as the Chairman of the National Governor's Association. He currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Team Pennsylvania Foundation and sits on the Board of Trustees of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, a museum dedicated to the U.S. Constitution. He is married to Marjorie Rendell, a Federal judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Rendell was born in New York City to Jewish American parents Jesse T. Rendell and Emma Sloat; all four of his grandparents were immigrants from Russia. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1965 and a Juris Doctor from Villanova Law School in 1968. At the University of Pennsylvania he was a member of the Pi Lambda Phi fraternity. He served as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1968 to 1974.

Rendell was elected District Attorney of Philadelphia in 1977, defeating the incumbent Democratic DA, F. Emmett Fitzpatrick, in the primary election. Rendell ran a campaign that emphasized that he was new to the political scene and not tainted by corruption. In 1980, Rendell received 28 delegate votes for Vice President of the United States at the Democratic National Convention, although he was not a candidate. He served two terms as DA before leaving in 1986 to run for Governor of Pennsylvania. He was defeated in the Democratic gubernatorial primary by Robert P. Casey, Sr.

The 1985 police confrontation and bombing of MOVE, an African-American commune, occurred during Rendell's tenure as District Attorney.

In 1987, Rendell ran for the Democratic nomination against the incumbent mayor, W. Wilson Goode and lost. Rendell ran successfully four years later, in 1991. His opponent was Democrat-turned-Republican former Philadelphia Mayor, Frank L. Rizzo. Rizzo, however, died in the summer of 1991; in November 1991, Rendell won by more than a 2-1 margin against Joseph M. Egan, Jr., Rizzo's replacement on the Republican ticket.

As mayor, Rendell inherited massive fiscal problems. The state legislature established a fiscal oversight board to monitor the City of Philadelphia's fiscal issues. During his career as mayor, Rendell cut a $250 million deficit; balanced Philadelphia's budget and oversaw five consecutive years of budget surpluses; reduced business and wage taxes for four consecutive years; implemented new revenue-generating initiatives, and dramatically improved services to Philadelphia neighborhoods. He also appointed Philadelphia's first ever Latino deputy mayors, with the naming of Benjamin Ramos and Manuel Ortiz. Rendell's cost-cutting policies brought him strong opposition from labor unions; however, he was re-elected in 1995, defeating Republican Joe Rocks with 80% of the vote. He resigned on December 21, 1999, shortly before the end of his term, to take up the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and former Philadelphia City Council chairman (and mayor elect) John Street became mayor three weeks early.

Rendell's first term as mayor was chronicled in a best-selling book A Prayer for the City by Buzz Bissinger. The author, a former journalist, was given practically unlimited access to the Mayor during that term. The New York Times called Rendell's job as mayor "the most stunning turnaround in recent urban history." Rendell was nicknamed "America's Mayor" by Al Gore and chaired the DNC during the 2000 presidential election.

When he announced his intent to run for the Democratic Nomination for Governor of Pennsylvania, he did so without the backing of the state party. The Pennsylvania Democratic Party threw their support behind Bob Casey whom they saw as a more electable candidate against the liberal Rendell. In a bitter primary, Rendell won the nomination by winning only 10 out of 67 counties: Philadelphia and its suburbs: Bucks, Chester, Montgomery, and Delaware, its Lehigh Valley exurbs: Berks, Lehigh and Northampton, and Centre County, the home of Penn State University. In the November 2002 gubernatorial election, he defeated Mike Fisher (R) 53% to 44%. Rendell won not only Philadelphia County, which is heavily Democratic, but also traditionally Republican suburbs of Philadelphia, largely due to his popularity as mayor of Philadelphia. These traditionally Republican voters who backed Rendell were dubbed Rendellicans by the media and were a key part of the success of his campaign.

The first piece of legislation Rendell initiated was The Plan for a New Pennsylvania. The Plan proposed using slot machine revenue to reduce taxes by $1.5 billion (an average 30% decrease for homeowners) and included $687 million in increased education funding. The plan was to be paid for with a proposed income tax increase from 2.80% to 3.75% plus increased taxes on utilities and beer. The governor's plan passed but with a smaller tax increase to only 3.07% and increased education funding of $450 million. The final budget deal included additional taxes on cigarettes and utilities.

Later that year, the Rendell administration also passed a prescription drug plan that covered older Pennsylvanians.

In his first year, Rendell created the Office of Management and Productivity with the goal of cutting $1 billion in administrative expenses by the end of his first term. One of the most widely touted successes from Rendell's productivity initiative was strategic sourcing in which he overhauled the Commonwealth's antiquated procurement system, leading to $180 million in annual savings and a quadrupling of Pennsylvania's minority and women owned business participation rate.

In 2004, Rendell persuaded the Pennsylvania General Assembly to pass measures to legalize and tax slot machine parlors, with the revenues from these measures to be used to reduce property taxes. Prior to this legislation, the only legal forms of gambling in Pennsylvania were horse racing and the state-run lottery. Rendell has been criticized by many opponents of legalized gambling.

In a compromise with the legislature, Rendell accepted a provision requiring that tax reductions only occur in areas where local school boards voted to accept the funding. Act 72 funding, as it came to be known, was accepted by only one fifth of Pennsylvania's school districts. Rendell was criticized when he commented that PA voters were "misguided" when the overwhelming majority of Pennsylvanians voted against Act 72 in their districts.

Following Act 72, Rendell and the Pennsylvania legislature are looking at other proposals to reduce property taxes, a key component of his 2002 campaign. The governor has said he is willing to consider legislation that changes Act 72. Legislative proposals have been made to force school districts to accept the money. Other proposed legislation would require the issue to be voted on in each district as a ballot question, rather than decided by school boards. Property tax relief and Act 72 are issues of great controversy and have been subject to political gridlock, so it is unclear when changes will be made or what is likely to happen next.

In 2005, Rendell received much criticism from the public and press for signing a controversial pay raise for legislators. Later, he signed the measure's repeal. In 2007, as a residual effect of the potent political power the pay raise issue had in central and western Pennsylvania, Rendell stepped up criticism of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) and its executive salaries and expenses, following published newspaper reports, in an effort to leverage PHEAA's profits from federal student loan revenues to help finance the Commonwealh's need-based state grant program for undergraduate post-secondary education (both for grants and for the administration of the program). PHEAA, however, is not a direct state government department, created as a quasi-governmental agency in the 1960s by the Pennsylvania General Assembly and which is governed by a Board comprised primarily of members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and Senate.

Rendell was a key initial supporter of the successful 2006 Democratic US Senate candidate Bob Casey Jr., who had run against him for the Democratic nomination for Governor in 2002.

In July 2007, Rendell ordered a partial government shutdown following a dispute with the state legislature over legislative initiatives unrelated to the state budget. Approximately 25,000 state workers were furloughed. The shutdown was resolved within 24 hours.

Governor Rendell, a capital punishment supporter, has signed 78 execution warrants during his term, but none of them were enforced due to stays.

Rendell was a potential candidate to serve as Senator John Kerry's running mate in the 2004 presidential campaign. Rendell's popularity, particularly in the suburban ring of counties around Philadelphia, was a key to Kerry's victory in Pennsylvania, one of the most hotly contested swing states in the 2004 presidential election.

Rendell won re-election on November 7, 2006.. His Republican opponent in November was Lynn Swann, a former professional football player for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Rendell had 60% of the vote or 2,470,517 votes to Swann's 1,622,135 or 40% of the vote.

Rendell was sworn into his second term as governor of Pennsylvania on January 16, 2007.

In early 2005, Rendell made statements that seemed to support President George W. Bush's Social Security privatization proposal. Rendell addressed this issue in later speeches, saying that he opposes social security privatization, and that his previous comments were meant to show admiration for President Bush for taking on a politically risky subject. Nevertheless, Rendell's initial statements have cost him support among Democrats who are against Social Security privatization.

On August 30, 2007, The Wall Street Journal reported that while Hillary Clinton and other high-profile Democratic politicians were returning contributions from tainted political fundraiser Norman Hsu, Rendell said he intended to keep the $40,000 he had received from Hsu's fund-raising network. The newspaper also noted that last year Hsu hosted a 10-course dinner for Rendell at Per Se in New York City, where meals cost $250 per person.

Rendell endorsed Senator Barack Obama in June 2008 and has made several campaign appearances on his behalf.

As state governor, Rendell was one of the 768 superdelegates to the Democratic National Convention.

After Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, Rendell was often mentioned as a possible Obama pick for Secretary of Energy or Secretary of Transportation.

However, Steven Chu was selected for Energy Secretary while Rep. Ray LaHood was selected as Transportation Secretary.

Rendell's love of sports is well-known. Rendell is a Philadelphia Eagles fan and is part of the panel on the Comcast Sportsnet show "Post Game Live", which airs after every Eagles regular and post-season game. He even made a friendly wager on the outcome of Super Bowl XXXIX, promising to wear a New England Patriots jersey and sing the National Anthem at a Philadelphia 76ers/Boston Celtics game if the Eagles lost, which they did. In 2006, he won a bet with the Governor of Washington, Christine Gregoire in supporting the Pittsburgh Steelers in their quest to win Super Bowl XL over the Seahawks 21 - 10.

As a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Rendell frequently supports the Penn basketball team and can be seen at games at the Palestra.

He has also assisted in finding new corporate sponsorship for Philadelphia International Championship, a 21-year-old Philadelphia bicycle race.

His wife, Marjorie Rendell, a Catholic, is a Federal judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit who was appointed by President Bill Clinton. They married on July 10, 1971 and have one son, Jesse.

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Pennsylvania gubernatorial election, 2006

Pennsylvania gubernatorial election, 2006

The Pennsylvania gubernatorial election of 2006 was held on November 7, 2006, and included the races for the Governor of Pennsylvania and Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania. The winning candidates will serve from January 16, 2007 to 2011.

The incumbent Governor, Ed Rendell (D), was running for re-election. Though some had speculated that Rendell would choose another running mate, Pennsylvania's first female Lieutenant Governor, Catherine Baker Knoll was also running for re-election. Rendell and Knoll had the advantage of incumbency, important in the swing state of Pennsylvania. Rendell's approval rating as of May 2006 was 62%.

Challenging Rendell was former Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Famer, Lynn Swann (R). His running mate was businessman Jim Matthews, Montgomery County Commisoner and the brother of MSNBC's Chris Matthews.

In the 2000 Presidential election, former Vice President Al Gore won the state 51%-47% over then Texas Governor George W. Bush. In 2004, Senator John Kerry carried the state 51%-49% over incumbent President Bush.

Four candidates where campaigning for governor , but only two went on to appear on the ballot in November. On August 11, Marakay Rogers withdrew her nominating papers, following a challenge by Pennsylvania Democrats, who alleged more than 69,000 signatures on the petitions were fake names, unregistered voters or illegible. The challenge follows Republican Senator Rick Santorum's drive to collect signatures to put Green candidate Carl Romanelli on the ballot for the Senate. A challenge by popular Democratic candidate Bob Casey threatens to unseat Santorum.

In July 2005, a Zogby Poll showed Rendell with only a 47% to 41% lead over Lynn Swann. Some speculated that controversy over Act 72, proposed Medicaid cuts, and possibly even a legislative pay increase that was signed into law had reduced the Governor’s popularity. Also, when compared to other polls, the six percent lead was an outlier. Rendell has led in other recent polls by significantly higher margins.

Following that poll, Rendell’s supporters pointed out that he has raised more money than his opponents, which they felt would help him spread his message. They also pointed out that no Pennsylvania governor had lost re-election since the 1950s, and that, as a sitting governor, Rendell had all of the traditional advantages of an incumbent.

Swann hoped to perform strongly in the conservative "T" section of the state (the central and northern regions) and in his native western Pennsylvania area. On 7 February 2006 Swann served as master of ceremonies for the Pittsburgh Steelers's Super Bowl XL victory parade before 250,000 people. Swann canvassed for votes among tailgating voters in Philadelphia before the Steelers game against the Eagles.

At the time, Rendell had relatively low approval ratings outside of his native Southeastern Pennsylvania. Polls in early February showed Swann and Rendell in a statistical tie.

However, Swann's momentum did not survive an effective barrage of advertising from Rendell in early spring and had trouble keeping up with Rendell's effective fundraising. Swann's focus on "reforming" Harrisburg never caught traction, possibly as a result of his vocal support for Chip Brightbill and Robert Jubelirer, two legislative leaders who were defeated in the May 2006 primary election.

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2005 Pennsylvania General Assembly pay raise controversy

Protestors from PACleanSweep in front of the Pennsylvania State Capitol in 2005.

In the early morning hours of July 7, 2005, the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed pay increases for state lawmakers, judges, and top executive-branch officials. The vote took place at 2 a.m. without public review or commentary and Governor Ed Rendell signed the bill into law. The raise increased legislators' base pay from 16% to 34% depending on position.

The pay raise included a provision allowing legislators to take their raises immediately in the form of "unvouchered expenses." This provision was included due to the Pennsylvania Constitution's clause prohibiting legislators from taking salary increases in the same term as which they are passed. State courts have ruled similar legislation to be constitutional on three separate occasions.

Anger over the raise spawned several grass-roots movements, some geared toward voting out incumbents and some seeking support for a Constitutional Convention or a reduction in the size of the legislature. .

The first victim of the public uproar was Supreme Court Justice Russell M. Nigro who became the first Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice to be denied retention. Nigro asserted that he had not taken part in the pay raise. However, critics noted that Chief Justice Ralph Cappy helped draft the bill and that prior Court opinions upheld such practices.

On November 16, 2005, Governor Rendell signed a repeal of the pay raise after a near unanimous vote for repeal; only House Minority Whip Mike Veon voted against the repeal.

Despite the repeal, a total of 17 legislators were defeated in the 2006 primary elections including Senate President Pro Tempore Robert Jubelirer and Senate Majority Leader David J. Brightbill. They were the first top-ranking Pennsylvania legislative leaders to lose a primary election since 1964.

The November 2006 General Election claimed several more members who supported the pay raise including Reps. Gene McGill, Mike Veon, Matt Wright, Tom Gannon and Matthew Good. The defeats were widely attributed to anger over the pay raise.

Frank LaGrotta, who was defeated in the 2006 primary election over the pay raise issue, was one of many legislators who were paying back their unvouchered expenses in installments. After pleading guilty to two counts of conflict of interest for hiring relatives as "ghost employees," he stopped repayment and was even refunded the amount that he had previously returned.

7-10-2008 HARRISBURG -- Attorney General Tom Corbett today filed charges against a dozen figures in the payroll bonus scandal, including former House Democratic Whip Michael Veon and current state Rep. Sean Ramaley. Source Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

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Marjorie Rendell

Marjorie ("Midge") Osterlund Rendell is a federal judge in Pennsylvania. She was born in Wilmington, Delaware where her father was employed as a DuPont executive and where she attended Ursuline Academy as a young girl.

After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a Juris Doctor from Villanova University Law School, she practiced as an attorney for twenty years as a partner in the Philadelphia firm of Duane, Morris & Heckscher, where she focused her practice on bankruptcy and commercial litigation.

In 1994 she was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. In 1997 she was once again nominated by President Clinton, this time for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit where she continues to serve as an appellate judge today. She is also a trustee of the University of Pennsylvania.

In 1993, she founded and managed Avenue of the Arts, Inc., whose purpose was to develop Philadelphia's Broad Street into a world-class artistic venue.

She married Ed Rendell in 1971 and became First Lady of the state of Pennsylvania when her husband was elected Governor on January 21, 2003. They have one son, Jesse.

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Source : Wikipedia