Media Blog

Rendell All Over the Media

When not comparing Barack Obama to Adlai Stevenson, the Pennsylvania governor is dropping bombs like this:

DENVER — Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell said Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton will probably run for president again despite failing to secure the Democratic nomination this year.

“Yeah, she wants to run again,” Rendell told USA TODAY Sunday morning at the site of the Democratic National Convention.

Rendell has been taking every media engagement imaginable for a few months now, including one as a contestant on a radio quiz show. A lot of people have found themselves politically smacked around after underestimating the cynicism — and the acumen — of Ed Rendell. So his quote at the end of the WaPo piece Greg links below is of interest:

“What I think most people are waiting for — and as soon as they see it, I think it’s over — they’re waiting to see that [Obama is] angry about that stuff, too. Not just that he thinks it’s wrong intellectually — that he’s angry,” Rendell advised.

In the end, though, “When times are hard, people care about one thing, one color — green,” he concluded. “That’s all there is.”

Green — that’s all there is. That’s what Ed Rendell has learned in a lifetime of Philadelphia-based politics. And speaking of green, his old law firm is bringing in some cash in an interesting way:

It is no secret that the Delaware River Port Authority has recently come under intense criticism. The organization is $1.2 billion in debt and cannot sufficiently fund major capital projects, such as re-decking the Walt Whitman Bridge. As a result, the Board of Directors today authorized a substantial toll increase at its board meeting.
However, there are a number of unanswered questions that extend well beyond the scope of a toll hike. In the hopes of shedding some light on these issues, The Bulletin herewith asks the DRPA to address four questions that can no longer remain under the bridge:
1)Why is Pennsylvania State Treasurer Robin Wiessmann, who has a seat on the DRPA Board, authorizing expenditures to the law firm of Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, (Gov. Rendell’s former firm), the firm in which her husband, Ken Jarin, is a partner? And why are partners in that firm chairing DRPA board meetings when their firm represents the board?
Since Governor Rendell, the DRPA chairman, rarely attends board meetings, he appointed John Estey as his chairman-designate. What makes this particularly interesting is that Ballard Spahr represents the DRPA Board, and both Mr. Jarin and Mr. Estey are partners in that firm. Since the chairman-designate has the same voting power as the chairman, Mr. Estey is, in point of fact, authorizing payments to his own firm. And when Treasurer Wiessmann doesn’t think that DRPA’s in-house general counsel and staff attorneys are equipped to handle a legal matter, and authorizes outside counsel, she too is putting money into her husband’s pocket – and ultimately her own.

Ed Rendell knows what makes the political world go round: green.

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