Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Rendell Press Conference on PCN

This evening I watched a press conference on PCN with Gov. Ed Rendell, new PA House Speaker Dennis O'Brien, and Democratic Leader Bill DeWeese. I caught part of a press conference with O'Brien, DeWeese, and Rep. Dwight Evans. Here is a synopsis of remarks made; I missed the last part of the Rendell press conference. As always, my apologies for any errors or misinterpretations. The sound quality of the microphones for both speakers and reporters were not the best and some things I just couldn't catch.

Rendell Press Conference

Ed Rendell: Election of O’Brien a good thing not for D or R but for PA. Partisanship can create more of an uphill fight than is needed. People don’t want that kind of govt, put people ahead of party. People don’t want us to spend time wrangling over things. Speaker O'Brien will have a different way of doing business. The most important things a public official can have is passion for doing things to make peoples lives better. We need a more inclusive operation. Should not freeze out minority party. We should forget about party designation for at least the next 18 months. Should focus on mega issues that affect peoples lives. ER will not sign a bill outside the budget cycle that doesn't include a way to pay for it. O'Brien a just and fair individual. PA will see a new day. DeWeese often a lightning rod. Last 24 hours his best 24 hours, put his own personal wants and desires aside to help his party and the people. No elected official can do anything better. People of PA owe him a great debt of gratitude. Keith McCall and Phyllis Mundy stepped off leadership roles for good of people. Congratulate Josh Shapiro the catalyst for this. On New Year's Eve Shapiro asked O'Brien to think about it. A word about John Perzel. Did and said some thing that created a lot of public ire. If this is the end of Perzel's leadership remember he has done a lot for the state. JP made a mistake on raise, but so did ER. Understand, without JP we would not have had economic stimulus package, become a leader in renewable energy, minimum wage bill [other missed]. No property tax relief. Perzel's score card should have a balance onit. There are some minuses but also some pluses.

Q: caltagirone

ER: He started a chain of events that brought us where we are today. But Thomas Caltagirone not the only Democrat to vote for Perzel

Q: switch paries

DOB: I am a Republican. ER says that is a good thing. DO'B did not reach out to us, did not put a price on this. This is something new and different. DeW says most advantageous aspect of work enhanced by personal chemistry. DOB and ER have great personal chemistry. However, DeW will do everything to wheedle and cajole.

Q: committed to any specific proposals

DOB: none at present, Josh Shapiro has views, will put together a committee to study this. Meaniningful reform and quickly.

Q: chairmanships of committees

DOB: D in majority

Q: priorities

DOB: children with disabilities (especially autism)

[At this point I was distracted as Mr. J started checking into O'Brien's work on disabled children and found a long and robust history of significant involvement in this case.]

1 comment:

phillydem said...

Josh Shapiro is having a meteoric rise, wouldn't you say?

I think the real winner here is Rendell. With all the division and confusion in the House and his close
relationship with O'Brien, Rendell is going to have a lot of say in the legislative process. Even better, Rendell always manages to attract top, fair-minded, knowledgeable and
professional talent to head his agencies and in his cabinet. Rendell is going to be asked to lead more than ever and he's got the people in place in his administration to do it. The guv remains the undefeated 800lb gorilla of Pennsylvania politics.