ShareThis Page
Rendell being Rendell? |

Rendell being Rendell?

| Sunday, January 2, 2011 12:00 a.m

The head wuss has spoken.

Gov. Ed Rendell ‘s remarks earlier this week about America being a “nation of wussies” were dismissed by many as the off-the-cuff grumblings of a soon-to-be-former governor who craves the spotlight.

Or as the rantings of a man who loves his NFL football just a tad too much, snowstorm be damned.

Or as Rendell’s way of prepping for a future television career as a political pundit or sports broadcaster.

Rendell is nothing if not a political animal, and while it is true that he has at times fumbled his words into a touchdown for the other side, he most frequently has been a pretty calculating fellow.

So when Rendell declared that the NFL’s postponement of the Vikings-Eagles football game from last Sunday to Tuesday due to an expected blizzard was the result of a “nanny state” mentality, we suspected a political agenda.

Rendell-watchers will recall that in 2006, when Democrats were fending off charges that they somehow lacked religious values, the governor injected so many references to the Bible and Jesus into what should have been an ordinary stump speech during a visit in Greensburg that he came off sounding like evangelist Billy Graham .

“I became very frustrated after 2004. We (Democrats) ceded the morality issue to the Republicans,” Rendell later explained.

Or maybe it was just Rendell being Rendell.

REGION HAS RISING STARS. S everal Southwestern Pennsylvanians are exerting political influence behind the scenes, according to the website PoliticsPA.

Among them:

Corey O’Connor , 25, community development director for U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle , D-Swissvale. O’Connor, son of the late Pittsburgh Mayor Bob O’Connor , directs federal funds into Doyle’s district. Word on the street is that O’Connor is preparing to run for Pittsburgh City Council.

Rachel Heisler , 27, of Pittsburgh, was the campaign manager for U.S. Rep. Jason Altmire , D-McCandless, helping raise a nifty $2.5 million for him. She works on Altmire’s staff.

Matthew Mazonkey , 27, formerly of Lower Burrell, went from press secretary for the late U.S. Rep. John Murtha to chief of staff for Murtha’s successor, U.S. Rep. Mark Critz , D-Johnstown. Mazonkey also has responsibilities as Critz’s press secretary and overseer of appropriations and defense legislation.

Ben Wren , 25, of Irwin, is a field organizer for the state GOP. He has “street cred” as a man who can get things done for the party.

LISTEN UP. The state’s business community lobbied incoming Republican leaders against the appointment of Rep. Gene DiGirolamo as chairman of the House Labor Relations Committee.

DiGirolamo, R-Bucks County, was in line to become the committee’s majority chairman in the 2011-12 session after serving as minority chairman during the past session, when Democrats controlled the House.

DiGirolamo is considered a pro-labor Republican. Some business leaders believe it would be difficult to move the pro-growth agenda of Gov.-elect Tom Corbett and incoming House Republicans with DiGirolamo at the committee’s helm.

Somebody must have listened to the business community.

Rep. Ronald Miller , R-York County, was named chairman of Labor Relations. DiGirolama was appointed to the Human Services Committee.

GET ON BOARD. Hempfield Supervisor Doug Weimer is starting to sound like a candidate, though he hasn’t officially declared that he will run for Westmoreland County commissioner.

Weimer entered the war of words between Democrat Commissioners Tom Balya and Ted Kopas and Republican Commissioner Chuck Anderson over the 2011 county budget. In a statement, Weimer criticized Balya and Kopas but never mentioned fellow Republican Anderson.

WILL HE OR WON’T HE? Speculation is rampant about whether Westmoreland Commissioner Tom Balya will run again.

He has said in the past that he would not seek re-election in the same year when his wife, Westmoreland County Common Pleas Judge Debra Pezze , is up for retention.

Some Democratic Party officials say Balya won’t announce his intentions until the last minute so he can limit the list of potential candidates as Commissioner Ted Kopas runs for a full term. Kopas, a former Balya staffer, was appointed to replace Tom Ceraso , who resigned as a commissioner last year.

— compiled by Tribune-Review staff

Have some dirt to dish• A tip to flip• E-mail the intrepid Whispers desk at:

Categories: News
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.