Ed Rendell

Infobox Governor
name = Ed Rendell

caption = Edward "Ed" Rendell
order = 45th
office = Governor of Pennsylvania
term_start = January 21, 2003
term_end =
lieutenant = Catherine Baker Knoll
predecessor = Mark Schweiker
successor = Incumbent
birth_date = birth date and age |1944|01|05
birth_place = New York City, New York
death_date =
residence = Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
spouse = Judge Marjorie O. Rendell
profession = Attorney
party = Democratic
alma_mater = University of Pennsylvania Villanova University
religion = Judaism
order2 = 96th Mayor of Philadelphia
term_start2 = January 6, 1992
term_end2 = January 3, 2000
predecessor2 = Wilson Goode
successor2 = John F. Street

Edward Gene "Ed" Rendell (born January 5 1944) is an American politician and member of the Democratic Party. He was elected Governor of the Commonwealth 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 on the Board of Trustees of the National Constitution Center [ [http://www.constitutioncenter.org National Constitution Center: Home ] ] 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.

Early life

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. [ [http://www.wargs.com/political/rendell.html Ancestry of Ed Rendell ] ] 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.

Philadelphia District Attorney

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 [ [http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=59872 Our Campaigns - US Vice President - D Convention Race - Aug 11, 1980 ] ] 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.

Mayor of Philadelphia

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. [ [http://www.citypaper.net/articles/101295/article009.shtml Dead Men Can Vote ] ]

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 as "the most stunning turnaround in recent urban history." [ [http://www.democraticgovernors.org/governors/373/governor-edward-g-rendell Democratic Governors Association: Governor Edward G. Rendell ] ] Rendell was nicknamed "America's Mayor" by Al Gore and chaired the DNC during the 2000 presidential election.

Governor of Pennsylvania

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. [ [http://www.electionreturns.state.pa.us/ElectionsInformation.aspx?FunctionID=15&ElectionID=6&OfficeID=3 Commonwealth of PA - Elections Information ] ] In the November 2002 gubernatorial election, he defeated Mike Fisher (R) 53% to 44%. [http://www.electionreturns.state.pa.us/ElectionsInformation.aspx?FunctionID=12&ElectionID=7 Commonwealth of PA - Elections Information ] ] Rendell won not only Philadelphia County, which is heavily Democratic, but also traditionally Republican suburbs of Philadelphia [ [http://www.electionreturns.state.pa.us/ElectionsInformation.aspx?FunctionID=15&ElectionID=7&OfficeID=3#Bucks Commonwealth of PA - Elections Information ] ] , 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. [ [http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_85386.html 'Rendellicans' cross party lines - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review ] ]

The first piece of legislation Rendell initiated was "The Plan for a New Pennsylvania". [http://www.pahouse.com/budget2003PART2/index.asp] 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. [ [http://www.state.pa.us/papower/cwp/view.asp?A=11&Q=435949 PA Login: GOVERNOR EDWARD G. RENDELL PRAISES HOUSE FOR COMPLETING FISCAL YEAR 2003-04 BUDGET ] ]

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 [http://www.governor.state.pa.us/governor/cwp/view.asp?a=3&q=437328] 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. [ [http://www.casinofreephila.org Welcome | Casino-Free Philadelphia ] ]

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. [ [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/08/AR2007070801051.html?hpid=sec-nations] ] The shutdown was resolved within 24 hours. [ [http://kdka.com/topstories/local_story_190221254.html kdka.com - Legislators, Gov. Reach Deal To End Budget Impasse ] ]

Governor Rendell, a capital punishment supporter [ [http://www.issues2000.org/Governor/Ed_Rendell_Crime.htm Ed Rendell on Crime ] ] , has signed 78 execution warrants during his term [ [http://www.cor.state.pa.us/portal/lib/portal/Warrants_by_Governor.pdf Execution Warrants Issued by Governor (1985 to Present) ] ] , but none of them were enforced due to stays.

2004 Presidential politics

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.

2006 re-election campaign

Rendell won re-election on November 7, 2006. [ [http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2006/pages/results/states/PA/G/00/index.html CNN.com - Elections 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. [http://www.electionreturns.state.pa.us/ElectionsInformation.aspx?FunctionID=12&ElectionID=24 Commonwealth of PA - Elections Information ] ]

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

2008 Presidential election

Ed Rendell recently denied interest in running for Vice President in 2008, saying "I like to be my own boss." [ [http://newsmax.com/archives/ic/2007/2/26/73248.shtml?s=ic Govs. Rick Perry, Ed Rendell: No V.P. Interest ] ] On February 25, 2007, Rendell appeared on "Fox News Sunday" and dismissed any speculation that he might run for the presidency or the vice presidency and outright denied any wish to be the vice-presidential running mate of the eventual Democratic nominee. On MSNBC's "Hardball", host Chris Matthews has repeatedly compared former New York City mayor and former 2008 Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani's overtly successful mayoral tenure in NYC to Rendell's largely successful run as Philadelphia's mayor. Both Giuliani and Rendell have previously been dubbed "America's Mayor."

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.

Rendell is a close friend of former President Bill Clinton and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. He has also been suggested as a possible Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in a future Democratic administrationFact|date=April 2008, and has hinted that he would be amenable to appointment as Secretary of TransportationFact|date=April 2008. His successful tenure as District Attorney of Philadelphia has led many to believe he could also be considered for the position of Attorney General in a future Democratic administrationFact|date=April 2008.

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.

On January 24, 2008, Rendell announced his endorsement of Senator Clinton in the latter's race for the White House [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. [http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/cityregion/s_549028.html Clinton receives Rendell backing] January 24, 2008] . He stated that, " [Hillary] really cares about moving this country forward. She also has the best health-care plan for America."

As one of Hillary Clinton's staunchest supporters, Rendell has argued that most media outlets coverage of her campaign have been biased. On March 31st, 2008 he congratulated Fox News on what he considered to be the best campaign coverage. Addressing "Fox & Friends" host Steve Doocy, he said, "I think during this entire primary coverage, starting in Iowa and up to the present, Fox has done the fairest job, has remained the most objective of all the cable networks." Rendell continued, "You actually have done a very balanced job of reporting the news, and some of the other stations are just caught up with Senator Obama, who is a great guy, but Senator Obama can do no wrong, and Senator Clinton can do no right." [ [http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/03/31/clinton-surrogate-ed-rend_n_94280.html Clinton Surrogate Ed Rendell Praises Fox News For "Most Objective," "Balanced" Coverage - Media on The Huffington Post ] ]

Rendell endorsed Senator Barack Obama in June 2008 and has made several campaign appearances on his behalf. [ [http://comment-blog.advance.net/cgi-bin/mte/mt-search.cgi?tag=Ed%20Rendell&blog_id=794 Lehigh Valley Live Breaking News: Search ] ] [ [http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Rendell_Obama_hasnt_changed_his_mind_0629.html The Raw Story | Rendell: Obama hasn't changed his mind on telecom immunity ] ] [http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2008/06/obama_philadelphia_fundraiser.html Obama holds Philadelphia Fundraiser with Gov. Rendell]

As state governor, Rendell is one of the 768 superdelegates to the Democratic National Committee.

ports fan

Rendell's love of sports is well-known. Rendell is a Philadelphia Eagles fan and in a role that has caused some controversy among those who feel he should be solely concentrating on his gubernatorial duties, Rendell 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. [ [http://www.governor.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=512&objID=2997&&level=1&css=L1&mode=2&in_hi_userid=2&cached=true First Lady ] ]

Electoral history

Election box candidate with party link
party = Democratic Party (US)
candidate = Ed Rendell
votes = 1,913,235
percentage = 53.4
change =
Election box candidate with party link
party = Republican Party (US)
candidate = D. Michael Fisher
votes = 1,589,408
percentage = 44.4
change =

Election box candidate with party link
party = Democratic Party (US)
candidate = Ed Rendell (Incumbent)
votes = 2,470,517
percentage = 60.4
change = +7.0
Election box candidate with party link
party = Republican Party (US)
candidate = Lynn Swann
votes = 1,622,135
percentage = 39.6
change =


ee also

*2005 Pennsylvania General Assembly pay raise controversy
*Pennsylvania gubernatorial election, 2006

External links

* [http://www.governor.state.pa.us/ Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell] official state site
* [http://www.nga.org/portal/site/nga/menuitem.29fab9fb4add37305ddcbeeb501010a0/?vgnextoid=d128224971c81010VgnVCM1000001a01010aRCRD National Governors Association - Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell] biography
*"Follow the Money" - Ed Rendell
** [http://www.followthemoney.org/database/StateGlance/candidate.phtml?c=90561 2006] [http://www.followthemoney.org/database/StateGlance/candidate.phtml?c=74498 2004] [http://www.followthemoney.org/database/StateGlance/candidate.phtml?c=13710 2002] campaign contributions
* [http://www.ontheissues.org/Ed_Rendell.htm On the Issues - Ed Rendell] issue positions and quotes
* [http://www.vote-smart.org/bio.php?can_id=MPA83868 Project Vote Smart - Governor Edward G. 'Ed' Rendell (PA)] profile
* [http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/04/21/ed-rendell-clinton-surrog_n_97784.html 1997 speech with the Nation of Islam]


* [http://www.americancityandcounty.com/ar/government_philadelphia_mayor_ed/ Article praising Rendell's term as mayor]
* [http://www.city-journal.org/html/9_4_a1.html Article rather more critical of his term as mayor]
* [http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/recap?gameId=250403002 ESPN recap of the above Sixers-Celtics game]
* [http://www.ncsu.edu/news/press_releases/04_01/036.htm Pennsylvania Governor Keynotes Emerging Issues Forum] , North Carolina State University press release, January 30, 2004
* [http://commonsense2.com/2008/07/editorials/an-open-letter-to-ed-rendell/ An Open Letter To Governor Ed Rendell] Concerning Health Care.

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