Thursday, February 21, 2013

Pennsylvania's Had Some Pretty Crappy Governors In Recent Years-- Backed By Even Worse Money Men


Republican ex-Senator Judd Gregg and Rendell are co-chairs of Pete Peterson's slimy anti-Social Security Campaign-- Fix the Debt. Other members: Robert Zoellick, former president of the World Bank; Erskine Bowles; Dave Cote, CEO of Honeywell; Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock; Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget; Pete Peterson, founder and chairman of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation; Steven Rattner, chairman of Willett Advisors; Alice Rivlin; and Paul Stebbins, CEO of World Fuel Services

I wonder if anyone has told the MSNBC hosts and producers that for more and more progressive viewers, a guest appearance by Pennsylvania ConservaDem Ed Rendell is a bathroom break signal-- if not an opportunity to throw something at the TV screen. Having lived in Monroe County for a while when Rendell was governor, I never thought Rendell was even a Democrat, at least not by principles, values and convictions. I most remember him as the guy who lowered property taxes by legalizing slot machines, a very regressive form of taxation, and backing Bush's attempt to privatize Social Security. He seemed to always be looking for issues he could back the GOP on and stab his own base in the back. Then, last April, when Blue America was doing all we could to replace corrupt, right-wing corporate shill Tim Holden with a good-government reformer, Matt Cartwright, Rendell came barrelling into the race endorsing Blue Dog Holden.

I remember getting all these calls from people telling me Blue America should cut its losses and bow to the inevitable that Holden would never be beaten because Rendell was so respected by Democratic voters. That didn't exactly turn out to be what happened. Blue America just redoubled our efforts and Cartwright ignored the endorsements from Rendell and other conservatives. Cartwright clobbered the 10-term Rendell-endorsed incumbent-- and particularly clobbered him in the bluest precincts. The only areas where Holden did well were in Republican areas or the district where his record and Rendell's endorsement meant something.

So it should have come as no surprise to anyone this week when porcine Philadelphia power broker and Rendell fundraiser, David Cohen came out of the shoot favoring Pennsylvania's worst governor in modern times, Tom Corbett. Corbett, steeped in the corruption and elitism that a slimy character like Cohen thrives in, will be up against New Dem Allyson Schwartz. In the past, Cohen and his wife have contributed thousands of dollars towards Schwartz's political career. Although usually identified as a Democratic fundraiser, Cohen, an executive vice president at Comcast, has given hundreds of thousands of dollars in thinly veiled bribes to politicians on both sides of the aisle-- though he seems to prefer conservative Democrats--whether Fred Upton (R-MI) and Jim Gerlach (R-PA) or Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and Chris Carney (Blue Dog-PA). He's considered a key player in Rendell's miserable career.
Now, just as the 2014 governor's race is beginning to heat up, Cohen says he will likely back Republican Gov. Corbett's reelection campaign.

"I expect to support Gov Corbett," Cohen said in an e-mail, without elaborating on his rationale for doing so.

Last month, he and his wife, Rhonda, held a small fund-raiser at their Mount Airy home for Corbett that drew about 30 people, mainly Republicans, but also a few Democrats, and raised about $200,000.

Cohen praised Corbett that evening as a friend, a "man of integrity," and a "good public servant," one attendee said.

Only 19 months earlier, the Cohen residence was the scene of an event that raised $1.2 million for Obama's reelection.

At the time, Obama thanked the Cohens for having been supportive for so many years.

Few who attended the most recent event were surprised that Cohen is now using his clout for Corbett.

They said that as the leader of the nation's biggest cable company, Cohen is a businessman first who recognizes that history has demonstrated that Pennsylvania's incumbent governors do not often lose reelection.

"He's a partisan but pragmatic Democrat," said one corporate executive in Philadelphia, who attended the fund-raiser but would not speak for attribution.

A prominent Philadelphia Republican, who also did not speak for attribution, said Cohen is well aware that the cable industry is regulated by state boards whose members are appointed by the governor.

"Cohen is an extremely loyal guy," he said. "His first client is Comcast, and that does require him to cross the aisle.
Meanwhile a poll by Beneson for the Democratic Governors Association last month indicates Cohen may have made a very bad business decision, since Corbett's policies are so unpopular and disliked in the state that Schwartz, who hasn't even declared she's running yet, is already ahead of him by 8 points, 50-42%. The polling indicates that Schwartz's margin will more than double once she starts campaigning.

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At 6:42 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...

I agree Rendell is horrible he was a bad chairman for the DNC he doesn't like progressives a shill for the elite he's a snake.


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