Today we will worry about what will happen as the reigns of the Commonwealth are passed from Governor Ed Rendell to General Tom Corbett. A lot of people gave Rendell the bad rap but he did a lot for this state. He brought in money with casinos, toll roads and he even said he would sign off on the two medical marijuana bills, which are currently lost in the space of the PA legislature. Ed will be sorely missed. When I lived in Center City Philadelphia, Rendell was mayor of that city, replacing the hard-to-follow Frank Rizzo. In those days, when Rizzo and, then, Rendell were in charge of the city, it was very safe. Single women walked the streets unmolested and a sense of respect for others permeated.
Corbett is not even in office yet and is wasting tax dollars already. While many are unemployed and those on Social Security had their benefits capped, eliminating the yearly cost of living increase, General/Governor Corbett will get a raise when he enters office. Along with him, a number of other legislators are due for an increase, too. Somebody who walked the moral high ground would say ‘nix’ to the increase, in light of all the arts, library and school cuts made by the state. I am sure he will hold onto every penny…not that he needs it.
Recent news reports tell us that Corbett is holding his victory party at the Waldorf Astoria, where room rates start at $700 a night. You would think that he would at least TRY to look like he is not a pig, snuffling in the trough of the public pocket…or spend the money in Pennsylvania, at least! No fuss, though, since the General’s friends will likely pick up the tab. They are good friends, so good that they contributed millions of dollars to his campaign and, in return, were given seats in the governor’s cabinet. Yes, they literally bought the positions.
Buying an office can be good for the state, maybe. One of the people who bought a place in the administration is Christine Toretti, Chairman and CEO of J W Jack Drilling Co, of Indiana, Pa. This appointment is a blatant slap in the puss for environmentalists and residents, alike. J W Jack now has access to drill in the Marcellus Shale areas of PA and never have to pay a penny in state tax on any oil or natural gas which is extracted from the soil beneath our feet. Not a penny in tax. That is good for people like me with investments in oil drilling companies, since my stocks will reflect the non-taxable profits. It is not good for the Commonwealth, especially as it plays the poor card except when dealing to the privileged piggies.
By posting this, I am asking for trouble, since anybody who speaks out against anything the state does is put under the state’s million dollar surveillance program. This surveillance was brought to light last week when protestors filled the capitol steps, demonstrating for a stop to state spying on us all. Gentle Readers, we have already pointed out how General Corbett was taken to task by the ACLU last year for using his office of Attorney General to dig up the real identities of two people who criticized him on Twitter.
The real question is ‘what did he intend to do with the information’? I would imagine surveillance and police harrassment would be in order, in the mind of the wicked and warped man who is about to set the rules for us all to live by.
It is hard to believe that such obvious, self-serving, questionably-legal behaviour is tolerated, much less put in a place to vex us for years to come. I miss Ed Rendell and he is still in office.