ENG: Edward Gene "Ed" Rendell (born January 5, 1944) is an American politician who served as the 45th Governor of Pennsylvania. Rendell, a member of the Democratic Party, was elected Governor of Pennsylvania in 2002, and his term of office began January 21, 2003. He was recently a member of the Democratic Governors Association Executive Committee and served as General Chairman of the Democratic National Committee during the 2000 presidential election. Rendell is also a football analyst on Comcast SportsNet's Eagles Postgame Live, hosted by Michael Barkann. From 2008 to 2009, Governor Rendell was the Chairman of the National Governors Association. He is married to Marjorie Rendell, a federal judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Rendell is also a faculty member of the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania, and chair of Team Pennsylvania Foundation.
Governor of Pennsylvania 2002 primary
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. 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.
The Pennsylvania Democratic Party threw their support behind
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 composed primarily of members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and Senate.
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. The shutdown was resolved within 24 hours.
Governor Rendell, a capital punishment supporter, has signed 78 execution warrants during his term, but none of them were enforced due to stays.
In December 2008, Rendell received criticism for stating that Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano was "perfect" for the role of Secretary of Homeland Security because, "...for that job, you have to have no life. Janet has no family. Perfect. She can devote, literally, 19, 20 hours a day to it."
Rendell drew some criticism following a late January 2009 preview of his budget proposal that would eliminate 100 budget line items, including programs such as the Pennsylvania Governor's Schools of Excellence and Drug Abuse Resistance Education ("D.A.R.E."). These program cuts are part of Rendell's proposal to cut state expenditures to a level 1 percent below the 2002-2003 budget in response to an expected 2.3 billion dollar budget shortfall. As a result of the budget crisis, Rendell spokesman Chuck Ardo resigned.
Rendell called for reinstating the Federal Assault Weapons Ban in the wake of a police shooting in Pittsburgh.
2010, following the earthquake in Haiti, Rendell was criticizedfor using his influence to secure a valuable landing spot at the Port au Prince airport for a private plane sent to retrieve Haitian orphans. Critical supply flights were delayed by this and other non-essential flights involving journalists and politicians.