Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell on Tuesday hosted a pitch for a super-high-speed, magnetically levitated train that could whisk riders from Philadelphia to New York City in 25 minutes and to Washington in 30.
The former Vince Fumo aide who reportedly spied on Ed Rendell for the now-disgraced senator is coming under Congressional scrutiny. Christian Marrone now serves as chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security; the conservative Washington Times says a Congressional committee hearing today is likely to dig into how he obtained hs role given his previous controversial service.
Philly’s LGBT Senior Housing Center, the John C. Anderson Apartments, Gets Opening Ceremony Treatment
Tenants began moving into the John C. Anderson Apartments in mid-January, but Philly’s only housing center for LGBT seniors got official opening-ceremony treatment this morning. Local paparazzo HughE Dillon pointed out that it was one of the most power-filled events he’d been to in a while, and he was right. All kinds of Pennsylvania dignitaries showed up to be part of the festivities — from Governor Ed Rendell and Mayor Michael Nutter to Representative Bob Brady and State Treasurer — and gubernatorial candidate — Rob McCord.
Last night former Philadelphia Mayor, Pennsylvania Governor, Democratic Party Chair and current Eagles color commentator Ed Rendell received the Edmund N. Bacon Prize, which “is bestowed annually on an accomplished figure who has achieved outstanding results in urban planning, development, and design through conviction of vision, effective communication, and commitment to improving their community.”
Rendell, as a tireless advocate of infrastructure investment, is founder of Building America’s Future, which pushes insistently for such spending, along with co-founder Michael Bloomberg and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The award ceremony was at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and hosted by the Philadelphia Center for Architecture and the Better Philadelphia Challenge & Edmund N. Bacon Prize for Urban Planning & Design. Some of the local luminaries/engaged stakeholders present: interior designer Karen Daroff and Karen Daroff’s fur coat; city planner Ariel Ben-Amos; Pennsylvania state political blogger Jon Geeting; urbanist writer and photographer Bradley Maule; Philadelphia Center for Architecture Board President Bob Hsu; Philadelphia Center for Architecture Executive Director John Claypool; Ed Bacon’s daughter, Hilda Bacon; urban planner Greg Heller, author of Ed Bacon: Planning, Politics and the Building of Modern Philadelphia; Diana Lind, executive director and editor in chief of Next City; longtime Philadelphia city planner Craig Schelter, former executive VP of the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. and current senior advisor to Econsult; Director of Federal Affairs for Philadelphia Terry Gillen; Jeff Hornstein, director of Financial and Policy Analysis for the Controller’s office… and, well, you get the idea.
Rendell was introduced by his longtime colleague Rina Cutler, who first came to work with Ed (we will call him Ed) in 1993, when he brought her in to head the Philadelphia Parking Authority, a thankless job in those days if ever there was one. Rina’s introduction included the information that Ed “was not always the easiest person to work with” and that, despite their great friendship, they were both stubborn, they both could yell, and they occasionally stopped speaking to one another.
The conservative Washington Times has a report today about Christian Marrone, a former aide to legendary (and disgraced) former State Sen. Vince Fumo. Marrone now serves as chief of staff at the Department of Homeland security, but the Times says that during his Fumo days he hatched a plan in 2001 to spy on Ed Rendell, who was then beginning a run for Pennsylvania governor.
While collecting a taxpayer salary, Mr. Marrone also gave Fumo a suggestion to disguise the true source of a proposed political donation from a developer and conceived a plan to spy on Edward G. Rendell to find dirt that could undercut the Philadelphia mayor’s campaign for governor.
“I’d like to snoop around and see if we can dig up some info,” Mr. Marrone wrote in one 2001 email in which he proposed hiring a private investigator to spy on renovations at one of Mr. Rendell’s homes to determine whether he was using nonunion workers. He later asked Fumo for permission to turn over the private eye’s findings to Mr. Rendell’s political rival.
2014 will be a huge year in Pennsylvania politics — and particularly Philly area politics — with contested house seats, jockeying for position in a mayoral race, the national media ‘s fascination with Chris Christie and the hottest governor’s race in the country.
Here’s more on the four major political storylines that will play out over the next year.
This year, the Rendell Center for Citizenship and Civics at Arcadia University, (who knew?) asked a bunch of fifth-grade classes in the areaBet to answer this question in essay form: Should the requirement that the president of the United States be a natural-born citizen be changed?* Rendell (along with some other judges, including his ex-wife Midge, a real judge) picked the winner from Merion Elementary School. Here it is:
G Philly pal — and Philly Mag society photographer — HughE Dillon sent along some photos of Wednesday night’s FIGHT for Life Gala. The event, hosted by local HIV/AIDS org Philadelphia FIGHT, was a fundraiser that also served as an opportunity to honor former Governor Ed Rendell for “his career-long support of people living with HIV/AIDS and the LGBT Community.”
You can see a clip of his acceptance speech here, and check out the slideshow of photos from the evening below.
We’ve already told you about Ed Rendell’s support for a maglev “bullet train” for the Northeast Corridor, kind of like the ones they use in Japan and Tom Cruise Mission Impossible movies. The New York Times reports that Rendell was in a delegation to Japan that actually experienced a train ride over the weekend.