Friday, March 6, 2015

Gov. Corbett Gets Personal, Mocks Rendell's Tour Bus

Gov. Corbett has been in office for just 10 weeks now and like many who inherit a financial mess, he likes to blame the man he replaced, former Gov. Ed Rendell. It's fair game: Rendell was the top guy in the state for eight years, while the deficit grew to troubling proportions. But Corbett this morning took what looks like a cheap shot -- $66,462 in savings! -- when you consider the state's proposed budget is $27.3 billion.

Gov. Corbett Gets Personal, Mocks Rendell's Tour Bus

Gov. Corbett
Gov. Corbett

Gov. Corbett has been in office for just 10 weeks now and like many who inherit a financial mess, he likes to blame the man he replaced, former Gov. Ed Rendell.  It's fair game: Rendell was the top guy in the state for eight years, while the deficit grew to troubling proportions.  But Corbett this morning took what looks like a cheap shot -- $66,462 in savings! -- when you consider the state's proposed budget is $27.3 billion.

Corbett's staff emailed reporters to announce that the "defunct tour bus," formerly known as "Commonwealth One" when Rendell was governor, will be auctioned off.  Corbett derided the 20-year-old bus as a "white elephant" that has cost the state $66,462 to maintain since 2003 while only being driven 25,937 miles.  Corbett added that his state budget priorities do not "include maintaining a 41-foot motor coach that has largely sat in the garage."

To be fair, Commonwealth One did have a troubled start in state service in 2003.  Rendell hoped to put it on Pennsylvania's highways and byways as he traveled around pitching his first budget, dubbed the "Plan for a New Pennsylvania."  But the bus was late on arrival and rumors swirled in Harrisburg that it had already broken down. 

Rendell's staff insisted the problem was in paperwork -- who would own the bus, who would maintain it and who would insure it?  The bus was finally added to the state fleet.  Then it became clear the bus, which had been donated to the state, had real mechanical problems.

More coverage
 
Corbett scraps "broken down" Rendell tour bus

Now we wave goodbye to Commonwealth One.  And Corbett has found a way to fill in .00166 percent of the state's $4 billion budget.

About this blog
William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
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