Tuesday, July 29, 2014
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President Obama Names Joe Torsella To UN Job

As PhillyClout predicted way back on Sept. 3, President Obama has named Joe Torsella to a top post at the United Nations. Torsella, Gov. Rendell's appointee as chairman of the State Board of Education, was nominated yesterday by Obama to be the United States Representative for U.N. Management and Reform. Torsella, who twice served as president of the National Constitution Center and was deputy mayor for policy and planning when Rendell was mayor of Philadelphia, must have his appointment approved by the U.S. Senate.

President Obama Names Joe Torsella To UN Job

Joe Torsella is up for a job at the United Nations.
Joe Torsella is up for a job at the United Nations.

As PhillyClout predicted way back on Sept. 3, President Obama has named Joe Torsella to a top post at the United Nations.  Torsella, Gov. Rendell's appointee as chairman of the State Board of Education, was nominated yesterday by Obama to be the United States Representative for U.N. Management and Reform.  Torsella, who twice served as president of the National Constitution Center and was deputy mayor for policy and planning when Rendell was mayor of Philadelphia, must have his appointment approved by the U.S. Senate.

Torsella ran briefly last year for the U.S. Senate seat held by U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter. He dropped out after Specter, at the urging of Rendell and Obama, jumped from the Republicans to the Democrats in a bid to save his seat.  Specter lost the May 18 Democratic primary to U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak, who then lost the Nov. 2 general election to Republican former U.S. Rep. Pat Toomey.

Republicans assailed Sestak during the campaign after he said former President Bill Clinton, acting on behalf of the White House, tried to lure him out of the race against Specter with a job offer.  The White House eventually explained that Clinton offered Sestak an unpaid post on an intelligence advisory board if he would drop his Senate bid and remain in the U.S. House.

A Rendell spokesman in September said the governor had "recommended Joe to the White House for a number of positions," after Torsella dropped out of the Senate race.  We expect the Republicans, especially U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, will have some questions about Torsella's new job offer.  Issa, the ranking Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, has said he wants to hold more hearings on the actions of the Obama administration when his political party takes control of the House in January. 

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Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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