Tuesday, August 4, 2015


Rendell's revisionist history on the state of the state continues.



Well-known revistionist historian His Edness of Rendell again is pushing a notion, which he no doubt by now believes, that the Wall Street Journal called Pennsylvania a model for fiscal stability.

At a farewell interview with reporters in the Capitol yesterday, the Guv went on about how the newspaper, which he called a bastion of conservatism, gave the state (and therefore him) props for fiscal management.

Well, Ed and I have been down this road before.

Last June, he said the WSJ cited Pennsylvania for having "the best economy of any big state in the union."

As I noted in a column at the time, it did not. He was talking about a November `09 WSJ article REPORTING on data from the Pew Center on the States that listed states in "fiscal peril" and states at no immediate risk. The data was from July `09.

Pennsylvania and nine other states, including Texas, were listed at least risk. When I called Rendell press secretary Gary Tuma on it back then, he wisely admitted Texas is also a big state that (at least for now) remains in the union; and yesterday, the printed version of Rendell's claim of WSJ recognition was revised to read "Pennsylvania was the only large industrial state" listed in the WSJ's reporting.

But here's the thing: Ed tries to sell this as "Oh, look, even the never-liberal WSJ says we're a top state for fiscal stability." The truth is the WSJ was merely reporting on Pew data collected two years ago. At a minium, Ed's claim needs an asterisk.


Daily News Political Columnist
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About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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