Capitol News Roundup

Keeping it in the family - The wife of the late House Rep. Robert Donatucci wins the 185th District special election on Tuesday in a landslide. Maria Donatucci, a Democrat, defeated Republican Lewis Harris Jr. with about 94 percent of the vote.

Donatucci, 54, worked for 13 years in the city's Bureau of Administrative Adjudication before being selected by Democratic officials to run for her husband's seat.

Robert Donatucci had represented the district, which includes parts of southwest Philadelphia and eastern Delaware County for 32 years before his death last November, six days after being reelected. The district includes portions of southwest Philadelphia and eastern Delaware County.  And then there were 91, Democrats in the House caucus (Repubs still holds a solid majority 112.)  But Maria Donatucci's arrival in Harrisburg will set a new record for women in the House, bringing the number of women representatives currently serving to new high of 33. A swearing-in date for Donatucci has not yet been announced.

Is anyone not hiring the ex-gov? Ed Rendell adds an investment bank to his growing job portfolio. News today that he has joined the investment bank Greenhill & Co. as a "senior adviser" in hopes he can bring the firm deals buying up state assets. "Rendell will focus on expanding Greenhill’s client advisory activities in public-private partnerships, infrastructure projects and advising governments on various financial matters," Greenhill said in a statement. As our colleague Joe DiStefano of Philly Deals reports:

That means Rendell will try to work more deals like the one he tried and failed to close, that would have leased the Pennsylvania Turnpike to Citigroup and a couple of Spanish companies, so Greenhill can collect fat advisory fees.

How'd Rendell land this gig? He's well known at Greenhill as an advocate of privatizing public assets: Rob Collins, the ex-Morgan Stanley banker who advisedRendell on the aborted Turnpike deal now runs the infrastructure finance group at Greenhill. Deal!

Sen. Pat Vance (R., Cumberland) has scheduled a hearing at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday (hearing Room 1 North Office Bldg. State Capitol) to examine the issues surrounding Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, charged with murder last month in the deaths of seven babies and a woman. Testifying before a joint hearing of the Public Health and Welfare and Professional Licensure committees is Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams and three of his top prosecutors handing the case. The Inquirer's Chelsea Conaboy reports on the lead state inspector at the time inspections of Pennsylvania abortion clinics were mysteriously halted in 1993.


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