You know you're in trouble when the leading liberal newspapers in the state start bashing the liberal governor of Pennsylvania.
Gov. Ed Rendell was taken to the woodshed this week by several newspapers that usually coddle the Democratic governor.
The criticism comes after the release of independent report of the state's handling of a winter storm on Interstate 78 that left thousands of motorists stranded for up to a day without food, water, medicine or heat.
Here's a sampling of editorials:
From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Snow job: No one is accountable for stranded Pennsylvanians
The Post Gazette editorial writers are livid that Gov. Rendell said nobody would be fired for the fiasco. "Four months after his re-election, Ed Rendell has gone wobbly on demanding accountability from his lieutenants. Had this been an issue four months before the election, we're confident his reaction would have been different. Heads would have rolled; the state's chief executive would have laid down the law. Instead, Gov. Rendell says all-too-magnanimously that public servants must be judged on their overall "body of work."
To read the full editorial, go to http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07088/773364-192.stm
From the Philadelphia Daily News:
PA. EMERGENCIES: BE VERY AFRAID
STATE IS DANGEROUSLY UNPREPARED FOR DISASTER
The editorial blasts Gov. Rendell for deciding not to fire James Jones, head of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. "Gov. Rendell tried to take the hit after the storm. He said there had been a total breakdown of communication. But his decision to keep Jones, who botched the storm, sends the message that when it comes to the state's emergency management, the governor is satisfied with the inept status quo."
To read the full editorial, go to http://www.philly.com/dailynews/opinion/20070329—PA——EMERGENCIES——BE—VERY—AFRAID.html
From The Allentown Morning Call:
Failure at top of executive branch added to poor handling of I-78 disaster
The editorial notes "that Gov. Ed Rendell and his cabinet simply did not pay enough attention to emergency preparedness." It also hammers Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll, who is supposed to be in charge of emergency preparedness in Pennsylvania. The editorial quotes from the independent report on the state’s response to the I-78 storm and notes that "the current Lt. Governor does not have an operational role in emergency management." Ouch.
To read the full editorial, go to http://www.mcall.com/news/opinion/all-editorial1mar30,0,7986378.story
All three newspapers endorsed Rendell for re-election in 2006. Oddly, the state's biggest newspaper (and Rendell's No. 1 cheerleader) hasn't found time to editorialize on Rendell's handling of the Interstate 78 fiasco. Not a peep out of The Philadelphia Inquirer this week. I wonder why.
If you want to read the full report prepared by former FEMA Director James Lee Witt, go to the James Lee Witt Associates Web site of and download it as a PDF.
The Web site is: http://www.wittassociates.com/