It appears my role as the leading critic of Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell has been usurped by two other political commentators. I don't mind. It's about time others figured out that Rendell is the worst governor in the country.
Over the weekend, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review columnist Colin McNickle made a convincing case that Gov. Rendell has repeatedly trampled the Pennsylvania Constitution.
"The governor and his corporatist cronies regularly violate Article VIII, Section 8, with each new corporate wealthfare scheme," McNickle writes. "Never mind that such lending of the commonwealth's credit -- guaranteed by the taxpayer swag -- is expressly verboten."
McNickle also cites Rendell's efforts to enact gun control measures as a way to stem the murder rate in Philadelphia as another example of ignoring the Constitution.
"Mr. Rendell is spitting and stomping on the state Constitution again. The governor went before the state House Judiciary Committee last week to plead his case for passage of four gun-control measures, ostensibly to reduce handgun violence," McNickle writes.
Lowman Henry, writing at Lincoln Blog, goes a step further, calling for Rendell's impeachment.
Citing the governor's testimony before a House committee, Henry says Rendell has crossed the line in calling for disarming Pennsylvania residents.
"Last week Governor Rendell did more than question that right, he took the extraordinary step of appearing before a state House committee to argue in favor of taking away the rights of citizens to bear arms."
Henry continues: "That is a clear cut violation of the constitution which he has sworn to uphold. That is an impeachable offense. This being just the latest and greatest blatant disregard for the constitution the time has come to decide whether or not the constitution actually means anything. If it does, he should be removed from office. If it is merely a dusty document having no bearing on the present day affairs of state government, then the latest transgression should be ignored."
I got one too. How about impeaching Rendell for lying about property tax relief? He promised to dramatically reduce or eliminate property taxes in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. Hasn't happened yet.
Now there's talk of a stealth tax increase because the Rendell administration has depleted the fund used to clean up damage from leaking underground fuel tanks.
Rendell wants all Pennsylvania motorists to pay an additional penny for every gallon of gas purchased at the pump. Pennsylvanians already pay one of the highest gasoline taxes in the country.
"We're disturbed that the administration would propose what amounts to a $50 million increase in the gas tax without apparent justification," Joe Pittman, the chief of staff for Sen. Don White, R-Indiana, the Banking and Insurance Committee chairman, told The Associated Press.
Rendell's people argue that the increase would mean about $9 more for the average household, but this governor has nickel-and-dimed Pennsylvania families to the poor house over the past five year.
Maybe impeachment is the way to go.