Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Fumo Era Is Over

It has more to do with a 139-count federal indictment on corruption charges and health problems, but the announcement that Vince Fumo is retiring from the Pennsylvania Senate is a great victory for the reform movement.

The Philadelphia Democrat has ruled Harrisburg for decades, ushering in huge tax hikes and massive state spending increases. Fumo was Gov. Ed Rendell's "go-to" guy to get legislation passed through the Republican-controlled Senate. Fumo could wheel-and-deal with anyone. Pennsylvania taxpayers were always the loser. Fumo is a dinosaur whose time came and went. His departure is a breath of fresh air for Pennsylvania politics.

This from Lowman Henry at Lincoln Blog:
Fumo, the master of the back-room deal, was one of the biggest obstacles to reforming Harrisburg. Nicknamed (among other things) "Prince Vince," Fumo was arguably one of the most powerful members of the Senate, eclipsing even those such as Senator Robert Mellow of Scranton who holds the top leadership title, but never quite grew into the role. State government has seen a lot of changes over the past few years. Fumo's departure will rank among the biggest. What remains to be seen is whether or not anything really changes under the dome along the Susquehanna.
Three other Democratic candidates remain in the April 22 primary ballot for Pennsylvannia's 1st Senate District: union leader John Dougherty, community activist Anne Dicker and lawyer Larry Farnese. The only Republican candidate running is Jack Morley.

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