This editorial is meant to be a piece about Michael Nutter, but it’s pretty spot on in it’s criticism of our Governor from when he was Mayor of Philadelphia:
Â Nutter has the kind of reform agenda that people wrongly associate with Rendell, who entered office with a mandate for change and a city teetering on bankruptcy. Rendell immediately went to battle with the city’s powerful unions, which “hadn’t had a bad day in 30 years,” he charged.
After winning significant concessions, though, Rendell aligned himself with Street, then the city council president. Rendell took care of downtown, which thrived, while Street ran the rest of the city as his private patronage kingdom.
With his eye on higher office and his reputation secure, Rendell chose not to pursue the reforms that other innovative mayors enacted in the 1990s. He opposed welfare reform and did little to fight crime outside of downtown. Despite its beautiful architecture and skyline, Philly’s a city where a 10-minute walk from City Hall leaves you in Third World poverty, danger, and despair.
Friend and sometimes co-blogger Brad has called Ed Rendell the luckiest politician alive, meaning that he made his political career largely by riding the same upswing experienced by every other city in the 90s. Â But Rendell never fixed any of the cities fundamental problems, and now we’re paying the piper.