Governor Ed Rendell in a Moe Wig. For Real.

Gov. Ed Rendell in a wigAt the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center's 5th Anniversary luncheon today, former Governor Ed Rendell had a little fun at the expense of Director Sharon Ward. The Philadelphia Daily News' Chris Brennan sums it up nicely below. Click on the photo to the right for a larger view at PBPC's Facebook page.

It's no secret that former Gov. Ed Rendell disagrees with now Gov. Tom Corbett on how to tax natural gas drillers in the Marcellus Shale region of Pennsylvania. But people at the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center's fifth anniversary fund-raiser Friday afternoon were surprised to see just how far Rendell would go to make that point.

Rendell, sporting what can only be called a "Moe" wig in the style of the one-time Three Stooges actor, explained that PBPC Director Sharon Ward did a presentation in December 2008 on state revenue. It included pictures of six governors from different states. Rendell was one of them. The presentation asked "What do these governors have that Ed Rendell doesn't."

The answer was what Ward calls "robust taxes on natural gas." But Ward added what Rendell called "a gratuitous shot" in the presentation, that the answer could also be hair. The governors, who included then West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, then Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, did indeed all have hair. Rendell? Not so much.

Rendell, who failed to get his proposal for a natural gas excise tax through the General Assembly, on Friday said it would have produced more than $2 billion in additional taxes for Pennsylvania that could have been used to fund education and other state issues.

After all that fun, we were pleased to honor state Representatives Gene DiGirolamo and Thomas Murt with Legislative Leadership Awards for their advocacy on behalf of working and vulnerable Pennsylvania families. They were joined by Jennifer Clarke of the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia, Sara Mullen of the ALCU of Pennsylvania and Marian Schneider of the Advancement Project who received "Be the Change Awards" along with the Washington, D.C. law firm of Arnold & Porter LLP for their efforts to protect voting rights in the wake of Pennsylvania's Voter ID Law.

5th Anniversary Award Recipients

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