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11/28/2005

Ed Rendell's changing statements on salary increase

Here is one reason why Ed Rendell's poll numbers may be sagging in Pennsylvania. The pay raise for Pennsylvania politicians and officials became quite unpopular after it got passed.

Rendell's media strategist, Neil Oxman, said he agreed that "people are obviously angry, but a year is a really long time, and there are a thousand other things that can happen."

"This is not going to be as acute an issue a year from now," he predicted. . . . .

Rendell on Legislative Raise

July 6 -- When asked to comment on legislators' taking pay raises through expense accounts, circumventing a constitutional ban on midterm raises, he said: "It's legal - and that's all I'm going to say about it."

July 8 - Calling the pay-raise legislation a "good bill," he signed it into law because it contained more good than bad, specifically providing raises for judges.

Aug. 8- "I can understand the consternation, particularly with taking the pay raise in the form of [legislative expense accounts]," he said, publicly criticizing lawmakers for the first time for taking the raise in midterm.

Sept. 12- Rendell criticizes the way lawmakers took the pay raise as "possibly illegal," and adds he would sign a bill that would repeal the provision that allowed lawmakers to take raises through legislative accounts.

Nov. 3 - Rendell said he would sign a bill to repeal the pay raise for lawmakers, as long as such a measure allowed for judges to keep their higher paychecks. He said the pay-raise issue had become "a huge distraction" that had given government "a black eye."

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