Mixed Reactions to Pennsylvania Governor’s Tax Vote Head-in-an-Envelope

June 24, 2010

From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

Gov. Ed Rendell decapitated a Rep. Tim Solobay “bobblehead” doll and sent the head to the Washington County Democrat on the House floor because Solobay wouldn’t vote for Rendell’s proposed natural gas extraction tax.

Solobay said today he opened an envelope delivered by a House page last week that contained the doll’s head along with a note from Rendell urging his support for the bill.

“It definitely was a joke,” Solobay said. “It was a big hit on the House floor when it happened. The governor was attempting to play the “Godfather.” They didn’t have a fish head to send over wrapped in newspaper so they sent (the head of) a bobbledoll.”

Gary Tuma, Rendell’s press secretary, wasn’t aware of it at first but confirmed the incident with Rendell’s legislative secretary Colleen Kopp.

“Yeah, it was fun,” Rendell said heading into budget negotiations today with legislative leaders. “I always like to inject humor into these situations.”

Some Republicans didn’t find it funny.

“Personally I don’t see the humor in sending any sort of head to anyone,” said Stephen Miskin, spokesman for House Minority Leader Sam Smith, R-Punxsutawney.[…] Rendell’s attempts at humor have raised eyebrows. During last year’s 101-day budget impasse, he implied it would be a good idea to “gas” state legislators. He also told a story of wanting to grab an elderly woman around the neck and “throttle her” after the woman poked him in the chest and complained because he had signed the 2005 pay raise.

Guess you had to have been there? Meanwhile, no budget on the horizon.

More on Pennsylvania here.

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