State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Mary Wilson covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

Rendell lays it on pretty thick

Written by Mary Wilson, Capitol Bureau Chief | Sep 24, 2012 1:45 PM

rendellpressclub0924.jpgThe state’s former governor is sweeping through Harrisburg to offer some mocking praise to the state House Majority Leader for a now-famous comment made in June.

On the eve of the state’s voter ID law’s second hearing in Commonwealth Court, Ed Rendell said it’s obvious the law was not passed to prevent voter fraud.

For that clarity, said the former governor, Pennsylvanians can thank the top Republican in the state House.

“We owe a debt of gratitude towards a wonderful legislator and tremendously fair and magnanimous person, State Representative Mike Turzai, because he did a courageous thing. He told the truth. He told the truth. They didn’t pass that law to prevent voter fraud,” said Rendell during an appearance at the Press Club Luncheon in Harrisburg.  He noted the state’s stipulation in the July/August Commonwealth Court hearing that it couldn’t point to any instance of voter impersonation fraud in Pennsylvania.

Then, Rendell went on, calling Turzai’s comments “a magnificent performance of honesty, and openness and transparency in government.”

“Representative Turzai told us right what it was all about, to make it easier for Governor Romney to carry the state,” said Rendell. “Does anybody doubt that that’s true? I mean, Mike Turzai is one of the most honest and courageous and wonderful persons that I’ve ever met in my experience in government, and he told the truth.”

Turzai told a Republican audience in June that voter ID would “allow” Mitt Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.

At the time, a spokesman said Turzai was simply indicating the voter ID law would create a level playing field.

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