Wednesday, February 25, 2009
DiBerardinis defends Rendell
The head of Pennsylvania's Department of Conservation and Natural Resources says the job Governor Ed Rendell created for a former Democratic lawmaker is consistent with government cutbacks and hiring freezes. Ever since former Democratic Representative Dan Surra was given a $95-thousand a year job promoting the Pennsylvania Wilds, the newly-created position has been a rallying point for Republicans who say Rendell isn't practicing what he preaches when it comes to government cutbacks. But DCNR Secretary Michael DiBerardinis says he's standing by the decision. He says, “We needed the help. I've asked for it three consecutive years. We got the help. I think any secretary who gets support for their number one or number two program would be crazy to say no. And particularly with a guy we think can do the job. I have great expectations.” But Republican lawmaker Doug Reichley, says he doesn't buy that argument. Reichley point to 68 DCNR positions that are being eliminated in Rendell's budget, and says the new job shouldn't have been created in a year when services are being scaled back.