This excerpt was cross-posted from the Raging Chicken Press and talks about how Ed Rendell is making money through privatization deals in PA and shilling for CEOs on the "Fix the Debt" campaign.
Earlier this week, Governor Corbett once again laid down the gauntlet for next year’s budget stating that raising revenue is off the table, which means more privatization schemes and more gutting of public education. But behind the scenes, no one is talking about the banking firm that is handling the consulting work for Governor Corbett’s privatization attempts. The link between Governor Corbett and Greenhill and Company – the bank responsible for profiting from consulting work for the state – is former Pennsylvania Governor, Ed Rendell. The former governor’s corporate shilling as a consultant – which is just a pretty name for a “lobbyist” – doesn’t end with privatizing state-owned entities, it has taken a national level with the “Fix the Debt Campaign” – which comprises of over 100 CEO’s who are lobbying for more government contracts, more tax cuts and entitlement austerity as a means to settle the “Fiscal Cliff” talks.
Ed Rendell and Greenhill and Co.
Ed Rendell’s relationship with Greenhill and Co. – a Chicago based private equity bank – dates back to 2008 when Rendell hired Morgan Stanley to broker a $12.8 billion deal to privatize the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The effort ultimately failed to pass the Pennsylvania Assembly. The banker that Morgan Stanley assigned to the job was Robert Collins, a current banker for Greenhill and Co., and thus Governor Rendell’s future job as a “government consultant” for the firm was set in stone.
Other than acting as a contemporary for the Natural Gas Industry since 2010, two of Tom Corbett’s main policy agendas are imposing a moratorium on increasing tax revenues for Pennsylvania’s wealthiest coupled with the wholesale destruction of state-owned entities. These two policy agendas have opened up a privatization vacuum where some of the country’s best run state institutions are open for privatization. In late 2011, Governor Corbett hired Greenhill and Co. as a consulting partner to draw up privatization plans. A few months later, Greenhill and Company received a $4 million dollar contract for the privatization of the Pennsylvania Lottery System, but the contract was broken down into a $1 million dollar up front cost with a $3 million contract if the state was to go through with the plans to privatize the system. But the company Rendell “consults” – or lobbies – for may also have some money interests in the destruction that Hurricane Sandy reaped across New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. According to David Dayen of Firedog Lake, Greenhill and Co. is heavily supportive of “P-3’s” – or private-public partnerships, just another fancy term for privatization. The article quotes the Philadelphia Inquirer that Sandy hit “just in time” for Rendell’s new firm, but the My FDL writer makes the correct assumption that governors such as Corbett, Cuomo and Christie may embrace these “P-3’s” which would mean more money for Greenhill and Co.
Ed Rendell and the “Fix the Debt” Campaign
Rendell’s lobbying efforts doesn’t stop on a state or regional level, he has taken his pro-austerity shilling efforts to the airwaves as a regular guest on MSNBC’s Morning Joe or CNBC’s Squawk Box. The group he is lobbying with gained prominent notoriety when Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein went on a crusade against Social Security, Medicare, Medicade, and the expiration of the George Bush Tax Cuts. The prick claimed that members of the working class only work for 25 years and want 30 years entitlement benefits, and then later had the audacity to compare the expiration of the tax cuts to World War II....