Thursday, March 13, 2008

Fumo to Retire

One of the longest serving, and most controversial, Senators in Pennsylvania's General Assembly has announced he will retire at the end of November.

Urging the legalization of slots casino gambling and devising a plan to toll Interstate 80 are among the most recent accomplishments of Philadelphia Democrat Vince Fumo's 30 years in office.
Major accomplishments, some would argue, but not enough to eclipse the 139-count indictment and a federal corruption trial the Senator faces this fall.
He says that's prompted his retirement - not the heart attack he suffered last week.

The situation I find myself in makes it difficult for my voice to be heard above the constant chatter about my upcoming trial. I am sorry that is the case."

Governor Ed Rendell stood by his longtime ally, and sometimes adversary during the announcement.

"We're all complex people. Nobody's a hundred percent good and nobody's a hundred percent bad. And when you total up the score of someone's career, it's a balancing test. The balance tips dramatically in favor of the great work Vince Fumo's done for the people of Pennsylvania and his district, but most of all for the people who don't have champions."

Rendell credited Fumo with helping to win many Democratic victories in the Republican dominated Senate - including expanding the health insurance program for children(CHIP).

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