By Chris Bowman, Contributing Writer
Governor Corbett announced yesterday that he plans to place “Commonwealth One”, the campaign bus of former Gov. Rendell who donated the vehicle to the state, up for auction.
The move gained symbolic importance when Corbett explained that the bus “represents everything wrong with state government – it’s outdated, inefficient and broken down,” a clear criticism of Rendell administration.
Though the 41-foot bus has driven over 25,000 miles since 2003, it has required over $60,000 in repairs and is currently handicapped by a broken transmission. Honoring his pledge to reduce the state’s vehicle squadron, the new Governor seems to be acting on his fiscal conservative ideology in many areas of running the Commonwealth.
During the press conference, Governor Corbett also explicitly criticized Rendell for his focus on education policy: “Obviously Gov. Rendell’s priority was education. He didn’t do transportation. As a result, we have a crisis in the bridges right now. We spent stimulus money – stimulus money that was put in to balance the budget last year and the year before, a total, if I remember the numbers correctly, a little over $500 million went to education for one year. That’s long-term debt. It didn’t go to rebuilding the bridges. That was a choice that he made. I don’t agree with that choice.”
However, as John Micek of the Morning Call points out, Pennsylvania received over $1 billion in federal stimulus money for 344 different transportation projects. State Department of Transportation spokesman Rich Kirkpatrick explained that Pennsylvania has used $794 million to complete 230 of the projects.
Rendell responded to Corbett’s criticism, explaining that the state was allocated certain funds for certain are; or, “We had to use education money for education,” and “We had to use transportation money for transportation.” Rendell also defended his administration’s use of the federal transportation funds, explaining that Pennsylvania was one of the most efficient states in using the federal dollars.