Ed Rendell

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Ed Rendell is the former Democratic Governor of Pennsylvania (2003-2011).

Ties to Pete Peterson's "Fix the Debt"

The Campaign to Fix the Debt is the latest incarnation of a decades-long effort by former Nixon man turned Wall Street billionaire Pete Peterson to slash earned benefit programs such as Social Security and Medicare under the guise of fixing the nation's "debt problem."

Rendell is a co-chair of the Campaign to Fix the Debt in 2013. He has extensive corporate and financial ties.

This article is part of the Center for Media and Democracy's investigation of Pete Peterson's Campaign to "Fix the Debt." Please visit our main SourceWatch page on Fix the Debt.

About Fix the Debt
The Campaign to Fix the Debt is the latest incarnation of a decades-long effort by former Nixon man turned Wall Street billionaire Pete Peterson to slash earned benefit programs such as Social Security and Medicare under the guise of fixing the nation's "debt problem." Through a special report and new interactive wiki resource, the Center for Media and Democracy -- in partnership with the Nation magazine -- exposes the funding, the leaders, the partner groups, and the phony state "chapters" of this astroturf supergroup. Learn more at PetersonPyramid.org and in the Nation magazine.

Undisclosed Conflicts of Interest

Rendell lobbied for KCI USA, a wound care technology company, on Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements in 2012.[1]

Rendell is also special counsel to the law firm Ballard Spahr,[2] which has been criticized as a union-busting law firm.[3] (For example, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) has used Ballard Spahr lawyers as its negotiators for labor contracts with the Transport Workers Union (TWU).[4]) In his work for the firm, Rendell focuses on public/private partnerships and housing, with an emphasis on infrastructure.[5]

Rendell is a senior adviser at Greenhill & Co., a multinational investment bank. Ninety percent of Greenhill’s revenue reportedly comes from advisory assignments, including to public officials.[6]

Rendell is also on the advisory board of Verdeva, a firm developing technology to track motorists at the gas pump so they can be taxed for infrastructure revenue, an industry-favored measure for developing the income streams they need to support infrastructure investment deals (see Rendell's support of privatization of public assets below).[7]

Rendell has also joined the venture capital firm Element Partners as an operating partner.[8] Element Partners recently invested in oil and gas extraction from the Marcellus shale formation.[9]

Support of Privatization

Rendell is a strong proponent of “public private partnerships” in infrastructure, which have been criticized as a dubious form of privatization of public assets (ee his position on the board of Verdeva above).[10]

2008 election

Rendell supported Senator Hillary Clinton's bid to become the Democratic Party's 2008 presidential candidate and has criticized media coverage of Clinton as unfair. On March 31, 2008, Rendell congratulated Fox News on their coverage, telling "Fox & Friends" host Steve Doocy: "I think during this entire primary coverage, starting in Iowa and up to the present, Fox has done the fairest job, has remained the most objective of all the cable networks. . . . You actually have done a very balanced job of reporting the news, and some of the other stations are just caught up with Senator Obama, who is a great guy, but [according to those stations] Senator Obama can do no wrong, and Senator Clinton can do no right."[11]

Support of Israeli Armed Forces

On 12 November 2011, Ed Rendell gave the keynote speech at a Philadelphia gala/fundraiser to support the Israeli armed forces.[12]


Rendell is the former mayor[13] and district attorney[14] of the City of Philadelphia and the former chair of the National Governors Association.[15]

Articles and Resources

Featured SourceWatch Articles on Fix the Debt

Other Related SourceWatch Articles


  1. Ballard Spahr LLP, Lobbying Report, firm lobbying report with U.S. Congress, January 1 - March 31, 2012.
  2. Ballard Spahr LLP, Governor Edward G. Rendell Rejoins Ballard Spahr, firm press release, January 24, 2011.
  3. Heather, Matthews Calls Ed Rendell Who Just Got Hired by Union Busting Law Firm Good Pro-Labor Democrat, Crooks & Liars blog, February 17, 2011.
  4. Julie Knipe Brown, Septa Says $26.3m Twu Pact Will Save $18.2m, The Philadelphia Daily News, October 31, 1998.
  5. Ballard Spahr, Edward G. Rendell, firm biography, accessed January 2013.
  6. Liz Moyer, "Growing Greenhill Faces Pay Puzzle", The Wall Street Journal, April 26, 2011.
  7. Business Wire, "Former Governor Ed Rendell Joins Verdeva Advisory Board", Business Wire, October 2, 2012.
  8. Element Partners, "Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell Joins Element as Operating Partner", press release, April 25, 2011.
  9. Peter Kay, "Radnor fund invests in three Marcellus-focused firms", Philadelphia Business Journal, May 22, 2012.
  10. U.S. PIRG, "Road Privatization", report, released September 6, 2007.
  11. Danny Shea, "Clinton Surrogate Ed Rendell Praises Fox News For 'Most Objective,' 'Balanced' Coverage," Huffington Post, March 31, 2008.
  12. Philip Weiss, Ed Rendell keynotes fundraiser for Israeli army, MondoWeiss, 25 November 2011.
  13. Edward G. Rendell, A Nation of Wusses: How America’s Leaders Lost the Guts to Make Us Great, audiobook, published with a biographical introduction on the Free Library of Philadelphia website, recorded June 4, 2012.
  14. City of Philadelphia, Resolution No. 110683, city document, October 13, 2011.
  15. National Governors Association, Strengthening Our Infrastructure for a Sustainable Future, organizational website, accessed January 2013.