The LuLac Edition #352, Nov. 20th, 2007
PHOTO INDEX: THE LATE ROBERT KENNEDY AND GOVERNOR EDWARD RENDELL.
RENDELL ON THE HILL
In a historic visit to the Capitol, Governor Ed Rendell is seeking to have a show down with the Pennsylvania gun lobby. Interest groups on both sides of the gun-control debate launched a
cross-state blitz to pressure lawmakers in advance of a legislative committee vote scheduled today on three firearms bills.
In a stream of e-mails and recorded phone calls that went out across the state during the weekend, pro- and anti-gun-control organizations urged voters to contact members of the House Judiciary Committee to try to sway them on the issue. Also seeking to sway fence-sitters, Gov. Rendell, in a risky move, today is expected to become the first sitting governor to appear before a legislative committee in at least 20 years.
In the Capitol yesterday, the gun-control battle had lobbyists from the National Rifle Association working the halls, and sparked a flurry of activity in front of and behind the cameras.
A majority of Republicans on the 29-member committee gathered for an impromptu news conference announcing their intention to try to defeatthe bills, while CeaseFirePA fired back with the results of a new poll showing a majority of voters in targeted members' districts favored stricter handgun control.
Democratic support for the gun-control bills is not a given. Five Democratic committee members - most from rural districts - voted against one of the measures last summer. It is the hope of the anti gun lobby that Rendell can use his powers of persuasion to put legislation into effect that will slow the sale of guns in the Commonwealth.
Robert Kennedy's birthday is today. He would have been 82 years old if he had not been killed by an unbalanced man with a Saturday night special, illegally obtained.