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Update - April 24, 2003:


Gov. Rendell withdrew Katie McGinty's name from consideration as Pa. DEP Secretary

Governor Rendell withdrew Katie McGinty's nomination as Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) because of the expectation of her certain defeat during the scheduled Senate vote yesterday.

However, the Governor's tactic was seen as "temporary and tactical," according to Steve Rhoads of the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Association, to buy time for further deliberations. Until the previous day, McGinty appeared to have enough Republican votes for confirmation. But in caucus on April 22 and 23, Senators Mary Jo White and Joe Scarnati were able to convince most of the caucus to vote against her. The industry spokesman judged that there were only two Republican Senators who were willing to vote for her, both from the Southeast.

The tactical withdrawal of McGinty appears to have been made in exchange for a promise of a floor vote on McGinty by June. In addition, a potentially contentious floor debate that would have taken place on April 23 could have been embarrassing for the new Governor, considering that it would have been broadcast live on PCN, which is accessible on local cable networks. The Governor's nomination of McGinty had aroused widespread, intense concern, especially in western Pennsylvania, because of her role in the Clinton Administration to promote additional federal regulation of local land use and her one-sided reputation as an environmental preservationist. Ordinarily, the governor's nominations to head major agencies are routinely confirmed. McGinty remains as Gov. Rendell's new Acting Secretary of DEP.

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