Ellen Perlman was a GOVERNING staff writer and technology columnist.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Smack. Down. Typically, when a celebrity attends a hearing or other political event in Washington, D.C., members of Congress and surrounding staff members go a little gaga over the star-studdedness of it all. Not so much in Pennsylvania, it seems. Or, at least in the case of Erik Arneson, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi.
Bill Cosby, invited by Gov. Ed Rendell, attended an event meant to put pressure on Republicans in the Senate to spend more money on public schools, according to a USA Today story. "Ladies and gentlemen, is it that we don't like children?" Cosby asked. "I mean, what did these people ever do to you?"
The state Senate's Republican majority wants to pull back on the state's share of school funding and use federal economic stimulus money to keep the funding at last year's level, leaving millions for other programs. The Democrats want higher subsidies for schools.
Arneson was not swooning over Cosby's star power, nor was he swayed by the celeb's thoughts on state issues.
"I have nothing but respect for Mr. Cosby, but our members are much more interested in what their constituents have to say than in what Mr. Cosby believes," he said.
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.