Rendell Haitian Trip Hot Blonde Glory Grab — Jason Altmire had been a lobbyist for, and former acting vice president at, UPMC, an integrated global health enterprise headquartered in Pittsburgh that is affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh.
In 2006, he was elected to Congress to represent Pennsylvania’s Fourth District as a Democrat.
Mary Beth Buchanan, a Republican former U.S. attorney for Western Pennsylvania who had announced she was considering a run against Altmire this November, began organizing a mission two days after the Jan. 12 Haitian earthquake to render aid to Jamie and Ali McMutrie, Pittsburgh-area sisters who were running a orphanage in Port-au-Prince and rescue the orphans.
She enlisted Valerie May, a Pittsburgh immigration lawyer, to smooth the way for the children’s entrance and contacted Dr. Mary Carrasco, an old friend who was director of A Child’s Place, based at UPMC Mercy hospital who connected her with Kathy McCauley, a grants consultant, who began gathering supplies.
By the end of the day she had received permission from Joseph Klaus, U.S. Customs port director for Pittsburgh, for the children to enter the country humanitarian parole.
It was then that Leslie Merrill McCombs appeared on scene.
Mrs. McCombs is the hot blonde senior consultant for government relations at UPMC who developed a close working relationship with Gov. X-Man Rendell while successfully lobbying on behalf of Lions Gate Entertainment for the $75 million 2007 Pennsylvania Film Tax Credit program.
Mrs McCombs never disclosed the relationship — with Lions Gate that is albeit she vociferously denied having one with X-Man– and wound up being fined $5,025 in July 2009 for failing to reveal being a lobbyist.
Anyway, Mrs. McCombs told Mrs. Buchanan that UPMC would be the sole handler of the rescue mission, a mission that would eventually include Gov. Rendell, Congressman Altmire, but not Mrs. Buchanan.
Wonder what Congressman Altmire and Gov. Rendell have in mind to pay her and UPMC back?