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.
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?
PaWaterCooler.Com is reporting that Gov. Rendell flew to Haiti to deliver medical supplies and rescue 54 orphans after a woman who is a former U.S. attorney for Western Pennsylvania did the work in organizing the effort.
Mary Beth Buchanan spent four days, according to PaWaterCooler, obtaining clearance for the children to enter the United States, medical supplies, physicians to escort the children and an airplane cleared to land in Haiti.
The only thing she failed to get was the airplane, in lieu of which came an interrogation from a senior consultant for UPMC — a major health facility headquartered in Pittsburgh — regarding the details of her mission. The supplies Ms. Buchanan had gathered were the ones carried to Haiti by Rendell.
Ms. Buchanan is openly mulling a challenge to incumbent Congressman Jason Altmire (D-Pa4). Altmire is an ally of Rendell and has close connections with UPMC where he was a former acting vice president.
Ed Rendell has not been the most competent governor to lead our state but God bless him for the effort he put out to rescue those 54 orphans from Haiti and for persevering through the garbage thrown at him to get the job done.
Here’s a story about what the mission had to go through before a successful end.