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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
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Author:  Tony Phyrillas
Bio: Tony Phyrillas
Date:  October 18, 2006
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Topic category:  Other/General

Pennsylvania by the numbers

Some people are impressed with Gov. Ed Rendell's grasp of arcane statistics. Here's some number the liberal Democrat doen't like to talk about.

253 --The total number of members in the Pennsylvania Legislature. That includes 203 members of the House and 50 state senators.

120 -- The total number of members in the California Legislature. That includes 120 members of the House and 40 state senators.

341,000,000 -- The number of dollars it costs Pennsylvania taxpayers each year to pay for the largest full-time legislature in the U.S.

77 -- The average number of days the Pennsylvania Legislature was in session each year over the past five years.

72,187 -- The number of dollars in the starting salary of a Pennsylvania legislator.

27 -- The number of state senators who voted in favor of the July 2005 pay raise of 16 percent to 54 percent. Twenty-three voted against it.

119 -- The number of House members who voted for the July 2005 pay raise. A total of 79 House members voted against the pay raise. (Five legislators missed the 2 a.m. vote)

1 -- The number of people who could have stopped the July 2005 pay raise. His name is Gov. Ed Rendell, who could have vetoed the pay raise bill, but instead signed it into law and praised it as good legislation.

17 -- The number of incumbent state legislators voted out of office in the May 2006 primary.

31 -- The number of incumbent state legislators who decided to retire in 2006 rather than face the voters.

141 -- The dollar amount each legislator can collect daily as a per diem payment for just showing up for work. This is on top of salary and other benefits.

26,400,000 -- The dollar amount of campaign contributions for Gov. Ed Rendell.

9,000,000 -- The dollar amount of Rendell campaign contributions that came from Pennsylvania. Makes you wonder why so much out-of-state money ($17.4 million) has poured into Rendellís war chest and what those contributors expect for their donations.

8,100,000 -- The dollar amount of campaign contributions for GOP governor candidate Lynn Swann. So much for the Republicans being the party of the rich.

1 -- Philadelphia's rank on the list of most violent large cities in the United States, according to a new survey issued by the FBI. (Just to jog your memory, Ed Rendell was District Attorney for two terms and Mayor of Philadelphia for two terms.)

650 -- The amount of taxpayer dollars a member of the Pennsylvania Legislature can use each month to lease a vehicle.

38 -- The number of Pennsylvania counties on the list of the 750 most heavily taxed counties in the United states, according to the Tax Foundation.

74 -- The highest number of votes the Commonwealth Caucus plan received in the House in 2006. It takes 102 votes to pass a bill. Not a single Democrat in the House supported the plan to eliminate property taxes.

0 -- The amount of money Pennsylvania residents have received in property tax cuts during the first four years of Gov. Ed Rendell's tenure.

0 -- The amount of money Pennsylvania residents can expect to receive in the next four years of Gov. Ed Rendell's tenure.

18 -- The number of counties Ed Rendell won in the 2002 race for governor.

49 -- The number of counties Ed Rendell failed to win in the 2002 race for governor.

864,000,000 -- The amount of surplus dollars in the 2006 state budget that Gov. Rendell and the Legislature decided not to return to Pennsylvania taxpayers.

13 -- The number of teacher strikes in Pennsylvania in 2005.

8 -- The total number of teacher strikes in 2005 in all the rest of the states combined.

109 -- The number of Republicans in the 203-member Pennsylvania House. Democrats can take control of the House by a net gain of eight seats.

29 -- The number of Republicans in the 50-member state Senate. (Because only half the senators stand re-election every four years, it's nearly impossible for Democrats to capture a majority in 2006).

1,900,000 -- The number of Pennsylvania residents who receive welfare benefits from the state. That compares to 1,500,000 welfare recipients when Ed Rendell came into office in 2003.

5,700,000,000 -- The amount in dollars that state spending has increased under Gov. Ed Rendell's tenure.

4,742,000,000 -- The amount of dollars that Pennsylvania taxpayers will have to pay by 2015-16 to fund pension plans for retired teachers and politicians. That compares to $693 million in fiscal year 2005-06.

Tony Phyrillas (Columnist)

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Biography - Tony Phyrillas

Tony Phyrillas is a leading conservative political columnist and blogger based in Pennsylvania. He is a veteran journalist with 25 years experience as a reporter, editor and columnist for several newspapers. Phyrillas received recognition for column writing in 2010 from the Associated Press Managing Editors, in 2007 from Suburban Newspapers of America and in 2006 from the Society of Professional Journalists, Keystone Chapter. A graduate of Penn State University, Phyrillas is the city editor and political columnist for The Mercury, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning daily newspaper in Pottstown, Pa. In addition to The Mercury website (, his columns are featured on more than a dozen political websites and blogs. Phyrillas is a frequent guest (and occasional host) on talk radio and has been a panelist on the "Journalists Roundtable" public affairs TV program on the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN). Phyrillas was named one of the '10 Leading Greek-American Bloggers in the World' in 2007 by Odyssey: The World of Greece magazine. ranked Phyrillas the Most Influential Political Blogger in Pennsylvania for three consecutive years (2007-2010). You can follow Phyrillas on Twitter @TonyPhyrillas

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