A Captain Renault post: Maybe Gov. Rendell won't be getting kicked around by the Republicans much longer on former Rep. Dan Surra getting a job at DCNR despite the state's hiring freeze.
The hot rumor in the Capitol is that Surra is slated to be the next State House Chief Clerk. Current Chief Clerk and long time staff person to former Speaker Matt Ryan, Roger Nick, is said to be making it known to friends and staff that he is retiring soon. Our sources say that his pending retirement seems to be a change in course and that as recently as late December he was telling people that he would stay on the job for a couple more years. We don't know if he was forced out or just has had a change of heart.
Will the saber-rattling House Republicans go along with Democrat Surra as Chief Clerk of the House? Do the House Democrats even need their approval to put Surra in this position or can the Democrats just roll over the Republicans with their expanded majority? We looked it up -- the Chief Clerk job pays more than Surra's current $95,000/year salary at the DCNR position. This sounds like it would be a soft landing for Surra if the Democrats can pull it off.