Vince Fumo at his best

HARRISBURG — Today state Senate Democrats held a press conference warning of impending utility deregulation that they say will cause electric bills to jump as much as 65 percent per month for some.

I have a story on the subject coming out tomorrow in the Post-Gazette, but it won’t include some of Sen. Vince Fumo’s finer moments.

After a heart attack in March and a looming trial in November, Fumo announced his retirement, surely freeing up the Prince of Darkness to speak even freer than he had in the past.

Today he railed utility companies, their CEOs and lobbyists.

Let’s see [a list of utility company CEOs and their salaries] $13 million, must have been a bad year. [Staff member] who is this guy? I don’t know him, any of them, they aren’t hanging out with me at 15th and Tasker.

He claimed electric deregulation was the real energy crisis in Pennsylvania, and green issues were just to take the focus away from profits made by utility companies.

This is the issue. Not oil, ethanol. I don’t care about off-shore drilling. I don’t care about the caribou in Alaska.

How about this one, not from today, but rather when a tentative budget agreement was reached early Monday morning, after 1 A.M. When asked about fellow Democrat and Gov. Ed Rendell’s role in these late night negotiations, Fumo replied thusly:

Well, we both, what we all know is that he isn’t the easiest guy to get along with this late, when he’s tired.

He loves to talk to media and we love him, especially when he says stuff like that. So, we focus on him tons, like this Inquirer Fumo report and a great Philly mag article on Fumo’s relationship with power lawyer Dick Sprague. …Even if he’s been indicted and has an awfully strong sense of entitlement, he is charismatic, funny and brilliant.

Cartoon courtesy of John Cole of the Scranton Times-Tribune.