Ed Rendell: Pro-Choice on More Than Abortion


While researching a column on motorcycle helmet laws and "public health" nannyism (tied to Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's recent crash), I came across a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story that left me with my first positive impression of Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell:

Gov. Ed Rendell, who signed the 2003 legislation that relaxed helmet-wearing requirements, remains firm that adult bikers like…Mr. Roethlisberger should have that choice [of whether to wear a helmet].

Government should allow individuals to make many personal choices, from smoking cigarettes to drinking alcohol to driving motorcycles, without interference, he said.

"Ben Roethlisberger is a very smart, intelligent guy, and he made a decision for himself," Mr. Rendell said during a public appearance in Sewickley. "Government has the responsibility to tell people about the facts and then let them make the choices."

I don't know how sincere Rendell is; he may just be placating helmet law opponents, a relatively small but highly motivated group. Either way, it's nice to hear.