PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Republican House lawmakers are pushing ahead with a plan to redistribute Congress what Democrats call partisan gerrymandering.
This comes as the legislature is under increasing pressure to act to avoid delaying the May 17 primaries.
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On Tuesday and Wednesday, the House of Representatives is considering a House Republican plan to redistribute the state’s limit of 17 congressional districts, one less than we currently have.
The latest GOP map, says Democrats, will give Republicans a partisan advantage.
“At the end of the day, the best-case scenario would probably be 12 to 5, twelve Republicans to five Democrats,” Rep. Scott Conklin, a State University Democrat, told KDKA’s political editor Jon Delano on Tuesday.
Conklin, the senior Democrat on the State Government Committee in which Republicans drafted the bill without Democrats, said in a state where Democrats are more than 600,000, according to this Republican map.
“Democrats did not participate. We asked to join. I didn’t participate, so again it’s just a waste of taxpayers’ money. We need to get serious about these things. Conklin says we can’t just play politics.
“It’s a very powerful plan for western Pennsylvania, and it’s true that we’re losing populations,” said Representative Eric Nelson, a Hempfield Republican.
Despite the loss of people in the area, Nelson on the State Government committee defended the Republican map, which holds at least four members of Congress in southwestern Pennsylvania.
It also puts all of Westmoreland County back into one county.
Delano: “Do you think there is a Westmoreland politician who might want to run for Congress under this plan?”
Nelson: “I think this politician’s wife would let him sleep in the barn if he chose to do something like that.”
While the GOP plan consolidated Westmoreland, it divided Butler County again and divided Washington County, moving Congressman Guy Reschenthaler and Peters Township into Congressman Conor Lamb’s 17th District, while moving Lamb and Mount Lebanon out of District 17. into Pittsburgh’s new 15th District and the Mon . Valley
“We will pass a map with no chance of going anywhere. Conklin said.
At the end of the day, Conklin said, without Democratic support in the legislature, Governor Tom Wolf would veto the Republican bill, and Senate Republicans have one. very different of their own.
SEE: KDKA’s Jon Delano Report
“It’s a messy process and it’s a messy process,” said Carol Kuniholm, president of the Fair Counties Reserve, a civic group that wants a transparent process with citizens’ map review prior to approval. confusing right now.
Kuniholm says this last-minute behind-the-scenes map drawing is a public nuisance.
“Normally the congressional map will be approved by the end of the year. It’s hard to understand why they don’t do that. No reason. It doesn’t take long to draw a congressional map. We know they’ve had plenty of time,” she said.
Democrats call this map of House Republicans a partisan gerrymander because 12 of the 17 congressional districts are likely to elect Republicans, and Democrats say they don’t. Participate in the mapping process.
“The governor will not sign this map. Democrats didn’t get involved,” Conklin said.
Republicans say Democrats want the state Supreme Court to map the congress.
“There was no engagement because they felt they controlled the court and they won last time,” said Nelson.
The failure of Republicans to work with Democratic lawmakers and vice versa, Kuniholm said, would likely require the court to intervene early.
“I think that’s very possible, yes. I think that is likely to happen. Kuniholm says that time is very short.
And that, she said, means a delay in the May 17 primary.
“I think it’s inevitable that this will all end up in the Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court will move the trial,” she said.
On Monday, the state’s Supreme Court rejected the petition to settle the matter, hoping the legislature will pass a map approved by the governor. But the court remains open to the possibility of future lawsuits.
https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2022/01/11/pennsylvania-courts-intervene-draw-congressional-map/ The State Legislature’s failure to release the Bipartisan Map means the Courts will likely intervene – CBS Pittsburgh