Statement of Eric Epstein
(Harrisburg, Pa) - Senator Dominic Pileggi has proposed to disenfranchise voters by changing Pennsylvania’s method
of allocating electoral votes from a “winner-take-all method” to a Gerrymandered system of allocating one electoral vote
per congressional district with the remaining two votes going to the statewide winner.
This a naked partisan power grab that would render Pennsylvania irrelevant in next year’s presidential election. Mr. Pileggi’s proposal would diminish the state’s electoral clout, and discriminate against voters based on demography, geography and the arbitrary contours of congressional districts.
Mr. Pileggi’s nuclear option would also erode what influence Pennsylvania has left at the federal level, and give the state the
political punching power of Guam.
The fact that this electoral coup is supported by Governor Corbett, Speaker Smith and House Majority Leader Turzai, demonstrates the danger of any one party monopolizing power through the control of both oxygen-deprived legislative chambers and the Governor’s Mansion.
This is a dangerous distraction given the enormity of the fiscal challenges we face. It is outrageous and inexcusable that three blind mice and carver’s knife have nothing better to do than play political Dungeons and Dragons while Harrisburg is collapsing, Pennsylvania is sinking and taxpayers are drowning.
This paradigm has the potential to reap political shenanigans beyond the state’s borders, and create a precedent of “Father Knows Best” legislation.
If voters can not be trusted to elect a President maybe Mr. Pileggi and Governor Corbett believe we should abolish the 17th amendment. Pennsylvania – like other states – did not directly elect US senators until 1913.
The real issue is competitive congressional districts. The only paradigm shift we should be talking about is creating a nonpartisan entity to draw electoral districts.
If politicians are serious about empowering voters than the electoral college should be abolished and replaced by a popular vote.
Photo by PA Indy
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