Not surprisingly, the state's Democratic committee doesn't like the new congressional map.
Their statement (about Erie, Scranton, and the Philly collar counties) is in full after the jump:
Harrisburg, PA - After months of waiting and several rescheduled meetings, the Republicans in Harrisburg have finally unveiled their proposal for the redistricted congressional maps. The maps contain districts that snake halfway across the state, split up communities, and place two Democratic incumbent congressmen together in a district - all for the sake of helping Republicans win elections. With a vote in the State Senate scheduled for tomorrow morning at 9am, there will be no time for public comment on these proposals.
"The Republicans have proposed a map far more partisan and gerrymandered than anyone would have guessed, a map that they will now force into law without any public input," said Pennsylvania Democratic Chairman Jim Burn. "We knew that the Republicans would use their control of the process to draw a map that benefitted Republicans, but we did not expect them to abuse their power to this degree, all while shutting out the public. The Republicans are splitting up communities to benefit politicians at the expense of the people they were elected to represent. With the State Senate planning to vote on the map tomorrow, there will be no time for the people of these communities to voice their disapproval of the map. This map - and this entire process - has been shameful, it in no way takes into consideration the concerns of Pennsylvanians or how best to represent them, and it is not worthy of our great Commonwealth."
Some of the most noticeable gerrymandering includes:
- Erie County has been split in half.
- Scranton and Wilkes-Barre have been separated from the rest of Northeastern PA.
- Easton has been separated from the rest of the Lehigh Valley.
- Southeastern PA's lines wind and intertwine in such a way that it is difficult to tell who lives where, and the 7th Congressional District barely looks contiguous.
- Congressman Mark Critz and Congressman Jason Altmire have been drawn into a district together.