Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Redistricting plan raises eyebrows

The five-member Legislative Reapportionment Commission voted Monday 3-2 in favor of Republican-designed preliminary plans for the 50 seats in the state Senate and 203 in the House.

The commission was headed by retired state Superior Court Judge Stephen McEwen, a Republican former Delaware County district attorney.

The Senate plan moves a district from the Pittsburgh area to fast-growing Monroe County. In the House, the current proposal would add seats in Allentown, Berks County, Chester County and York County, all in the state’s eastern half, while cutting out existing districts in Erie and Philadelphia and two in Allegheny County.

“Our attempt was to be fair and not favor the Republicans or Democrats,” said Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-9, of Chester, a member of the Legislative Reapportionment Commission.

Although Pileggi argued that the preliminary plans approved Monday were done in a spirit of fairness, local House members argued that it was done to help bolster the GOP machine in Delco.

State Rep. Greg Vitali, D-166, of Haverford, called the plan unconstitutional because it splits his district, which has historically included one township, into half.

“This is about incumbency protection — not community protection,” said Vitali.

Vitali, state Rep. Margo Davidson, D-164, of Upper Darby, and other Democratic officials said they plan to fight the proposed plan.

As a resident of Delco, what do you think about the plan? Is it fair? Or does it favor Republicans?


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