Do you want the Pennsylvania Republican Party to continue in power with its extreme right wing agenda for the next 15 years?
If not, you must vote on November 3. Yes it’s an off-off year election but it’s critically important that YOU vote.
For the first time in over 200 years, there are three open seats on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Having a Democratic majority on the Supreme Court will:
Eliminate blatantly partisan gerrymandered districts.
Increase the number of Democratic elected officials, giving Democrats more impact.
Make the legislative agenda more conducive to progressive policies.
Three of the seven seats on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court are up for election. It is essential that there be a majority of Democrats on the PA Supreme Court when Pennsylvania is redistricted again, because ultimately the court controls redistricting.
In the likely tiebreaker situation, the PA Supreme Court appoints the fifth member of the five member Redistricting Commission which will already have two Democrats and two Republicans. Not only does the Court select the tie-breaking member of the Redistricting Commission, but it also rules on the fairness of the eventual district maps in the inevitable appeal through the courts.
One strategy that the Republicans have used to control the legislative agendas is to draw the boundaries of the districts to maximize the number of safe Republican districts. Witness the extreme partisan gerrymandering in the PA 7th Congressional district which includes five counties from the Delaware River to Reading to create a Republican district.
In the decade when the redistricting from the 2000 census was in effect, the Pennsylvania Democratic Congressional Delegation had between 6 and 12 members out of a total of 19. In 2011, when Republicans controlled all three branches of state government, redistricting reduced the Congressional Democrats to 5 members out of a total of 18 (28%). This happened in a state in which the total 2012 vote for both the Democratic Presidential candidate and the Democratic Congressional candidates exceeded the Republican vote.
With a Democratic majority on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the newly redrawn legislative district will be fairer to all Pennsylvanians. This will help Democrats reclaim the 1 to 7 Congressional seats lost in this most recent redistricting.
Consequently, there must be a huge effort to get out the Democratic votes for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Otherwise, the Pennsylvania Democratic Party is doomed to many more years of wandering in the political wilderness of minority representation in the US and Pennsylvania legislatures and we, the people, remain at the mercy of the Republican Party now dominated by the extreme right-wing.
Vote November 3!
– David Rhoads