Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Republicans Who Think Changing Electoral Vote Allocation is a Bad Idea

Our friends at the Pennsylvania Democratic Party have put together a list of Republican elected officials who think that changing the way Pennsylvania allocates its electoral votes is a bad idea. Here is it:

Today, the State Government Committee in the State Senate will hold a hearing on Gov. Tom Corbett's plan to change the way Pennsylvania awards its electoral votes. Several academics, good government activists and political leaders will testify against the legislation, but there has also been significant opposition to the proposal from Pennsylvania Republicans including members of Congress, state legislators and party leaders.

Charlie Dent (PA-15)

"We're spending a heck of a lot of time on this when we should be focused on more important matters," the Lehigh Valley congressman said. "That being said, I have a lot of reservations about what I'm hearing."

Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-8)

"I think the inquiry has to be what's best for the people rather than a region of the state or a political party," he said, although he noted that he'd never before heard of this being something the people wanted.

Bill Shuster (PA-9)

U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, who represents the 9th District, said that's a big concern of his and he expressed that to the governor. If the Democrats put the weight of the White House campaign effort in the city suburbs it could "affect some of our guys significantly."

Jim Gerlach (PA-6)

"Our Pennsylvania Republican delegation continues to evaluate this proposal with the hope that we can find a way to satisfy the bill's proponents' goals while, at the same time, not unduly risking the future of our hard-fought and hard-won congressional districts."

Pat Meehan (PA-7)

"My initial reaction is to question this proposal, but I would like to hear more about it."

Glenn Thompson (PA-5)

"This is not a time like in the past that the Republican party should be greedy in terms of trying to overreach," he said at Saturday's meeting of Republican State Committee in Harrisburg. "That usually doesn't work. No matter matter what party overreaches, it usually comes back to haunt you."

Tim Murphy (PA-18)

"It's changing the dynamics of local representation such that, up to this point, a member of Congress runs in their communities that they serve. If it appears that the White House can get another electoral vote in a close election, then the RNC and the DNC move into town and weigh in heavily. Then it ceases to be a congressional race and becomes more of a race for President."

Joseph Pitts (PA-16)

"Respectfully, I don't know where this is coming from. Both of them [Pileggi and Corbett] need to hear from the congressmen who are impacted by this," Pitts said. "We also have [congressional] redistricting and we will try to make sure that all our Republican colleagues have districts they can win in a presidential year, which is the hardest year to win in a swing district." Pitts said the state's GOP members of Congress met Thursday to discuss the plan and heard from U.S. Rep. Lee Terry, a Nebraska Republican, who told them the effect having electoral votes awarded by congressional district has on vulnerable congressmen. "The [Democratic National Committee] comes in and puts in a regional office in your district, a permanent building. It really gets your attention," Pitts said.

Pete Session (NRCC Chairman)

"This proposal will have a minimal effect on the presidential race at the expense of negatively altering the political landscape for Republicans in Pennsylvania's House races," said Mr. Sessions, a Texan who heads the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Rob Gleason (Pennsylvania Republican Party Chair)

"We would no longer be a battleground state with all the benefits that come with that," he said. "It would affect us all the way down ticket. We're gonna win the presidency here anyway, so why we would do this now when we're at the top of the heap is beyond me."

Ryan Aument (State Representative District 41)

"From a public policy perspective, I would rather we focus our energies on jobs, property tax reform, infrastructure and education," Aument said. "From a political perspective, I would rather see my party focus on winning all of the commonwealth's 20 electoral votes."

Scott Boyd (State Representative District 43)

"I don't know that it's the right move at this point in time. The Electoral College system has worked pretty well. I'm not convinced we need to make a change."

Kate Harper (State Representative District 61)

"I think it will make Pennsylvania less relevant. We're in a big state. I don't see any reason to make a change in the rules."

Scott Perry (State Representative District 92)

"But I don't like tinkering with the framers of our Constitution and what their intent was," Perry said. Plus, he added, "the shoe's always on the other foot at some point."

Gordon Denlinger (State Representative District 99)

Denlinger, of Narvon, said he is flat-out opposed to the move because it would diminish Pennsylvania's role in electing a president.

Bryan Cutler (State Representative District 100)

"If you are talking about a split of 12 to 8 or even 10 to 10, visiting Pennsylvania could possibly net you zero or four electoral votes. If, as a state, we can only net zero to six electoral votes for either candidate, will they even care to expend time, money or resources here and connecting with our voters? Under the current system, every voter and contact is important, and without seeing the language I have not been convinced that the new proposal continues to keep us relevant on the national political stage."

Justin Simmons (State Representative District 131)

"I will not be supporting the PA Senate's plan to allocate Pennsylvania's electoral votes by congressional district. I think the electoral college works just fine the way it is. It should not be adjusted for political purposes, whether you're a Republican or a Democrat."

Dan Truitt (State Representative District 156)

State Rep. Dan Truitt, R-156th, of East Goshen, said he has seen estimates that candidates could spend a combined $2 billion in the state during the 2012 presidential campaign. He said he would not like to lose that potential income because the state has less votes up for grabs.

Curt Schroder (State Representative District 155)

State Rep. Curt Schroder, R-155th, of East Brandywine, said that while it is well within the state's right to determine how its electoral votes are distributed he is still hesitant to make such a change based solely on the current political climate. "To base such decisions on the politics of the moment might work to one party's advantage today but to its detriment in the future as political landscapes change," Schroder said in a written statement.

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