A Capitolwire (subscription required) story yesterday about the latest plan for the gerrymandering of Congressional Districts got the chattering classes and candidates , well, chattering. The first 2 maps floated here and here will not look like the final version according to this story.
The Republicans want to chop up Luzerne County
"Since the weekend the biggest change has been adding Wilkes-Barre and Pittston to the district of U.S. Rep. Tim Holden, D-Schuylkill, along with Scranton and other Democratic areas. Republican advisors to Rep. Lou Barletta, D-Hazleton, did not want those two areas to stay in Barletta’s district, fearing they could help lead to his future defeat." And they want to add Wyoming County to the 11th CD so Barletta can be another voice in Congress for the gas drillers and help his fundraising.
Lou Barletta's press guy Shawn Kelly gives a politically correct answer to this speculation.
No Barletta in proposed area district
W-B, Scranton in zone with Easton
“Why wouldn’t Rep. Barletta want Luzerne County whole?” Kelly asked. “He won it twice, handily – by 4.8 points in 2008 and by 13.4 points in 2010. It’s his home county. It’s where he’s best known. Rep. Barletta wants to keep Luzerne County whole. Period.”
Bill Vinsko blasts the Republican creative map making
ONCE AGAIN, CONGRESSMAN BARLETTA AND THE STATE LEGISLATURE ARE TURNING THEIR BACKS ON THE PEOPLE OF NORTHEAST AND CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA.
As has been widely reported over the last few weeks, the Congressional District Boundaries in Pennsylvania are being released this week. First, Lou Barletta got rid of the only county he could not win – Lackawanna County. Then he cut out the only county he won once – Monroe County.
Wilkes-Barre, Pittston, Duryea and Dupont, and several other Luzerne County municipalities, have always been a part of the 11th Congressional District. Interestingly, Congressman Barletta, in an effort to avoid having a strong challenge from Bill Vinsko on November 6, 2012, is supporting a move tonight to surgically remove Wilkes-Barre, Pittston and several other Luzerne County municipalities from the 11th Congressional District. It seems now that he does not even trust the people who actually elected him.
We are calling on Congressman Barletta, the Governor and our state legislators to work to keep Luzerne County intact and put the people ahead of politics now! It is no wonder why people are fed up with Congress. Now, our own Congressional leaders are attempting to steal the election and take away the rights of the people.
The following is a statement from Democratic Candidate Bill Vinsko:
“If Congressman Barletta is afraid to face voters who live in the heart of his own District, then he should work harder to convince them by doing his job. Under this plan it’s downright wrong that Luzerne County will be broken into parts and the voice of our people will be muted in Washington for brazen political reasons. I call on Congressman Barletta to publicly ask the state legislature and Governor to keep all of Luzerne County in the 11th and to keep the voice of Northeast Pennsylvania strong and united in Washington,” said Bill Vinsko.
Capitol Ideas says that the whole thing will be pushed off for a week.
Former 10th CD Congressman Chris Carney is lurking around.
Christopher Carney Gauging Support for 2012 Bid
On Friday, Carney met with a dozen Keystone State political fundraisers, former donors and organized labor representatives to discuss a 2012 campaign, according to a source who attended the roundtable discussion at a downtown Philadelphia political consulting shop.
3 hours ago