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Lost Lamb

As we discussed last week, PA Republicans drafted a new congressional map that still needs to be approved. No, Democrats were not asked to participate. Also, if the legislature doesn’t approve it, the state Supreme Court will redraw the map.

So, you gotta ask yourself, can you trust Republicans to be fair after the crazy gerrymandering and court case and appeal to the US Supreme Court and refusal to cooperate by handing over data and threatening to impeach the judges in PA who ruled against them?

The answer would appear to be “No”:

HARRISBURG — Democratic congressional candidate Conor Lamb would no longer live in the highly contested 18th District under a new map presented Friday by top Republicans in the state House and Senate.

The map is far from final. It doesn’t yet have approval from Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf or the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which has a Democratic majority.

Even if it were to be enacted, the new map would not be in place for the March special election to replace Republican U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, whose term was set to expire this year.

But, cutting Mr. Lamb out of the district while his rival, state Rep. Rick Saccone, a Republican, would remain inside it, has already raised eyebrows in Democratic political circles. Both major parties are already thinking ahead to the November general election, which will determine who takes over in the 18th District at the start of next year, when new maps could be in place.

Very interesting. It’s almost like the Republicans are afraid they are going to lose this seat so they’re moving Lamb out of the district. I’d love to see what their internal polling data looks like.

But it’s also maddening. Because Lamb can still run for this seat, in fact, the maps will not be changed in time for the special election. But if the map stands as redrawn, he won’t be living in the district he represents, a possibility that Republicans are sure to exploit. “How can you vote for a man who doesn’t represent your interests??”

If you’re a voter, it’s a risk. Of course, Lamb doesn’t need to live there but it’s just bad optics. And there could be a case that he be the sacrificial Lamb (the metaphors just write themselves) so that PA Democrats have better chances in the rest of the state.

There are a couple of ways out of this. Lamb could relocate to the new district. Sure why not. Housing prices aren’t crazy here. Or PA Democrats could fight like hell for fairness in every congressional district.

Either one might work. But having an uncontested special election in March is a non-starter.

Update: the experts have looked at the new map and have concluded that the Republicans did a shitty job, giving themselves almost exactly the same number of districts as before. I suspected as much. After reading the WaPo article, I’m certain that kicking Lamb out of the district he’s running in was intentional. If the governor and state Supreme Court rejects the map, a redistricting expert from Stanford will redraw the maps. Good. Let him start working on it now.

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The barista at Crazy Mocha likes me 🤗

It’s cold, dim and slushy in Pittsburgh today.

Very pretty.

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7 Responses

  1. I don’t know what the solution is here… If Lamb is out because he lives on the wrong side of the street, that would be over the top, so I assume that’s not how it is. To me the solution is an algorithm that takes into account population and natural boundaries (i.e. counties, cities, etc) only. Then the map… actually all maps in all states are drawn with the same algorithm. I am quite certain this is doable, but it would likely harm some incumbents of both parties. To me, maps drawn this way (party affiliation agnostic) would be the most fair.
    Why do you need more information that population and boundaries?… only reason I see is to enact some partisan advantage. Algorithms can be written to be impersonal, and should produce the same result every time.

    • He’s now 20 miles outside the district he’s running in. Oh, I’m SURE it was intentional. There’s nothing like a speed bump to slow momentum.
      I guess we’ll know for sure if the legislature votes on it in a hurry and then we find out later that there was a much better way to draw this map that didn’t screw with half my relatives.

    • On the other hand, he has to run again in The fall. So, let Lamb win it now. Maybe that will give him time to relocate. He’d have no chance against Mike Doyle, my congressman, who is a major sponsor of the net neutrality bill. He’s terrific.

  2. Is this how Hillary lost PA? I didn’t know PA was this full of R shenanigans.

    • They had help, I’m sure. First from the Bernie Bots who went to Stein, and second, I suspect, from the Russians.
      Remember Gov. Wolf ordered e-voting machines with paper trails last week the day after DHS announced that some of the voter registration systems were hacked in 2016.
      Now, if you were a Russian hacker, would you prefer to hack a state with or without paper trails?
      I leave the repercussions as an exercise for the reader.

      • [wingnut] You McCarthyite Hillbot! Russia has always been a good Christian nation and our best friend!!!1![/wingnut]

        “We have always been at war with Eurasia.”

        (one week later)

        “We have always been at war with Eastasia. Eurasia is our friend.”

        • Driftgtlass, IIRC, calls the wingnuts “endlessly reprogrammable hatebots” and similar terms of endearment. 😛

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