HARRISBURG – In an interview from the Philadelphia Inquirer
over the weekend, Legislative Reapportionment Commission Chairman Mark Nordenberg declined to take credit for drawing the preliminary state House map.
Here is an excerpt from the interview:
“It is the map of the Legislative Reapportionment Commission that voted to advance it as our preliminary map,” he said.
“Every caucus had the opportunity to fairly participate in the process, so it’s certainly not my map, and it’s not the map of the Democratic caucus,” Nordenberg said. “If I were to draw the map on my own, I’m sure I would do things differently. I’m equally certain that the same would be true of the Democratic leader. This is what emerged from a process that engaged all of the interested parties.”
However, House Republicans cannot point to any instance of significance where our caucus’s input was taken into account in the crafting of the map.
House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff, in voting against the preliminary House map, said that the map—even less than 48 hours before the vote—remained a constantly changing mystery and he still, to this day, does not have answers to who was making changes and why changes were made.
His negative vote on the map is a clear indication that House Republicans did not have our input taken into account in the final preliminary product.
If Chairman Nordenberg didn’t draw it, and House Republicans didn’t draw it, who drew the map? And what influenced their decisions?
On this, Pennsylvania House Republican Caucus Spokesperson Jason Gottesman made the following statement:
“If Chairman Nordenberg did not draw this map, and the map in no way reflects House Republican input, then who drew the map? Since the actual process of drawing the maps lacks even the basic trappings of transparency, nobody will know until someone starts asking. It’s telling that the LRC Chairman feels the need to speak on behalf of House Democrats in his denial of the preliminary state House map.
“The bottom line is that the preliminary state House map disenfranchises Pennsylvanians and harms communities. It unnecessarily divides and dilutes rural representation and, at decision points across Pennsylvania, only reflect decisions that favor House Democrats and makes Pennsylvania state House districts less competitive, eventually leading to a more polarized General Assembly.
“Maybe the reason no Democrat involved in this process wants to take credit for the map is because they know how terrible this preliminary product is.”
House Republican Caucus
Pennsylvania House of Representatives