DNC Targets Pennsylvania Republicans Over Electoral College Redistricting Plan

Senate Majority Leader Domini Pileggi, R-Delaware, conducts a rules committee meeting on the state budget Friday, June 29, 20
Senate Majority Leader Domini Pileggi, R-Delaware, conducts a rules committee meeting on the state budget Friday, June 29, 2012 in Harrisburg, PA. (AP Photo/Bradley C Bower)

The Democratic National Committee is sending robocalls to Pennsylvania voters beginning Monday, going after a GOP-sponsored plan to change the way the state allocates its Electoral College votes in presidential elections.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the DNC is targeting voters in 10 state Senate districts that are represented by Republicans. The call, coming from former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D), asks voters to let their senators know that they should oppose the "election-rigging scheme" sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R). From the call:

The Republicans are at it again. They want to change the way Pennsylvania awards its Electoral College votes to help their candidates. They're trying to change the rules to rig the game for the Republicans because they lost fair and square in 2012. State Sen. Ted Erickson can stop this bill. The Republican Party is scheming to rig the next election because they can't run on the issues.

This plan will diminish Pennsylvania's importance in future elections, and its role as a swing state where candidates spend time and money focusing on issues that are important to all Pennsylvanians. Tell State Sen. Erickson you oppose the Republican election-rigging scheme.

The proposal by Pileggi would distribute Pennsylvania's electoral votes proportionally, based on the popular vote. In the 2012 election, President Barack Obama received all 20 of the state's votes in the winner-take-all system. But under Pileggi's plan, Obama -- who captured 52 percent of the popular vote -- would get only 12 votes; he would receive 10 out of 18 awarded proportionally, plus another two for winning in the state.

"This advantage of this system is clear: It much more accurately reflects the will of the voters in our state," Pileggi said in December.

Pileggi's plan would not have handed Pennsylvania to Mitt Romney, but it would have given him extra electoral votes. He said it is not a priority in this legislative session.

The Inquirer noted that last week, the DNC also sent an email from Rendell to Pennsylvania supporters urging them to call Gov. Tom Corbett (R) -- who has not yet taken a position on Pileggi's bill -- and protest the legislation.

"The Republican Party couldn't win on the issues in 2012, so they're resorting to underhanded tactics that would undermine the majority of voters in Pennsylvania," DNC spokesman Patrick Burgwinkle told the Inquirer. "We're taking this bill very seriously and Republicans need to know there is political price to pay for trying to rig the next presidential election."



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