In December 2011, I wrote an article on the gerrymandering for the 2012 election cycle here, and the text appears below. A shortened version was published in the Express-Times on December 20, 2011 and the text appears below as well. As 2018 unfolds, this gerrymandering may be changed to new borders for the upcoming elections.
The state senate’s approval of the “Lehigh Valley Massacre” gerrymandering is another sign of how thoroughly corrupt and evil the two-headed one-party system is. The new proposal cuts the Lehigh Valley’s 15th U.S. congressional district in half, giving Mr. Dent more Republicans and some Democrat incumbent more Democrats. The new GOP district would wind 90 miles from the west side of Bethlehem to basically Harrisburg, from Dorney Park all the way to Hershey Park. The new Democrat district would swing counterclockwise from Easton plus a large chunk of Bethlehem up through Monroe, Carbon, and Schuylkill counties and even twists to engulf Scranton-Wilkes Barre. And it’s not just the Lehigh Valley – most of Pennsylvania will be carved up like a toddler carving their first jack’o’lantern with a chainsaw. (map)
The Lehigh Valley’s representation will be wrecked, and career politicians like Mr. Dent rejoice since their re-election becomes much easier. With a spread-out and disconnected electorate, incumbents like Mr. Dent are even more likely to vote for unpopular actions like more debt, unlimited money printing, expensive wars, and stripping away more civil liberties in blatant violations of the US Constitution.
This comes at a time when congressional approval ratings are at an all-time low – just 13% per the latest from Gallup. Career politicians never really have residents’ best interests at heart, they are far too busy building and protecting their own power and fiefdoms like feudal overlords. It is no secret to anyone who looks closely that the party machines force their selected candidates on the people, and rig elections with tactics like gerrymandering and absurd third party ballot access restrictions. In return, career politicians like Mr. Dent are enriched, corrupted, and form the modern oligarchy. Dent will collect about $1.4 million in federal salary over his eight years in Congress, receives free elite health care, and is eligible for a federal pension of up to 80% of his maximum salary for the rest of his life. Dent also just “retired” from his past in the state legislature, and now receives a state pension for the rest of his life, collecting $96,069.34 in payments over the past year and a half. (initial source plus a letter Right To Know from Harrisburg)
The task of representing a district so twisting, divided, and unnatural will be more difficult, but this is never a true concern for the Republocrats anyways. From my experience running as an independent against Mr. Dent and winning 15,000 votes in 2010, campaigning will now be far more difficult as traveling from Allentown to Easton in the same day is busy but not impossible, but traveling from Allentown to Hershey continually is advantageous only for professional politicians with paid staff.
There is still time to make your opinion known to your state representative – the state house votes this Tuesday. Three of the Valley’s state senators were traitors to the area, and it’s no surprise if the rest of the career politicians in the state house let this insult to our democracy and local sovereignty pass without a whimper. It should be no surprise that these three state senators (Argall, Browne, and Mensch) have either donated or received campaign money from Dent’s congressional campaign.
Jake Towne ran as an independent for the 15th congressional district in the 2010 election cycle.
The Express-Times letter to the editor:
2-headed, 1-party system behind redistricting plan
The gerrymandering proposal for Pennsylvania congressional voting districts is another tactic of the hopelessly corrupt two-headed, one-party system. The proposal cuts the Lehigh Valley’s congressional district in half, giving more Republicans to the GOP incumbent and a Democratic incumbent more Democrats. The new GOP district would wind 90 miles from Bethlehem to nearly Harrisburg, from Dorney Park all the way to Hershey Park! The new Democrat district crazily swings counterclockwise from Easton plus some of Bethlehem up through Monroe, Carbon and Schuylkill counties and even twists to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Not just the Valley is affected — most of Pennsylvania will be carved up like a toddler carving their first jack-o’-lantern with a chainsaw. With a disconnected electorate, incumbents such as Charlie Dent secure their re-election and are even more likely to vote for unpopular actions such as more debt, unlimited money printing and expensive wars. The task of representing a gerrymandered district is difficult, but this is never a true concern for the Republocrats.
Career politicians never really have residents’ best interests at heart; they are too busy protecting their own power like feudal overlords. Party machines rig elections with tactics such as gerrymandering and absurd ballot access restrictions. Politicians are enriched — Dent will collect about $1.4 million ($174,000 a year times eight years) in congressional salary, free health care and is eligible for a federal pension of up to $139,000. Dent just “retired” from the state Legislature and now receives a state pension — $96,069.34 in payments over the past 18 months.
Contact your state representative – the House votes today.
Bethlehem Township, Pa.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Towne ran as an independent for the 15th Congressional District in the 2010 election cycle.
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