Gerrymandering’s Poster Child

Have you seen the new book on gerrymandering by David Daley, editor of Salon magazine?

It’s been featured in reviews by some top publications:

In the New York Times: When Republicans Draw District Boundaries, They Can’t Lose. Literally.

In the Washington Post: The power that gerrymandering has brought to Republicans

In the New Yorker: The G.O.P. Plan That Turned America Red

Some of us on the Fair Districts PA team went out and bought it. Guess which state is mentioned first?

That’s right. Pennsylvania has a chapter of its own. It’s the first state discussed, with plenty of detail about the dirty tricks and secret money used to shift districts, capture the state legislature, and control the 2010 redistricting process.

The Republicans won that round, but both parties are gearing up for the next redistricting battle. Websites for both Redmap 2020 and Advantage 2020 make clear that Pennsylvania will be a target state. If the current process continues, we can expect lots of focus-group-tested attack ads funded by large infusions of outside, undisclosed money.

What’s it like to run for office in such a gerrymandered state? According to one candidate:

It’s forcing all representatives regardless of party to lean to the extremes. It’s obscene. It’s an abomination of democracy. It’s bad for everybody.

Fair Districts PA is building a grassroots movement to push for an independent citizens commission with strong guidelines for transparency, public input, and enforceable standards for population equality, compactness, and minimal divisions.

Check our Action Toolkit for advocacy ideas, or email us if you’d like to be part of one of our regional or state-wide working groups.

Here’s part of Daley’s conclusion:

Voters need to get angry, and voters need to turn out. Fair representation is a civil rights issue and a democratic rights issue. The vote is being rigged to favor a limited partisan interest… Anyone opposed to this use of corrosive assault on our most basic and valuable democratic right, the vote itself, must fight this deception and fraud as aggressively and strategically as those who would tilt things in their favor.

Thanks for joining us in the fight to restore fair representation.