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Fri Dec 8, 2017, 04:28 PM

Inside the gerrymandering data top Pa. Republicans fought to keep private

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 12/8/17
(picked up from the Philadelphia Enquirer)

Link: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-state/2017/12/08/gerrymandering-data-top-Pennsylvania-Republicans-fought-to-keep-private-redistricting-voting-election/stories/201712080123



Republican lawmakers used detailed data on the partisan leanings of voters when they created the current Pennsylvania congressional map, according to documents federal judges had ordered them to turn over in a trial that began this week.

Lawyers for House Speaker Mike Turzai and Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati had fought to keep private a trove of documents as they prepared for the trial, which began Monday in Philadelphia. They also sought to block the documents in a separate, state gerrymandering trial that begins next week in Harrisburg.

Among them are maps that contain detailed data on partisanship across the state, which experts said appear to confirm widespread suspicion that Republicans had intentionally drawn the map to favor their party. One map’s database contains details for each of nearly 3,000 voting districts in the state, including the races and ethnicities of voters and results from state and national elections from 2004 through 2010. Also included are metrics that appear to rate each voting district’s level of partisanship.

After the judges ordered the documents turned over, lawyers for the Republicans asked that anything not used as evidence in the trial — the data were not introduced, although analysis of it was — be destroyed within 24 hours of the trial’s conclusion.


- snip -

Pennsylvania’s map is considered one of the most extreme congressional gerrymanders in the country. Since the map’s creation in 2011, Republicans have consistently won 13 of 18 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, even as votes across the state have generally split evenly between Democrats and Republicans.

Republicans attempted to hide the data because it “undercuts their story in a big way,” said Michael Li, an expert on redistricting at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University. “Why do you have all this data, right? ‘I wasn’t trying to flee the country, but I had $10,000 and my passport in a canvas bag.’ ”


--more at the link --

And there we have it, proof positive that Pennsylvania has been gerrymandered to death by the ultra-conservative rightwingers. Nobody has to wonder any more. This has to end immediately after the the 2020 census. Check every state that has a larger, diverse population, the GOP has done it wherever they can get away with it.

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Reply Inside the gerrymandering data top Pa. Republicans fought to keep private (Original post)
FakeNoose Dec 2017 OP
bronxiteforever Dec 2017 #1
underpants Dec 2017 #2
FakeNoose Dec 2017 #3
Woodstock66 Dec 2017 #6
FakeNoose Dec 2017 #7
Fred Sanders Dec 2017 #4
FakeNoose Dec 2017 #5

Response to FakeNoose (Original post)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 04:36 PM

1. K & R. You notice how rethugs preach free competition

And then Lordy they hate it when their jobs are at stake.

Pennsylvania GOP is chock full with electoral thieves. Vote them out in 2018!

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Response to FakeNoose (Original post)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 04:37 PM

2. The 17th looks like a mirror image of the original Gerrymander

I know a Dem holds the seat but I'm guessing they drew it to pick up Dem areas and protect Repub districts around it.

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Response to underpants (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 04:47 PM

3. Yes - I'm in the 14th (Pittsburgh) and we're a solid blue district

But the 18th is next door to us and very controversial because Tim Murphy resigned, so his seat is up for grabs soon.

Not all the districts were changed in 2011, but every change that was made to benefitted the GOP. This article confirms all the secret data they used to make the changes.

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Response to FakeNoose (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 13, 2017, 12:45 PM

6. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy

I'm in the 18th district and they will NEVER allow a Democrat to take that seat. The way the lines are drawn are ridiculous and serve only one purpose: to keep it in R hands. Democrats outnumber Republicans by over 70,000 and yet still cannot take it.

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Response to Woodstock66 (Reply #6)

Wed Dec 13, 2017, 12:53 PM

7. Because the 18th is gerrymandered

...which is insane and undemocratic as hell!

That's the whole point of the lawsuits going on in Philadelphia right now. If they can get the judge to strike down the redrawn districts (from 2011) then the districts will be drawn correctly before the 2018 elections. I don't know how it would affect the special election for Tim Murphy's seat, maybe it won't.

But it's very encouraging what happened in Alabama yesterday. There's hope for us! At least 22,000 Republicans gave away their vote by giving a write-in name, rather than pulling the lever for Moore. It really made a difference in AL.

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Response to FakeNoose (Original post)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 06:53 PM

4. Crimes against democracy no matter which side does it. We need a national neutral scientific law.

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Response to FakeNoose (Original post)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 08:58 PM

5. More from the same article - here's how they mapped out the districts

What’s in those spreadsheet and maps

The documents obtained by The Inquirer and Daily News consist of files for 13 maps, each with a dataset attached. Some of those contain generally available data, such as major roads or bodies of water. Another shows the home addresses of the then-incumbent U.S. Representatives; courts have ruled that protecting incumbents is an acceptable principle for redistricting.

Three map datasets contain partisanship data at varying geographies.



Examples of maps drawn using the partisanship data at the county and town levels.
(Jared Whalen/Philadelphia Inquirer)

The map with the most detailed data contains information on each of nearly 3,000 voting districts in the state, with information such as racial and ethnic breakdown and election results for races from 2004 through 2010. Also included are the two partisanship scores that, while unclear how they were calculated, appear to measure how Republican or Democratic a precinct votes. The higher a positive value, the greater the margin by which Republicans won in those precincts; the lower a negative value, the stronger the Democratic advantage.

With that precinct-level data, maps can be drawn to precise partisan specifications.


Can you believe these guys?! They're going to court next week to explain to the judge. The GOP will cheat ANY WAY they can, because they can't win in a fair fight.


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