Last week, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) announced a plan to rig the 2012 presidential election by effectively giving up to a dozen electoral votes away to the Republican presidential candidate for free. Under Corbett’s plan, each of the state’s 18 congressional districts — which are being gerrymandered so that as many as 12 of them favor Republicans — would choose how to allocate a single electoral vote rather than having all of the state’s votes go to the winner of the state. The plan is opposed by several GOP congressmen, who fear that its new set of rules will cause the Obama campaign to shift resources from bluer parts of the state into their districts.
Nevertheless, Corbett and his chief ally in the legislature, GOP Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, are not swayed by these congressmen’s claim that it is more important to protect their seats than it is to steal the election. According to the subscription-only site Capitolwire:
Gov. Tom Corbett and Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Delaware, have not budged from their support of a plan to change the allotment of Pennsylvania’s presidential votes. [...] Pileggi said “nothing I have heard” from congressional and state party and national party leaders “indicates that the bill does not have the right objective, that it is not a good objective. I have heard about concerns and questions about money, about clout. I’m interested in fairness to the voters and citizens of Pennsylvania, I’ll leave the rest of those issues to political consultants and the political apparatus in Washington, D.C.” [...]
“There’s a real debate in the party about this, about whether Sen. Pileggi’s bill should be adopted or not,” said Matthew Brann, chairman of the Northeast Central Caucus. “If we’re a state in play, with 20 electoral votes, then I think we probably shouldn’t do it. If we are not, then there is a case to be made for doing this.”
So for those of you keeping track at home, here are the three factions within the Pennsylvania GOP.
- Just Rig The Election Already: Gov. Corbett and Sen. Pileggi fully support the plan. In Pileggi’s words, they have heard “nothing” indicating that this election rigging scheme “does not have the right objective.”
- Protect Me First: GOP Reps. Jim Gerlach, Pat Meehan and Mike Fitzpatrick care more about keeping their own jobs than they do about electing a president who will eliminate Medicare, so they oppose a plan which might endanger their ability to get reelected in what have traditionally been Democratic-leaning districts.
- Be More Coldly Calculating: Perhaps the most despicable faction is captured by Matthew Brann’s statement that Corbett should only rig the election if he is not sure the GOP can carry the state. This faction apparently believes that the biggest problem with Corbett’s election rigging scheme is that it could backfire and benefit the Democrats
Sadly, there does not appear to be any faction within the Republican Party that opposes rigging elections because rigging elections is wrong.