George: Effort Under Way to Carve Up Clearfield County
HARRISBURG – State Rep. Camille “Bud” George, D-74 of Clearfield County, said that a redistricting plan advancing in Harrisburg would leave most Clearfield Countians without an effective voice in the state Capitol.
“The offense is not what it means for me but how the plan would splinter most of Clearfield County and dilute its voice at this critical juncture in history,” said George, who has won 19 consecutive elections. “This scheme orchestrated by the Republican majority and its deep-pocket benefactors will harm Clearfield County long after I am gone.
“The GOP leaders and their schemers couldn’t beat me at the ballot box so they are shooting a bullet into the heart of Clearfield County by eliminating a district that has stood for almost as long as we’ve been a Commonwealth.”
Pennsylvania’s Constitution requires legislative districts for the state House and Senate be redrawn each decade. Under a plan percolating through Harrisburg, the current 74th District would be divvied among surrounding districts. It and an Allegheny County seat would be moved east to account for changing populations.
“Republicans and Democrats in Clearfield County must ask how the plan will leave the region prepared to face the future without adequate representation,” said George, who has won both the GOP and Democratic nominations over the years. “At issue is not the politics of today but the potential of all our tomorrows.”
George said the machinations behind the ploy leave him both defiant and sad.
“The hard-working and proud people of the 74th Legislative District – Republicans and Democrats – deserve a voice in Harrisburg,” George said. “Extinguishing my vote is a minor footnote. Squelching Clearfield County’s voice is the triumph of partisan politics over good governance.”
George acknowledged that options to fight the plan might be limited. The Legislative Reapportionment Commission – made up of the four legislative leaders and its chairman, a retired state judge. — is expected to file its preliminary plan possibly as early as Monday.
The commission’s Web site is available and comments are accepted.
“Too much is at stake not to mount a fight,” George said. “Through my service, I have fought for Clearfield County residents – whether they were right or wrong, Republican or Democrat – but this plan would mute their voices and aspirations for the foreseeable future and at least through the end of the decade.
“Clearfield County deserves better treatment.”
The 74th Legislative District currently includes 18 boroughs and 26 townships — all of Clearfield County except the northwest corner.