Monday, March 12, 2018
FROM: Matt Walter
President, Republican State Leadership Committee
TO: Interested Parties and Reporters
How Democrats are Rigging the Game in Pennsylvania
Usurping the Pennsylvania Legislature’s Constitutional Authority with Help from a Partisan State Supreme Court and Very Partisan “Nonpartisan” Mapmakers
After a decade of losing nearly 1,000 state legislative seats, Democrats and their media enablers are convinced that something other than their very flawed candidates and policies must be the cause – but it’s not. Republicans have been steadily winning state legislative seats since 2010 and now control 67 of the 99 state chambers in the country because they have been running better candidates with better ideas.
Prior to 2010, Democrats rarely complained about gerrymandering or map drawing, and they certainly weren’t complaining about district lines drawn in deep blue states. It’s notable that when then-state senator Barack Obama gerrymandered his own state senate seat in Illinois, Eric Holder didn’t lead any protest there. Liberals also aren’t clamoring to aid the voters who are challenging the Democrat-gerrymandered map in Maryland.
These self-proclaimed “good government” and “nonpartisan” efforts are in reality a naked power grab by partisan Democrats. Instead of running strong candidates with good ideas in the wake of their mounting losses, Democrats are going to great lengths to short circuit the constitutional process of map drawing and rig the system to their advantage. Journalists who ignore this dynamic betray a clear lack of objectivity.
In most states, the power of the map drawing pen has always rested with the state legislature, because the Founders knew it was a political process best handled by state legislatures which are accountable to voters. (U.S. Constitution Article I – Section IV).
Democrats and their liberal allies have undertaken a systemic campaign to undermine and rig the map drawing process by using legal tricks and so-called “nonpartisan” actors in their scheme. We hope you will consider the attached facts as you cover the Democrats’ next “non-partisan” idea to fix the Constitution.
The Very Public Liberal Conspiracy in Pennsylvania
Part I – Democrats Cherry-Pick Liberal Partisan Pennsylvania Court….
As a documented example of the long-standing effort by liberals to rig control of legislatures through the courts, an Ohio AFL-CIO official once said: “We figured out a long time ago that it’s easier to elect seven judges than to elect 132 legislators.”
After Democrats took a 5-2 majority on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, liberal activists sought to get the case of League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania before their cherry-picked court to empower the Democrat court to draw legislative maps, rather than the legislature. Their remedy, getting Democrat Governor Tom Wolf to sign off on a new plan by Feb 15, was designed to fail, and when that process failed due to intended time constraints and the Governor’s predictable refusal to sign, the court redrew the lines the way they wanted, usurping the state legislature’s proper role under the U.S. Constitution.
During the case, at least two of the Democrat Justices should have recused themselves under Pennsylvania’s Code of Judicial Conduct, which states justices “shall disqualify himself or herself in any proceeding in which the judge’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” Justices David Wecht and Christine Donohue both made biased statements against the Legislature’s map as candidates for the court, including at a forum hosted by the League of Women Voters, the plaintiff in the case. Justice Wecht had called the map “an absolute abomination…a travesty” and “insane,” while Justice Donohue had said, “gerrymandering will come to an end.”
Part II – Governor Tom Wolf hires “nonpartisan” mathematician for “fairness”….
To advance his version of district lines in Pennsylvania, Democrat Governor Tom Wolf hired supposed “nonpartisan” map expert – Moon Dunchin, a registered Democrat and Obama contributor, who has ties to George Soros.
- According to Nexis, Duchin is actively registered to vote as a Democrat in Massachusetts. (Nexis Public Records, Accessed 1/31/18)
- In 2008, Duchin contributed $150 to Obama for America. (Individual Contributions, Federal Election Commission)
Duchin spearheaded the creation of a summer program for mathematicians focused on redistricting:
- Duchin spearheaded the creation of a five-day summer program at Tufts University aimed at training mathematicians who understand the mathematical concepts applicable to gerrymandering to be expert witnesses. “Because of the increase in cases challenging new electoral maps, she says, there’s a need for expert witnesses who understand the mathematical concepts applicable to gerrymandering. To meet that need, she’s spearheaded the creation of a five-day summer program at Tufts that aims to train mathematicians to do just that.” (Shannon Najmabadi, “Meet the Math Professor Who’s Fighting Gerrymandering With Geometry,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, 2/22/17)
- Duchin founded the Metric Geometry and Gerrymandering Group, a five-person group that organized the summer school. “Overwhelmed by the interest, Ms. Duchin and the Metric Geometry and Gerrymandering Group, or MGGG — a five-person group founded by Ms. Duchin that is organizing the summer school — decided to hold additional trainings in California, North Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin later this year.” (Shannon Najmabadi, “Meet the Math Professor Who’s Fighting Gerrymandering With Geometry,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, 2/22/17)
Duchin’s summer program was created in partnership with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a George Soros-funded organization:
- “The summer program, created in partnership with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, was announced late in January.” (Shannon Najmabadi, “Meet the Math Professor Who’s Fighting Gerrymandering With Geometry,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, 2/22/17)
- “Kristen Clarke received support for a special discretionary fund for the first two years of leadership at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.” (Kristen Clarke, Open Society Fellowship, Open Society Foundations, Accessed 8/7/17)
- “Soros used his fortune to create the Open Society Foundations—a network of foundations, partners, and projects in more than 100 countries.” (George Soros, Open Society Foundations, Accessed 8/7/17)
- In 2016, George Soros’ Open Society Foundation announced recipients of its New Executives Fund, which provides grants to leaders of nonprofit organizations to implement their vision of change. “Eight newly appointed leaders of nonprofit organizations in countries ranging from Uganda to the United States have been awarded New Executives Fund grants to help implement their vision of change, the Open Society Foundations announced today.” (Open Society Foundations, “Open Society Foundations Announce Recipients of New Executives Fund Award,” Press Release, 10/21/16)
- “Created in 2013, the New Executives Fund is designed to help nonprofit leaders carry out the initiatives they have planned for their organizations’ futures.” (Open Society Foundations, “Open Society Foundations Announce Recipients of New Executives Fund Award,” Press Release, 10/21/16)
- Kristen Clarke of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under law received a two-year grant between $25,000 and $250,000. “The fund provides two-year grants of between $25,000 and $250,000 to executives who have been in their current position for less than one year. … The latest grantees are: … Kristen Clarke, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law” (Open Society Foundations, “Open Society Foundations Announce Recipients of New Executives Fund Award,” Press Release, 10/21/16)
In January 2018, Kristen Clarke the executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law tweeted “Our partner, Moon Duchin, retained by Governor of PA to evaluate new legislative redistricting maps…”
- “Kristen Clarke became president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in January 2016.” (Open Society Foundations, “Open Society Foundations Announce Recipients of New Executives Fund Award,” Press Release, 10/21/16)
— Kristen Clarke (@KristenClarkeJD) January 30, 2018
Duchin has stressed that the shaping of political districts will always be a human process and that the idea that drawing boundaries could ever be left up entirely to computers is “dubious”:
- “While math can generate many possibilities for districting plans, Duchin stressed that the shaping of political districts will always be a human process.” (Jeff Demanche, “Algorithms can help in redistricting, scientists say,” The Brown Daily Herald, 10/26/17)
- “The idea that drawing boundaries could ever be left entirely up to computers is dubious, Duchin said.” (Jeff Demanche, “Algorithms can help in redistricting, scientists say,” The Brown Daily Herald, 10/26/17)
Part III – The Democrat Pennsylvania Supreme Court Hires Liberal Nathan Persily….
On February 19, Politico reported, “Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and GOP legislative leaders failed to agree on a new congressional map, triggering the state Supreme Court to use its map — drawn with assistance from Stanford University law professor Nathaniel Persily, who has created a number of House maps currently in use in other states.” Not surprisingly, Persily is another liberal partisan hack.
Persily worked for the Brennan Center, a George Soros-funded organization:
- From 1999-2001, Persily was Associate Counsel for the Brennan Center, a recipient of funding from George Soros.
(Nathaniel Persily, Curriculum Vitae, Stanford Law School Website, Accessed 10/26/17)
- Persily worked at NYU’s Brennan Center for Justice. “His opportunity to pursue his passion came the following year at NYU’s Brennan Center for Justice, a public interest think tank that also conducts litigation.” (Randee Fenner, “New Faculty: Nathaniel Persily, JD ’98,” Stanford Law School, 11/11/13)
- According to Breitbart, the Brennon Center for Justice at New York University Law School has been the recipient of numerous grants from Soros’s Open Society Foundations totaling over $7,466,000 from 2000 to 2010 alone. “The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School is a liberal policy institute that says it ‘focuses on the fundamental issues of democracy and justice.’ It has been the recipient of numerous grants from Soros’s Open Society Foundations totaling over $7,466,000 from 2000 to 2010 alone.” (Aaron Klein, “Doug Jones Headed Soros-Funded Project To Transform Federal Prosecutors Into Social Justice Warriors,” Breitbart, 10/22/17)
Persily has even acknowledged that redistricting plans have “partisan effects” and that partisanship cannot be taken out of politics:
- Nathaniel Persily: “One of the difficulties is that even ‘neutral’ districting plans have partisan effects.” (Nathaniel Persily, Online Transcript with The Washington Post, 6/28/06)
- “‘In American politics, we’ve tried our best to craft independent offices,’ he said. But getting the partisanship out of politics is like trying to take the sex out of porn.” (Diane Carman, “Political lines being drawn in Pa. case, “The Denver Post, 12/3/03)
About the RSLC
The Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) is the largest caucus of Republican state leaders in the country and the only national organization whose mission is to elect Republicans to multiple down-ballot, state-level offices. Since 2002, the RSLC has been working to elect candidates to the offices of lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state legislator, the judiciary and other down-ticket races. After Election Night 2017, state-level Republicans maintain 67 of 99 legislative chamber majorities in red, purple and blue states, hold 31 lieutenant governor seats, and control 30 secretaries of state offices. To learn more about the RSLC, please visit www.rslc.gop or follow @RSLC on Twitter.