Although he's had nothing to do with the latest gerrymandering scheme foisted on us by the state GOP, and there's even some speculation that the latest district maps actually hurt him, Lehigh Valley Congressman Charlie Dent is still catching a lot of heat over the plan that made it through the state House today, 136-61.
Lisa Boscola blasted him from the Pa. Senate floor in a rambling, ten-minute speech that reminded me of a Sam Bennett rant. Republican-turned-Democrat Jackson Eaton, the latest pretender to Dent's seat, called the scheme "Charlie-mandering."
Locally, all Democrats voted against this plan, which does divide the Lehigh Valley. But so did Republicans Joe Emrick, Marcia Hahn and Justin Simmons. Dent has issued this statement:
“I intend to represent the people of Pennsylvania’s reconfigured 15th Congressional District with energy and enthusiasm. While I am saddened to lose portions of Montgomery and Northampton Counties and the many friends I have made in these areas as a result of the redistricting process, I am eager to earn the trust and confidence of new constituents in Berks, Dauphin and Lebanon Counties.
“Despite the reconfiguration of the 15th Congressional District, I will remain a strong advocate for the interests of all Northampton County residents throughout the remainder of the 112th Congress and well into the future. The Lehigh Valley is a dynamic and distinctive area, and I will work closely with my friend and colleague Tim Holden to further strengthen our region’s economy and influence.”