DiSanto failed Pa. voters on redistricting reform | Opinion

Sen. John DiSanto announces a licensing reform bill on Wednesday, May 22.
Sen. John DiSanto announces a licensing reform bill on Wednesday, May 22.

By Jane Gray

I’m a constituent of state Sen. John DiSanto, R-Dauphin.

In June I wrote him a letter expressing my disappointment with his failure to support legislation that would establish an independent citizens commission to draw legislative redistricting lines following this 2020 census.

This is an idea that has very broad public support, according to a poll by the advocacy group FairDistricts PA.

DiSanto gave a statement to FairDistrictsPA claiming “I have supported redistricting reform in the past and have been a champion of taking partisan politics out of redistricting. I believe we must put into place an independent commission that looks only at fairness and not partisan outcomes.

And yet, as chairman of the Senate State Government Committee, he had not even held a hearing, much less a vote on the bills which would make this commission a reality. I went on to urge him to support the current proposal by Sen. Tom Killion, R-Delaware, that would update the way Pennsylvania draws its legislative and congressional districts. You can read more about the proposal on the FairDistricts PA website.

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I received no response, not even an acknowledgment that my letter was delivered.

Then DiSanto went on to hold a vote (without any hearings) to introduce a proposed amendment to the state constitution which would extend gerrymandering into the Pennsylvania state judicial system. The vote was entirely partisan. I am astonished and appalled by the senator’s bald two-facedness on this issue.

DiSanto is running for re-election this November. I would urge his constituents to consider that any of his statements need to be taken with large amounts of salt before placing any faith in them.

Jane Gray writes from Hummelstown, Pa.