National Dems target Pa. GOP's electoral vote plan

Democratic National Committee robocalls will begin going out in 10 key Pennsylvania state Senate districts represented by Republicans Monday, asking voters to pressure their senators to oppose a GOP plan to change the way the state awards its electoral votes in presidential elections.

Half of the calls are targeted at senators in metropolitan Philadelphia, including Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R.,Chester), the chief sponsor of the electoral-college bill. It would split Pennsylvania’s electoral votes among presidential candidates based on their percentage of the popular vote, with two votes to the statewide winner, instead of the traditional winner-take-all system.

Republican presidential candidates have lost the overall popular vote in the state in the six presidential elections since 1988.

Pileggi has said that the bill is not a priority, but it has been introduced with 13 co-sponsors and Democrats are not taking chances.

“The Republican Party is scheming to rig the next election because they can’t win on the issues,” the message, recorded by former Gov. Ed Rendell (D), says. “This plan will diminish Pennsylvania’s importance in future elections and its role as a swing state where candidates spend time and money focusing on issues that are important to Pennsylvanians.”

Here is the full call aimed at Sen. Ted Erickson (R.,Chester), and the call targeting Sen. Tommy Tomlinson (R.,Bucks).

The calls are the latest move from Democrats to try to block the electoral vote bill. Last week, the DNC sent a message to the party’s state email list – a note from Rendell urging recipients to bombard Gov. Corbett’s office with calls against the measure; the governor has yet to take a position.

 “The Republican Party couldn’t win on the issues in 2012, so they’re resorting to underhanded tactics that would undermine the majority of voters in Pennsylvania,” said DNC spokesman Patrick Burgwinkle. “We’re taking this bill very seriously and Republicans need to know there is political price to pay for trying to rig the next presidential election.”

 The other targets are Sens. Jake Corman (R.,Centre); Sen. Pat Browne (R.,Lehigh); Mike Brubaker (R., Lancaster); Stewart Greenleaf  (R.,Montgomery); Chuck McIlhinney (R.,Bucks) and Lloyd Smucker (R., Lancaster).