Jimmie Moore, a former Philadelphia Municipal Court judge challenging U.S. Rep. Bob Brady in the April 24 Democratic primary election, has not exactly been campaigning with a fervor. Until today. Moore just released an open letter to Brady, slamming him for rounding up Philadelphia Democrats in the state House to support the once-a-decade redistricting plan drawn up by the Republicans who control the state General Assembly.
Moore addresses his letter to "Chairman Brady." It has a headline calling him the "honorary chairman of the Pennsylvania Republican Party." Brady is chairman of the Democratic City Committee in Philadelphia. Moore got his start in local politics working for the committee under the direction of Brady.
In the letter, Moore accuses Brady of selling out his political party in return for having the lines of his congressional district redrawn in a way helpful for his re-election.
"While the Democratic party as a whole was the big loser in the redistricting process, you were among the biggest winners," Moore wrote. "For your part, you have acknowledged that you secured Democratic votes for the plan, despite it being so brazenly skewed in favor of the GOP."
An Open Letter to Robert Brady,
Honorary Chairman of the Pennsylvania Republican Party
Dear Chairman Brady:
Evidence of an increasingly disenchanted electorate is abundant, as evidenced by Congress’ all-time low approval rating of 9%. One obvious explanation for this phenomenon is Americans’ frustration over politicians putting their own interests above those of their constituents. Your recent intervention to ensure passage of the Republican-dominated Pennsylvania redistricting plan is precisely the sort of self-serving backroom maneuver that is destroying confidence in our political process.
Pennsylvania recently adopted new congressional districts that reflect the loss of one congressional seat as a consequence of the 2010 census. Given Republican control of Pennsylvania’s General Assembly, Senate, and governorship, it is not surprising that the Republicans came out ahead in this process; rather, the surprise lies in the magnitude of the Republican Party’s victory. The Republican Party’s effort here in Pennsylvania has been called by state political observer G. Terry Madonna of Franklin & Marshall College “the worst gerrymander in modern Pennsylvania history."
Despite the new map’s overwhelming favorability to the GOP, it seemed that Republicans in the General Assembly would not have enough votes to pass the redistricting plan- that was, until you stepped up and started rounding votes in support of the GOP plan. It has been widely reported that Republican leaders in the General Assembly turned to you to secure the necessary votes for passage. Some speculate that you agreed to do this in exchange for a favorable re-drawing of your own congressional district. While the Democratic party as a whole was the big loser in the redistricting process, you were among the biggest winners.
For your part, you have acknowledged that you secured Democratic votes for the plan, despite it being so brazenly skewed in favor of the GOP. As you have personally recognized, “Republicans were in charge of this.” Having no control over the redistricting process Democrats had no role here other than to not help the Republicans pass their first-choice map. But you were only too happy to bail out the Republicans by throwing your own party and constituents under the bus, all to protect yourself, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Watching you sell out your party for your own benefit, I felt as I imagine Eagles fans would feel if Michael Vick, in his Eagles uniform, was caught in the back of a bar sharing game plans with Eli Manning. The people who rely on you expect you to be in the game not for your own self-interest but rather for the interest of the Democratic Party and the constituents that back you. Your actions are those of a free agent who changes teams according to what serves you best.
The Democrats of this city, state and country deserve better and more. Accordingly, I challenge you to four (4) debates throughout the First Congressional District: Temple University, in North Philadelphia, Widener University in Chester, Swarthmore College in Swarthmore and the Constitution Center in Center City, to debate your decision to spearhead the new redistricting plan as well as the challenges which face the First Congressional District.