Redistricting deals blow to right-to-know

Supporters of the state Supreme Court redistricting ruling have made the point that the ruling was an independent judgment of the justices.

And Gov. Tom Wolf’s office never misses an opportunity to spout self-proclaimed transparency values.

Recently, a Right-to-Know request was made by the Republican Party of Pennsylvania regarding the redistricting litigation.

Wolf’s office responded to the request with the claim that there were no records of official communication between the governor’s office, Democrat Supreme Court Justices or their retained expert, Moon Duchin, and/or the National Democratic Redistricting Committee.

The governor’s office denied the request for access to communications records between them and Duchin based on attorney-client privilege and an exception to the Right-to-Know law regarding internal, pre-decisional deliberation.

And that begs the question: If there was no communication among the governor’s office, the justices, the experts and the Democratic redistricting committee, why was a request for official communications records denied?

It’s great that the governor’s office says there was no official communication between them and the National Democratic Redistricting Committee. Why not approve the Right-to-Know request and remove all doubt?

That would be especially helpful in light of the fact that the governor’s re-election campaign recently received a $250,000 re-election campaign donation from the special interest group.

It’s fair to explore whether Pennsylvania’s boundary lines for Congressional districts can be made more logical and less political.

But the suspicious timing of the court’s ruling — a couple months prior to the May primary election — and an insistence that new boundaries be applied to this election, demand a healthy cynicism regarding the seeds of the ruling.


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