NEW HOPE, Pa. – At a town hall meeting here Wednesday, Sen. Chuck McIlhinney, a Republican member of Pennsylvania’s Senate State Government Committee, spoke out against fellow Republican Sen. Dominic Pileggi’s scheme to change the way Pennsylvania apportions its electoral votes. McIlhinney said Pileggi’s bill was “poorly thought out” and “makes no sense to me whatsoever.” He added, “I won’t support it.”
McIlhinney is a member of the Senate State Government Committee, which would be the first to review Pileggi’s bill.
Rep. Allyson Schwartz and former congressman Joe Sestak have both denounced the plan. Gov. Tom Corbett has yet to state a position on the bill and whether he would veto it if it passed the legislature.
“Governor Corbett has not been forthright with the public on whether he favors legislation rigging future presidential elections in favor of one party over another and costing the state millions in economic activity. Despite his reluctance to clearly articulate a position on disenfranchising millions of Pennsylvanians, it is clear that his tacit approval will not stand well with voters or even with some members of his own party,” said Randy Borntrager, Political Director of People For the American Way.
“It’s time for the governor to step up and tell Pennsylvanians whether he sides with the best interests of the voters or with the interests of the Republican Party leadership.”
Last month, People For the American Way delivered over 100,000 petitions urging Corbett to reject Pileggi’s plan.
A transcript and video of McIlhinney’s remarks are below.
Question: I just had a question about a bill that Senator Pileggi had, that we have been hearing a lot in the press about, that changes the electoral college votes. What is your stance on that? What is your position on that and why?
Senator McIlhinney: The electoral college….What they are trying to say is that you have a proportionate amount of votes you need…or we have 20 electoral college votes and they should be based upon a proportionate of the number of people who voted in Pennsylvania.
Now, under that system, I could never see a Presidential candidate ever getting more than 11 to 9, no matter who it is. Because I am never going to see a candidate win 75% of the vote in Pennsylvania. So you could never even get more than 11 let alone 20. Which makes no sense to me whatsoever.
What you’re saying is you’ll have two….It will force us into a state that will only have two electoral college votes depending on which way you go with it. So, I won’t support it. I don’t think it’s gonna come up.
But that’s the logic is to say that every vote should count. So, even if your candidate lost, you’re still gaining him some electoral college votes in that electoral college….but it really was poorly thought out, if I can say that.
I respect Senator Pileggi a lot but I wouldn’t support it. And it really would set Pennsylvania back to a state like a small state like Vermont or Ohio…well not Ohio.