Politics must have no role in congressional map
Regarding the current dispute over whether the state Supreme Court has the right to redraw Pennsylvania’s congressional district map in order to undo Republican gerrymandering (Feb. 14, “Governor Rejects Map Redrawn by Republicans”): State Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman made statements indicating that district mapping is the constitutionally mandated purview of the Legislature. I have always wondered why we allow the foxes not only to guard the henhouse but also to design it.
Clearly, it’s not just the mapping but the state’s constitution itself that should be revisited. (This sort of built-in conflict of interest is exactly why we have such a ridiculously large state Legislature — we leave it up to the officeholders to be willing to eliminate offices. They’ll never do it, and we’ll keep on paying for it.) Congressional districting should be determined by disinterested third parties guided by computers, not politics. DIANE AVERILL
Highland Park the streets around me for some distance and the only political sign for the upcoming special election was for Conor Lamb. I thought for a few seconds and promptly drove to the Republican headquarters and got a couple of Rick Saccone signs.
I am glad that I got more than one sign. After I got home and put up the sign in my yard, the next morning it was gone. I was disappointed, not angry. When children or those of diminished intelligence do something stupid, adults sigh and get on with life. I put up a new sign that is still there.
We have lived in our house for so many years that we have neighbors whom we honestly love. We are surrounded by some of the kindest and most generous people I have ever known. And when they go vote, we promptly walk in behind them and cancel their votes.
This is still America. I have lived and worked in some of the least democratic countries in the world. Like Mr. Lamb, I served in the Marine Corps. Millions of people in the past 250 years have served this country, and when we put on the uniform, no one asked about our political affiliation. As Americans, we expect — no, demand — that people be treated fairly, be respected and be allowed to vote for anyone they choose.
My biggest disappointment is when I read that only 30 percent or 35 percent of the eligible voters bothered to go to the polls. We have worked too hard for this, for too many years, for this precious right that most of the people on this planet still do not have. I hope that those who live in the 18th Congressional District will get out and vote on Tuesday, March 13. JIM CANNON
We welcome your opinion
I was saddened to learn of Marty Allen’s death (Feb. 14 news obituary, “Pittsburgh Native, Comedian Was Still Performing at Age 95”). Mr. Allen was a Pittsburgh treasure whom I was privileged to see on several occasions — mostly recently at the Monroeville Convention Center. He had the audience in stitches and received a standing ovation.
Not only was Mr. Allen a consummate performer but he was generous with his time — always willing to speak with his fans, sign autographs and pose for pictures. He personified Pittsburgh.
On Sept. 24, 2009, Mr. Allen was deservedly inducted into the inaugural class of the Taylor Allderdice Hall of Fame. He will be missed. CELIA SHAPIRO