Letter: Give Barrar the boot

On April 11, state Rep. Steve Barrar voted, in an impromptu State Government Committee meeting, to gut HB722, the redistricting reform legislation. The core and strength of this legislation to ensure true reform is the formation of an independent commission to redraw district boundaries.

What Barrar voted on was committee Chairman Daryl Metcalfe’s amendment that eliminates the independent commission and in its place puts a commission made up entirely of legislators with the majority party having the balance of power ensuring they stay in power. These are the same people responsible for Pennsylvania’s egregiously gerrymandered 7thCongressional District.

Steve Barrar previously said he saw no reason for amending the Constitution for redistricting reform. He said that a gerrymandered 7thwould not happen again because the citizens were now paying attention and legislators would not be able “…to get away with…” something like that again. That’s the logic driving his decision making, whether he can get away with an egregious attack on the fundamentals of our democracy.

And this is only one example of his tenure as an elected official, a servant of the people of the 160th Legislative District. Over and over, when it comes to education, women’s health, children’s health, environmental health and safety, he sides with the businesses that gain from the issue and not with the voter.

It’s time he gets the message that we do not want anyone representing us whose modus operandi is whether he can get away with it.

It’s time for voters in the 160th  to give Steve Barrar the boot. He is up for re-election and he will face one of two very formidable, reputable, and experienced Democrats, Anton Andrew or Cathy Spahr.

Carol Catanese
Pennsbury Township



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One Response to “Letter: Give Barrar the boot”

  1. David Epstein says:

    The HB722 skullduggery was especially bad. As you point out, HB722 would have established an independently appointed “Citizens’ Commission” to draw voting maps. Instead, it was amended (gutted, really!) in committee, allowing legislators to draw their own voting districts, with virtually no oversight. Not even the Supreme Court of PA would be able to overturn it!

    Representative Barrar is listed as having voted FOR this despicable amendment in committee. Afterwards, he told a constituent that he wasn’t actually present for the vote, having given Chairman Metcalfe his proxy. I’m not sure which is worse – voting to subvert honest voting, or abandoning responsibility for it.

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