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Lehigh Valley

Easton could be cut out of new LV Congressional district

Easton not in new LV Congressional District

EASTON, Pa. - Easton could be getting booted out of the Lehigh Valley, at least on a new congressional map, anyway.

A reapportionment plan pushes the city out of one district and into another.

Not everyone is happy about the change, but every ten years congress redraws district lines.

Analyst say many times those lines benefit the political party in power.

"The voters no longer elect their representatives, instead the representatives elect their voters," said John Kincaid, Lafayette professor and director of the study of state and local government.

Kincaid says this type of gerrymandering has been taking place for at least two hundred years.

Congressman Tim Holden says there was no hiding how the new districts would be drawn in for 2012.

"The motivation behind this congressional map is to secure the 12 incumbent Republicans to make sure their seats are safe," said Holden.

Congressman Holden's current district includes Perry, Dauphin, Lebanon, Schuylkill, and Berks counties.

The new proposed 17th Congreesional District would put him in charge of Schuylkill, Monroe, Lackwanna, Luzurne, Carbon and Northampton counties.

Part of Congressman Holden's new district includes the city of Easton. Mayor Sal Panto says he wishes the city was still connected to the other Lehigh Valley cities and he says it's something they may have to do despite the new district lines."

"I think Congressman Holden is a good person, a good congressman, but the bulk of his district isn't the Lehigh Valley," said Panto. "The bulk of his district is the Pocono's and working for them."

By separating Easton, Panto says, his city will lose some clout in the nations capitol.

"I'm now going to go to Congressman Holden and I'm just a little bit of the end of his district," said Panto.

"It's up to me to prove to them that I will represent them in a proper manner in Washington," replied Holden.

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