Rep. Chellie Pingree accused Republicans of being “mean” by backing a plan to move her home into the same district as her Democratic colleague, Rep. Mike Michaud.
“That’s just downright mean,” Pingree said in a phone interview.
It’s not uncommon for Congressional mapmakers to move Members into the same district during redistricting if it would help their party. Members do not have to live in the House districts in which they serve.
But the battle over Maine’s two House seats reached a new pitch this summer, when Republicans proposed swapping 350,000 people between the two districts — including areas such as Pingree’s homestead. State lawmakers will take up competing Democratic and Republican maps later this month in a special session.
Pingree hails from North Haven, an island where her family owned a bed-and-breakfast for years. But she also owns a home in Portland, which is the population center of the 1st district. She plans to run for re-election in the 1st district, but that doesn’t mean she’s happy about the possibility her North Haven home could get shifted into the 2nd.
“I own a business, I have grandchildren, and I’ve lived there for most of my life. I’m supposed to move on the whim of a partisan gerrymander?” Pingree said.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., speaks with reporters following a vote in the Senate. Gillibrand’s proposal to remove military commanders from the process of reviewing sexual-assault cases was left out of the bicameral deal on the defense authorization bill, but the senator is pushing for a vote on her plan soon.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.