Pittsburgh, PA − November 21, 2020 − Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa, Jr. released the following statement on the news that Republican state legislators will join out-going President Donald Trump at the White House to discuss electoral college “options”:
Two of the most important hallmarks of democracy are fair elections and the peaceful transition of power. These are not partisan principles; they are central to our form of government, regardless of party affiliation. They are what separate us from authoritarian and totalitarian regimes.
Donald Trump supporters have indicated their interest in nullifying the results of our General Election to instead appoint “loyal electors” is an affront to all voters and our democracy as a whole.
It is such an outlandish idea that it has not happened in 150 years – since the election of Rutherford Hayes.
Voters must determine our next president – not a few Trump loyalists hand picked by Republican legislative leaders.
These plans were hatched in conjunction with efforts to undermine faith in mail in ballots, sow the seeds of doubt about non-existent voter fraud.
This election was held legitimately, without political interference or the threat of authoritarian schemes to keep President Trump in office.
I urge our Republican colleagues in the General Assembly to pledge to conduct this process fairly and accept its results peacefully.
Republican state legislators from Michigan have accepted an invitation to the White House to meet with the out-going President and aid him in an attempted coup.
There are reports that Pennsylvanian Republican legislators will be the next to receive such an invitation.
It is my sincere hope that they decline.
Joe Biden won Pennsylvania by 60,000 votes.
There is no confusion. There is a clear result and it’s time that it was respected.
We also must point out the gross hypocrisy of Republicans who partake in this misinformation campaign.
15 Republicans won election to this chamber in November’s election – but they are not questioning those results. They intend to take their seats in January and serve as senators of this body based on the ballots that were cast…. Meanwhile, they are questioning the results that led Biden to victory.
Those votes were cast on the same ballots. In the same counties.
They cannot cry foul for the top of the ticket and celebrate their own wins.
This is a shameful degree of hypocrisy and is at its base, anti-democratic.
It borders on sedition and I hope the members of this body decline to participate in an overthrow of our duly elected federal government.