Thursday, October 13, 2011

Gov. Martin O'Malley to Revise Maryland 2012 Congressional District Map // Extent of Changes Unclear

The Washington Times is reporting that Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley will be editing the State Redistricting Commission's proposed 2012 Congressional boundaries. A new map is expected Monday, but the article notes that the extent of any changes is unclear:
O'Malley spokeswoman Takirra Winfield said Wednesday the governor will work over the weekend to revise the map before submitting it Monday to Assembly lawmakers returning to Annapolis for a special session on redistricting. 
The governor suggested earlier this month, after his advisory panel released the map, that he would make minor changes. But it’s unclear whether the outcry Tuesday from Maryland Democratic lawmakers about the map, based on 2010 census results, will result in more substantial changes.
The outcry mentioned by the Times was elaborated upon by Washington Post columnist Robert McCartney:
A couple of liberal black female politicians from Prince George’s and Montgomery counties are challenging the Maryland Democratic establishment on behalf of minorities and the D.C. suburbs. And I say it’s about time. 
One is Rep. Donna F. Edwards (D), the Prince George’s-based congresswoman who, in her second term, is a vice chair of both the liberal and progressive caucuses in the House. The other is Montgomery County Council President Valerie Ervin (D-Silver Spring), who is also emerging as a potent local political figure.... 
Ervin also organized and led a remarkable news conference in Rockville on Tuesday in which a “rainbow coalition” of white, black, Latino and Asian elected officials from Montgomery assailed the redistricting plan.... 
Edwards, Ervin and their supporters face an uphill battle when the state legislature takes up the redistricting plan starting Monday. The establishment probably has enough muscle to push the plan through.
Meanwhile, The Baltimore Sun previously reported Rep. Chris Van Hollen was not pleased with the new CD8 and asked for "substantial" changes. Yesterday, their editorial board also noted that Republicans are trying to join the bandwagon with a newfound (ie: disingenuous) love for minority representation. The Sun also had this interesting historical tidbit:
It's nothing new for a sitting congresswoman to speak out against a proposed redistricting map. Then-Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin did so 10 years ago, to little effect. Many people may dislike a governor's proposal, but the chances that they will coalesce around any one alternative are slim. 
One thing is certain: no matter what the new maps look like, the Republicans will not be pleased (except for Rep. Andy Harris). There will be a 7-1 Democratic map. With that established, can we count on GOP support for future endeavors regarding the representation of racial minorities?

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