The existence of Gov. Larry Hogan’s Redistricting Advisory Commission has not stopped legislative Democrats from their loving embrace of partisan gerrymandering.
Senate President Bill Ferguson and Speaker Adrienne Jones have decided that they are not going to sit by and let the governor’s commission promote fair and balanced congressional and legislative districts without putting up a fight. Ferguson and Jones announced that they would appoint their own Legislative Redistricting Advisory Commission as a foil to Governor Hogan’s independent redistricting commission.
The differences between the Hogan commission and the Legislative Redistricting Advisory Commission could not be more stark.
Speaker Jones told the Baltimore Sun that the Legislative Redistricting Advisory Commission had a “goal is to ensure that Maryland’s representation reflects its citizens. The General Assembly will pass fair maps based on the robust public engagement and feedback of this commission.”
That’s the entire point of the governor’s Redistricting Advisory Commission, a commission that exists precisely because the current process has given Maryland absurdly gerrymandered districts that are the laughingstock of the entire country.
Of course, the conclusions of this Legislative Redistricting Advisory Commission are already baked in the cake. With five of the seven members of the commission being Democrats, we already know that this egislative commission will continue to endorse the radical partisan gerrymandering that has been the hallmark of Maryland Democrats for decades. Political, racial, gender, and socioeconomic equality will again be sacrificed at the altar of Democratic establishment power.
The Legislative Redistricting Advisory Commission’s legislative districts will almost certainly include one, two, and three-member House districts, notwithstanding the fact that most Marylanders oppose such multi-member districts.
Just compare the commissions and you can see the credibility gap between the two.
Gov. Hogan’s commission includes a balanced representation of three Democrats, three Republicans, and three independents. None of the members are elected officials and none of the members will be candidates for office in 2022.
The Legislative Redistricting Advisory Commission consists of five Democrats and only two Republicans. Independents, the largest political affiliation in Maryland right now, are unrepresented. Of the seen members, six are elected officials, all of whom are seeking re-election in 2022. The only non-politician on the commission is Karl Aro, a lifelong-Democrat and the former head of the ostensibly nonpartisan Department of Legislative Services.
The governor’s commission is a commission of citizens who have no stake in the game who will propose fair and equitable districts that do not benefit themselves. The Legislative Redistricting Advisory Commission is going to have its decisions made by five career partisan Democratic hacks, four of which are gunning to protect their phony baloney jobs.
It’s nearly comical to see the Democrats’ rank hypocrisy on gerrymandering in Maryland compared to the rest of the country. In a world where Democrats are deriding Republicans for partisan gerrymandering in states around the country, Maryland Democrats are hellbent on continuing their radical gerrymandering by any means necessary.
This stuff really matters. One of the reasons why Democrats in Maryland are so radically out of touch with the people of this state is because the districts are drawn specifically to help Democrats and nobody else. Women, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, and, yes, conservatives are underrepresented in the General Assembly and in our congressional delegation because fair representation is not as important to Democrats as raw political power. Everything is oriented toward ensuring the establishment stays the establishment.
While the Governor’s Redistricting Advisory Commission is designed to help the people, the Legislative Redistricting Advisory Commission is designed to help politicians. The difference could not be more clear. The people of Maryland need to make their voices heard to legislative leadership to demand fair legislative and congressional districts for a change.
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Brian Griffiths is the publisher of The Duckpin, available for free at TheDuckpin.com, and host of The Duckpin Podcast, available on YouTube and wherever podcasts are available. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter @BrianGriffiths, on Instagram @briangriffithsmd, or on Facebook at facebook.com/briangriffithsmd.