- Strong Capital Gazette editorial backs recommendations of Gov. Hogan’s Maryland Redistricting Reform Commission. More: Fraser Smith and Karen Hosler, WYPR, earlier here, etc.
- 250 years ago on Repudiation Day Frederick County magistrate judges defied British crown [Danielle Gaines, Frederick News-Post] As I wrote two years ago, it’s the only American public holiday I know of celebrating judicial resistance to onerous government and taxation;
- Occupational licensure, land use regulation and housing subsidy programs make inviting targets for regulatory reform to lower compliance burdens [public comment submitted to the Maryland Regulatory Reform Commission by Nick Zaiac for Maryland Public Policy Institute]
- Oyster visas: when even Sen. Barbara Mikulski says Obama labor regulations go too far, maybe they really do go too far [Washington Post]
- “Vacate the streets and see how the community likes it” — a prescient June Washington Post editorial on Baltimore policing? What I wrote re: NYPD’s ticket-writing strike last December;
- A city heedless of its literary heritage: Mencken house at 1524 Hollins St. continues to deteriorate despite $3 million bequest under city of Baltimore control and unused after nine years [Daily Record via Maryland Reporter]
Monthly Archives: November 2015
According to David Lublin and Adam Pagnucco at Seventh State, Montgomery County’s government liquor monopoly, under attack by Comptroller Peter Franchot and others, makes a broad and inviting target: it’s deeply unpopular with the public, not really needed for revenue, and its reform offers an opening for political newcomers, what with most of the incumbent council choosing to side against consumer interests and with MCGEO, which represents county store workers and “acts like a union out of Republican central casting, attempting to bully its opponents into submission.”
What the reform panel is proposing is about as far removed from party bosses as feasible. …. one thing is clear, the commission is headed in the proper direction.
— Baltimore Sun editorial, November 2
Gerrymandering is rife across the country, resulting in artificially drawn districts intended to protect or defeat certain incumbents, maximize one party’s share of power, or achieve other political goals. My own state of Maryland suffers from a famously awful Congressional gerrymander, including the notorious District 3, compared with a “broken-winged pterodactyl” or the blood splatters from a crime scene.
I’ve had a chance to do something about this problem over the past three months as co-chair of the Maryland Redistricting Reform Commission, created by Gov. Larry Hogan in August to gather information and draft recommendations for a new and better way of doing things. Following public hearings, testimony from experts and considerable research, we filed our report with the governor on Tuesday.
Len Lazarick at Maryland Reporter sums up some of the key points. If enacted, our plan would make Maryland the only state in which elected legislators and the governor would no say at all — zero — in deciding who should sit on a line-drawing commission. Our plan follows several elements of California’s ground-breaking plan, including screening of volunteers and randomized pools, simplified and adapted to the circumstances of our smaller state. In addition to requiring congruence with county and city boundaries where possible, contiguity, and compactness, we would join a very few states in instructing the drafters of lines to ignore partisan indicators such as voter registration and past voting results, as well as the place of residence of incumbents or any other person.
Full report here. Some more coverage: Carroll County Times editorial; Naomi Eide, Capital News Service; Josh Hicks, Washington Post; Erin Cox, Baltimore Sun; Fox Baltimore; Jen Fifield, Frederick News-Post (this last quoting me at length, and see also this profile in August).
[cross-posted from Overlawyered]