- Gov. Hogan extends work of Maryland Redistricting Reform Commission [Danielle Gaines, Frederick News-Post; earlier, Len Lazarick/Maryland Reporter] Also, a video on gerrymandering at the Baltimore Sun;
- Baltimore police spokesman T.J. Smith about force’s use of dragnet of social media information about citizens: “The only people that have anything to fear about anything being monitored are those that are criminals and attempting to commit criminal acts.” Yes, that’s really what Smith said [Alison Knezevich/Baltimore Sun; in sequel, social media companies rescind access to the Geofeedia service] “Maryland’s use of facial recognition software questioned by researchers, civil liberties advocates” [Sun]
- MSEA by the sea: “Maryland students miss school for union convention” [Quinton Report]
- Why did lawyers for incoming First Lady sue in Maryland? “Plaintiff-friendly rules…won’t require her to pay the Daily Mail’s legal bill if she loses.” [Eriq Gardner, Hollywood Reporter]
- “Former Maryland prison imam was investigated over alleged Islamic State plot” [Baltimore Sun]
- “Maryland pays Marriott to stay” [Preston Cooper, Economics21]
Tag Archives: redistricting reform
- MoCo Executive Leggett stifles a plan to make county dealings with labor unions more transparent [Bill Turque, Washington Post]
- “Shank: Criminal justice overhaul will lead to better outcomes in Maryland” [Herald-Mail]
- “Why in the world would the P.G. police dept. choose this particular cop to host a ride-along with a reporter?” [Radley Balko]
- Baltimore’s regulatory blockade: lawsuit challenges grip of historic preservation laws [Nick Zaiac, Market Urbanism]
- Been there. “Replacing Maryland E-ZPass transponder is not so easy” [Len Lazarick]
- It’s something [that] shouldn’t be done by either party in any state.” Larry Hogan talks gerrymandering [Danielle Gaines, Frederick News-Post]
- “It ought to be possible to terminate cops short of criminal convictions for incidents like that involving Gray’s” [Ed Krayewski; more from Reason on police unions here, here, and here]
- Will national Dems throw away redistricting issue by installing Martin O’Malley, author of nation’s worst gerrymander, as DNC chair? [Baltimore Fishbowl, Jonathan Shurberg/Maryland Scramble] Despite discomfort in Annapolis, it’s “in Democrats’ best interests to fight gerrymandering on all fronts” [Eli Briody-Pavlik, Maryland Reporter] Gerrymandering’s effect within a party can be as powerful as its effect in contests between parties [J. Miles Coleman on District 8 Dem primary]
- 5-part series on StingRay [cell phone tracking] use in Maryland law enforcement [Courtney Mabeus, Maryland Reporter]
- Should create an opening for the local GOP, right? Montgomery County plans a massive 8.7 percent property tax hike with spending binge to match [Adam Pagnucco, The Seventh State]
- Homeowners in Cumberland, Md., resist city’s eminent domain plans [Save Rolling Mill via Institute for Justice]
- I criticized “Grace’s Law,” the Maryland statute criminalizing some online actions causing distress to minors, at the time; now a Eugene Volokh amicus challenges it on First Amendment grounds [Volokh Conspiracy]
While redistricting reform did not pass this year — or even get a committee or floor vote from the ruling Democrats — Gov. Larry Hogan will “probably come back and fight some more. It’s an issue I really care about.” [Len Lazarick interview, Maryland Reporter]
- Great coverage of my redistricting reform speech at Hagerstown Rotary by Tamela Baker in the Herald-Mail. And you can listen to me on this subject with Kojo Nnamdi of WAMU/public radio and on Frederick County’s “Eye on Our Community” with Kai Hagen;
- Even as doubts mount about shaken-baby syndrome, Jefferson, Md. dad gets 20-year sentence [Kelsi Loos, Frederick News-Post; Washington Post via, Reuters, USA Today]
- New study: “The Case for Common Sense Regulatory Reforms to the Maryland Code” [Nick Zaiac, Maryland Public Policy Institute]
- No, let’s not: some MoCo lawmakers want to bestow voting franchise in school board elections on non-citizen immigrants and 16-17 year olds [Christine Stoddard, Maryland Reporter]
- “Oyster Recycling Subsidy and Other Crazy Maryland Tax Credits” [Preston Cooper, Economics 21]
- Walkersville: no strict liability when noise from lawful fireworks display causes cows to stampede in nearby barn [Eugene Volokh]
Gov. Larry Hogan has written a letter to President Barack Obama and it’s great:
March 31, 2016
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington DC, 20500
Dear Mr. President,
It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to meet with you at the White House last month during the National Governor’s Association winter meeting in Washington DC. I am grateful for the commitment you made at the time to partner with the NGA to review burdensome federal regulations that may create unnecessary obstacles to economic development and job creation. That we can find common ground on this matter gives me hope that I may also be able to count on your support on another issue.
On April 11 the Maryland General Assembly’s 2016 legislative session will conclude, and with it Maryland’s best hope to reform what is widely regarded as the worst gerrymandering in the nation could also come to an end. As you said in your most recent State of the Union Address: “We have to end the practice of drawing our congressional districts so that politicians can pick their voters, and not the other way around. Let a bipartisan group do it.”
On this issue, we are in complete agreement. Last year, my administration assembled a bipartisan task force to study redistricting. After months of work and public comment, the task force recommended that the state establish an independent commission to draw Congressional and legislative districts, eliminating the influence of elected officials and political parties. Unfortunately, this legislation has stalled in the Maryland General Assembly, and may not even come to the floor for a vote.
There are only days left in the legislative session, and next year, we may not have as strong an advocate in White House as you have been on this issue. With your intervention, I believe we could set things right in Maryland.
Of course, I will continue to fight for Marylanders regardless of what happens over the coming days or years. However, with the weight of the White House behind independent redistricting in Maryland, I know we can deliver real change and I am hopeful that you can take action to encourage Maryland’s lawmakers to bring this matter to the floor for a vote.
If there is anything I can do to help you or members of your administration make a case for fair redistricting in Maryland in the days ahead, my administration is at your disposal. I look forward to any steps you may be able to take and I offer my thanks for your attention to the matter.
Governor of Maryland
State House, Annapolis, Maryland
I’ve taken the text of the letter from Washington Post reporter Josh Hicks’s Document Cloud posting, cleaning up errors arising from scanned character recognition when I spotted them; apologies for any errors I didn’t catch. Hicks’s coverage of the story is here. Excerpt:
Six states use nonpartisan redistricting committees to draw their voting maps, and the idea is broadly popular among Maryland residents. But leading Democrats, whose party holds large majorities in the House and the Senate, say they will not consider making Maryland’s system more balanced unless other states whose maps favor Republicans do the same.
More from Erin Cox at Baltimore Sun/Capital Gazette:
Leading Democrats have said they’re disinclined to approve a plan that changes Maryland’s congressional districts absent a national plan for all states to draw them differently.
The nonpartisan, voter-advocacy group Common Cause supports Hogan’s proposal, and executive director Jennifer Bevan-Dangel said Wednesday she was pleased the governor asked Obama to help.
But lawmakers also need to forward the administration’s redistricting-reform bill for “an up or down vote,” he said.
“There can be no possible excuse for keeping this bill hidden in a drawer and simply ignoring the will of nearly every person in Maryland,” he said.
Hogan’s bill, filed in both houses, would create an independent commission to redraw congressional and legislative district lines after each new census. But the measure has languished in committee in both chambers….
“This is a bipartisan issue supported by nearly all Marylanders. It’s time for the legislators to join with us and set an example for the entire nation,” Hogan said, challenging legislators to “set this bill free.”
More: video with the governor!