Gov. O'Malley and his redistricting commission: arrogance with no accountability

At the start of the redistricting hearing last night, State Senate President Thomas V. "Mike" Miller, House Speaker Michael Busch and their three colleagues could not have looked more bored.

But Annie Linsky of the Sun describes some testimony that seemed to wake them up:

Though the hearing was sparsely attended compared to others elsewhere in
the state, commenters made some of the most pointed criticism to date. David
Greene, a city resident, took lawmakers to task for the “arrogance” of
Maryland’s current congressional map.

Particularly in Central Maryland, that map cuts through counties and neighborhoods in a tangle of lines designed to link Democratic voters together and limit Republican power in Congress. He said one district resembles a cow-brand that lawmakers stamped on the state.

He compared the public lack of concern about gerrymandering to what he
says was once a similar attitude toward date rape.

“Everyone says 'politicians will be politicians,' “ Greene said. “It is time for us to shift our attitudes just as we did with date rape. Not acceptable.”

He drew applause when he asked: “Are you going to fix this problem or are you going to rape us again?”

If Miller and Busch want to stop the gerrymandering, it is easily within their power. Will they wake up and smell the coffee? Too early to say, but I think they might be surprised at how closely people will be watching them.

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