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The purpose of this diary is to demonstrate that it is quite possible to redistrict Maryland in a manner in which 8 Democrats can be elected to Congress from the state.

The following map provides a visual re. how this may be accomplished following the 2010 Census:

Photobucket

General Observations:

1.) I tried to make the new map reflective of 2010 population estimates, as different parts of the state have experienced varying population growth levels.  For example, the population of Baltimore City is expected to decline slightly between the 2000 and 2010 Censuses, while some outer exurban areas of Baltimore and Washington are expected to show increases of 20% or more.

2.) I tried to make the map less gerrymandered than the current one, and believe that I was successful at the task.  While still creative, the district boundaries are arguably more uniform and the districts more compact than before.  Additionally, the new map keeps intact much of the territory of the current 7 Democratic representatives, while still creating a new 8th Democratic seat.  I decided to keep the district boundaries exactly as they currently are in Baltimore City -- in that way it will be much harder to challenge those lines (which are quite gerrymandered) in Court as the new district boundaries in Baltimore would do nothing more than preserve the status quo.

3.) Due to the VRA, the state has to preserve 2 African-American majority districts.  The new map does accomplish this task.  Both District 4 and District 7 are about 51% African-American, using projected 2010 population estimates.  The hitch here is that I use the Census definition of "African-American or in combination with other race(s)" while the standard to use may need to be "African-American alone" under which only about 49% of the population of each district would be black.  Nevertheless, as I’m using only projected population figures, it’s something that can be adjusted once the official 2010 numbers come out -- think of the map here as sort of a blueprint of what can be done.  Both districts are ensured to elect an African-American Democrat, as 70% or more of the Democratic primary vote in each district is expected to be comprised of African-Americans.

4.)  I tried to preserve the Democratic nature of all the current Democratic-held districts.  As you can see from the map, and accompanying tables, in Districts 2, 3 and 5, the Democratic percentage -- as measured by the share Obama received last year -- remains basically the same (it should be noted that the numbers I use here don’t include an adjustment for absentees which would change them slightly).  In District 8, the Democratic percentage declines a bit more -- approximately 3% -- but still stays at about 70% Obama, which will keep the 8th in Democratic hands.  In Districts 4 and 7, the Democratic percentage drops significantly -- from 85% to 73% in MD-4, and from 79% to 66% in MD-7, but the districts are still very Democratic (even John Kerry received close to 60% of the vote in 2004 under District 7’s new lines).  McCain would have won the new District 1 narrowly; however, the Democratic percentage surges from 40% Obama to 47% Obama.  If Kratovil can survive the 2010 election, this map will solidify him in 2012.  District 6 experiences the biggest changes.  The Democratic percentage goes from an anemic 40% to a robust 58.4% (basically equaling Districts 2 and 3).

Discussion of Individual Districts:

District 1:

This district continues to encompass the entire Eastern Shore.  The Republican Harford and Baltimore County portions of the district also remain.  The Anne Arundel Co. portion is taken out and substituted by hyper-Democratic territory currently in the 2nd (Randallstown) and 7th (Lochearn).  The new 1st is arguably less gerrymandered than the old one.  There is no more connection of parts of the district over the Bay Bridge, and the district encompasses one less county than before.

District 2:

The district continues to be anchored by Baltimore County -- the boundaries change very slightly in that county.  The Harford County and Baltimore City boundaries don’t change at all.  The Anne Arundel Co. part remains similar to the current, though is less gerrymandered.  To substitute for the loss of the Randallstown area, the Laurel area is added instead.

District 3:

Like MD-2, the new 3rd remains quite similar to the current district.  The Baltimore City, Towson, Parkville Pikesville, Owings Mills, Reisterstown, and Arbutus areas remain intact, as well as the current Howard Co. portion of the district.  The remainder of Howard is added (whereby the whole county is now in MD-3).  The Mt. Airy area of Carroll and Frederick Counties is added as well as Catonsville in Baltimore Co. (Catonsville was in the district prior to 1992), while the highly gerrymandered Anne Arundel areas are taken out.

District 4:

The new 4th continues to encompass large portions of 2 counties.  Most of inner Prince George’s County continues to anchor the district.  However, Montgomery is detached and substituted by Anne Arundel -- in fact, the most Republican parts of Anne Arundel.  The Democratic percentage thereby goes down a lot, but still stays at 72.5% Obama.

District 5:

Very little changes here.  Continues to encompass the 3 Southern Maryland counties, south Anne Arundel and outer Prince George’s.  The Annapolis area and parts of Upper Marlboro are substituted for Laurel and adjoining parts of northern PG.

District 6:

Continues to wholly encompass the 3 Western Maryland counties, as well as a good part of Frederick Co.  The hyper-Republican Carroll Co. and areas east are detached, while the district is extended further into Montgomery and PG -- including some of the most Democratic parts of suburban DC, ie. Silver Spring, Takoma Park, Mt. Rainier, Cheverly and Landover.  The new district is not any less compact than before, and it now includes only all or part of 6 counties, instead of the current 7 counties.

District 7:

This district "looks" a bit different from the current one; however, population-wise, much of the district remains the same.  The entire Baltimore City portion of the district remains wholly intact, as well as the Woodlawn area of Baltimore County.  The suburban/exurban areas in Howard Co. are detached and substituted by even more exurban (and even more Republican) areas in Carroll, northern Baltimore Co. and northern Harford as well as the blue-leaning area encompassing the City of Frederick (all taken out of the current 6th District).

District 8:

Remains very similar to the current one.  Democratic areas, including Takoma Park, parts of Silver Spring and the PG portion of the district are taken out, while relatively more republican areas in northern Montgomery are attached.  The new 8th remains entirely within Montgomery County.

So that’s my map in a nutshell; I welcome comments and discussion.

Originally posted to silver spring on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 12:07 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'd Rec this if I could. (7+ / 0-)

    Unfortunately, your oversized map obscures the "Recommend" button.

  •  Gerrymandering sucks (14+ / 0-)

    I don't care if it's Democratic gerrymandering or Republican gerrymandering.

    Your districts make no attempt whatsoever to represent the population, choosing instead to put an absolute partisan gerrymander in effect.

    Mile-wide connectors to just barely keep a district "contiguous" and abuse of water-based contiguity are fairly sleazy, and your districts should be regarded as an abomination regardless of the fact that they would help "our side".

    •  Blue Shit and Red Shit stink equally (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SLKRR, Team Slacker, jsm9, TheCid

      Why is this kind of system-humping deplorable when someone like Tom DeLay does it, but the second we can pull it off we jump at the chance and call it a Victory for Progessives?

      Fuck that.  Count me out.

      Divide the districts fairly and fight the elections in the streets on the issues.

      This gamesmanship is beneath us.

      Thinking men can not be ruled. --Ayn Rand

      by Wisper on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 12:19:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Gerrymandering ... (7+ / 0-)

      It is still gerrymandered, but less so than the current map (while still achieving a more Democratic - capital D -- outcome).  Many parts of the map remain as they currently are -- incl. all of Baltimore City; borders in Harford don't change either, though the districts do. In several ways, there's more contiguity, e.g., new MD-6 encompasses only 6 counties instead of the current 7; MD-1 has one less county also; MD-1 no longer has a water-connection accross the Bay Bridge; Howard Co. is now all in one district; MD-8 is now entirely within Montgomery Co., instead of being spread accross 2; AA Co. now has parts of 3 districts, instead of the current 4; etc.

      I'm a proponent of non-partisan redistricting also, but as long as it applies everywhere.  As long as the GOP is doing this (and they will) you have to fight fire with fire.

      •  Then you need to applaud Tom DeLay (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TheCid

        for his expert crtaftsmanship in fighting your fire with his fire.

        Once you stoop this level of guttersniping, you need to be willing to stay covered in the same slime.

        I am not.

        Next maybe we can get all of our insider rich campaign donors cushy jobs in the Executive Branch and Foreign Service, plant Democratic operatives in the White House press corps to ask Obama easy questions about "How hard is it to be such a Great President?" or use obscure voting laws and police intimindation to suppress the rich white vote.   YaY us!

        Thinking men can not be ruled. --Ayn Rand

        by Wisper on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 12:35:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I would take Tom Delay's method (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The Crusader, arcticshadow

          to the extreme and then some, and use those methods against the traitorous and terroristic Rethugs.  These animals are utter scum and need to be removed.

          The Rethug Party are anti-American traitors. The Congressional Rethugs form a fifth column intent on destruction of America.

          by IhateBush on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 12:41:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Then be prepared (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nathguy, rossl

            when you are in the minority to sit down and shut the fuck up.

            When Obama said Change....this is the kind of thing he meant.

            Thinking men can not be ruled. --Ayn Rand

            by Wisper on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 12:42:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  If we do the job right (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              The Crusader

              that is use the Patriot Act, FBI, warrentless wiretapping and other goodies against these filthy scumbags, the wingnut movement will be completely destroyed before we are ever in the minority.

              People like Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, Bill O'Reilly etc needs to send to Gitmo for appropriate treatment.  They are straight out terrorists.

              The Rethug Party are anti-American traitors. The Congressional Rethugs form a fifth column intent on destruction of America.

              by IhateBush on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 12:45:14 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That's not true at all (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                NM Ward Chair

                There have been wingnuts throughout history and there will continue to be wingnuts as long as there are humans and politics.  We need to be better people than them, however, and stop manipulating peoples' votes by gerrymandering.

              •  if we do the job right (0+ / 0-)

                we become them.

                People, do we want to run things for 6 years or 30.

                because if we want to be in the minority in 2 years, lets just
                keep on the same path.

                If we want to rule for a generation lets be stand up types, die by
                our principles, fight for change.

                that means ending gerrymandering, so we can show people that
                Alabama and South Carolina are gerrymandered like Rove's ass,
                while Mryland, Illinois and California are fairly districted.

                George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

                by nathguy on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 03:36:18 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  This argument is crap (0+ / 0-)

                  that we become them if we use their methods.  That argument is worse than shit.

                  We need to use the wingnuts methods 10 times as hard against them.

                  The Rethug Party are anti-American traitors. The Congressional Rethugs form a fifth column intent on destruction of America.

                  by IhateBush on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 03:43:00 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  we are better then they are (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    rossl

                    that means we obey the law, we follow our principles, we
                    win by sticking to the truth and being funny.

                    George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

                    by nathguy on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 08:05:01 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  We did have to sit down and STFU (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              NM Ward Chair

              Nobody cared. His gerrymandering worked. We got beaten.

              Now it's time for them to do the same.

              Don't donate to the DSCC in 2010 - they'll give your money to Harry Reid. Donate to the candidates instead!

              by arcticshadow on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 01:10:20 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  what happens when Republicans gerrymander and (4+ / 0-)

          Democrats don't?

          You get W. in the White House.  Minority rule allows for all sorts of chaos.

          I literally cannot understand the "morality" of anybody who understands the need for war in foreign relations, but then decides that unilaterally "doing the right thing" is a desirable goal in politics.  

          Quite seriously, what are you getting upset about here?  The districts are not contiguous?  They are funny shaped?  They are not aesthetically pleasing?

          Decisions about how to draw Congressional districts do not have "right" and "wrong" answers.  I really get tired of people who pick this issue of all the issues we face as the place they are going to get on the soapbox and preach.  

          Tell you what: once you get the Republicans in Texas to redraw their districts to conform with your aesthetic sensibilities, you can come back and complain about Maryland.  But until then, this is serious business.  And unilateral disarmament makes as little sense in politics as it does in war.

          "My friend, if you think we're going to spend a billion dollars of our money over there, you are sadly mistaken." - Donald Rumsfeld

          by RickD on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 01:47:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  God Bless America (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pademocrat, NM Ward Chair

            Finally a liberal who accepts the dirty dirty politics for what they are.

            Seriously I need to become a GOP campaign advisor,  Democrats are just too easy to beat.

            Our outrage didn't stop Delay, yet our "outrage" will stop us internally?!?!

            The fact that Democrats HATE to win also makes us an easy target.
            Bush wins by .0001% in 2004 and declares "I got political captital" and what did Dems do, bow their heads.

            Obama wins by a landslide, the media screams CENTER RIGHT CENTER RIGHT, and again, we bow our heads.
            Simple fact is that we as a party do not believe in our values enough to fight TOOTH AND NAIL for our agenda, its almost we agree with the GOP that our agenda is flawed (at least thats what Bayh and Kratovil are saying).

            And Rick, thank you for framing that so well.  Its easy for Democrats to mask laziness with some ridiculous notion of morality, when we have thrown that out the door so many times.

            If Democrats here were a little more pragmatic, they would wake up and realize that Maryland is a permanent Blue state, regardless of how much the DNC and 527's ignore us.

            Now we can continue to ignore MD, and keep it an impotent Blue state, with no national figures, or we can invest in MD and make it a progressive powerhouses on par with Massachusetts and California.

    •  lol (4+ / 0-)

      Enjoy your permanent minority with that attitude.

      Don't donate to the DSCC in 2010 - they'll give your money to Harry Reid. Donate to the candidates instead!

      by arcticshadow on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 12:35:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The minority we're in now? (0+ / 0-)

        With the White house, Senate and House, the 27 fully Democratic State Legislatures and the 8 split power ones and the 28 State Governors?  That minority?

        Now while I don't think we will keep these majorities permanently, I also don't think we should resort to his kind of despicable games-playing to even try.

        Thinking men can not be ruled. --Ayn Rand

        by Wisper on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 12:41:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Do you know why we have Dem majority in the House (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dgb, pademocrat, NM Ward Chair

          ?

          Because places like Maryland are gerrymandered, that's why.

          If we played it all fair and nobody gerrymandered, we'd probably have 300+ House members. But the Republicans gerrymandered a bunch of big states like Texas, Florida, and Michigan.

          Don't donate to the DSCC in 2010 - they'll give your money to Harry Reid. Donate to the candidates instead!

          by arcticshadow on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 01:04:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  The Rethug party is a bunch of terrorists (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NM Ward Chair, sparkmaster

      and traitors.  Your kind of thinking sucks, and is dangerous to the future of this nation.

      The Rethug Party are anti-American traitors. The Congressional Rethugs form a fifth column intent on destruction of America.

      by IhateBush on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 12:39:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hey Cid, are you from Maryland? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nathguy, NM Ward Chair

      Just curious, because so many times in every states congressional issues I always get the "Do you vote here line".

      And honestly, here it matters.   I live in District 1 and it makes no sense how my communities vote simply doesn't count because a whole other community 2 hours away from me has more voters and different agendas.

      Time moves on, people move around,  all I want is districts that are more fair and competitive.

      Also I don't understand this breed of folks in our party that swear down ALL politics, because Bush and folks used it too.

      It the weakest and softest argument,  someone awaken my memory but Tom Delay actually commit crimes while redrawing districts, correct?

      Man, that is some real weak sauce,  its like Democrats love to lose.    No wonder we are only good at donating money, and nothing else.

      PS to all else, MD or non-MD residents,  here in MD, along with DE and PA, it has become a breeding ground for the conservadems to win.  Sure we got Cummings and Edwards representing us, but what of the REST of Maryland Democrats,  when was the last time you heard ANY of our folks standing strong for our party and our values.

      This is what happens when we let blue states stagnate.

      •  how about something like this. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        George Pirpiris

        district 1  Montgomerycounty

        District 2 PG

        District 3 Baltimore City

        District 4 Hagestown/frostburg/frederick

        District 5 Baltimore county west

        District 6Baltimore county east

        District 7 Aberdeen and south

        District 8  Annapolis and the eastern shore.

        Dist 1, 2, 3 will be deep blue.

        Dist 4, 7 will be  red.

        Dist 5,6,8 will be purple.

        we will have 3 deep blue legislators and 3 good campaigners,
        and Dist 7 is mostly ruppersburgs.

        the districts will be easy to map, campaign, do media,
        lots of local action......

        And Roscoe Bartlett is getting old and tired of being in the minority.

        George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

        by nathguy on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 03:33:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sounds good to me (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nathguy

          Like I said, I still don't think I get the way districts are drawn up and changed.
          I wish I did, as I think this is one thing Maryland can get accomplished in the "Bipartisan" effort.

          I can't imagine Republicans are that happy with the drawings as they are now.

          People need to stop worrying about what people in the past did.
          We need to focus on doing things in the best interest of citizens and do it legally.

          I don't care to make Maryland more blue, I just want our state to be a political reality where we have real primary opponents, where we have congressmen that lead the party, not just carry it's water (love ya edwards and cummings).

          Put it this way, during the primaries we would talk and some would propose "Rotating Iowas".   For whatever it is that makes Iowa the first caucus state is a goal we should try and achieve for all our states.

        •  Fuck that! (0+ / 0-)
          We need a minimum of a 7D - 1R split in Maryland.
    •  Agreed. No Gerrymandering! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TheCid, rossl

      Just because the Republicans did it, why should we?

      It seems patently unfair to jiggle around the two conservative districts in the state -- and like it or not, that's just what they are -- so they become Democratic districts by weight of population.

      It seems ridiculous and NOT VERY DEMOCRATIC to me to counter-weight the conservative voters of the Eastern shore with enough Baltimore voters so their voices are drowned out -- and the same with Western Maryland.

      Eastern Shore should be a contained district, no slivers on the other side of the Bay, unless that results in a district that really does lack roughly equal population to the others.

      Speaking as a resident in an almost painfully stretched and squeezed district (MD-04), where if I walk two blocks I'm in another district, can't we have some sanity here?  

      Fair and democratic representation of the population should be the goal here, not how many more "D" seats we can finagle.

  •  oh my god district 3 is dreadful n/t (0+ / 0-)

    -9.88 -8.67 Reid is building Joementum for his primaries.

    by politicalpirate on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 12:15:10 PM PDT

  •  Gerrymandering needs to stop (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nathguy, TheCid

    ALL gerrymandering.  It's just as much a perversion of democracy when it's Democratic as when it's Republican.

    •  yes, but there's no non-arbitrary way of drawing (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RickD, pademocrat, NM Ward Chair, rossl

      congressional lines.  the only way to (largely) avoid the gerrymandering problem is to adopt some sort of proportional representation system with a large number of seats per district.  it's our first-past-the-post system that makes gerrymandering an inevitable problem.  arguably, that's what's a perversion of democracy

      •  So let's fix that, then (0+ / 0-)

        As a simple first step, I would stop state representatives from drawing their own districts, but I do like your idea a lot.  It used to be that way in Illinois until 1980 (three seats per district, I think), and hopefully they'll get it back that way.  And I agree that our winner take all/first past the post system IS a perversion of democracy in most cases.

        •  and why is that? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nathguy, NM Ward Chair

          What is wrong with "first past the post" elections?  

          Any kind of election scheme has effects, but I'm hard-pressed to see why any particular effect is more immoral than others.  In the UK, they don't have "first past the post", so minority parties get representation in Parliament even if they aren't particularly popular.  

          Is that better?  

          Any kind of representative scheme is going to have some quirkiness to it.  You cannot empower the public in a purely unbiased fashion unless you adopt a complete democracy, where every voter votes on every issue, and there is no legislature.

          That would represent the public accurately, and the government would grind to a halt due to its inability to do anything.

          "My friend, if you think we're going to spend a billion dollars of our money over there, you are sadly mistaken." - Donald Rumsfeld

          by RickD on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 01:58:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  In the UK (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NM Ward Chair

            they have a pretty messed up system as well.

            I would actually like to see a more direct democracy, but that's a whole different discussion.

            The problems with the combination of first past the post and gerrymandered congressional districts like we have are numerous.  They create many uncompetitive districts, create a small group of swing voters who influence elections more than anyone else, create a two party system even if the people don't want it.  These things then create a political environment in which less educated voters is a good thing for incumbents, the turnout rate doesn't matter (and is often suppressed) because a small percentage of voters determine elections, incumbents are highly protected, and the people are barely represented, let alone represented accurately.  First past the post produces a system in which most voters' choices are made for them, and the ones who do have a choice have a very limited choice.

          •  the UK *does* have a first-past-the-post system (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rossl

            minority parties only get representation if they receive a plurality of the vote in any legislative district (first-past-the-post)

            most other countries allocate their legislative seats based roughly on the proportion of the vote that parties receive.  a lot of people think this system is more fair because the first-past-the-post system can result in elections that don't represent the views of the people.  For instance, the Labour Party in 2001 won 40.7% of the vote yet won 62.7% of the seats in parliament.  The Liberal Party won 18.3% of the vote yet won only 7.9% of the seats.

  •  Anyone from MD know how feasable this would be? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NM Ward Chair

    If it improves Democratic margins, I'm inclined to be for it.  However, I don't know enough about the state or demographics to tell for certain whether or not this is a "good" idea.

    Gerrymandering sucks, but as long as the Republicans are doing it, our guys should be doing it too.  You don't go into a fight with one hand tied behind your back.

    •  Maryland is already gerrmandered (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NM Ward Chair, emilysdad

      This is not a question of "whether", but a question of "how".  

      "My friend, if you think we're going to spend a billion dollars of our money over there, you are sadly mistaken." - Donald Rumsfeld

      by RickD on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 01:59:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes does anyone know the how? (0+ / 0-)

        Who controls it, the fed the state, if state who has the power? the governor the legistature?

        Although I commend SilverSpring for all this effort, it doesn't help folks like me who had this Districting burn them up and want to do something about it.

        How long does the process take?

        I want to pose this publicly at my next local DNC meeting, and don't want to look like a total bufoon when I do it.

        •  State governments control congressional... (0+ / 0-)

          ...redistricting.

          State legislature proposes, Governor approves.

          In Maryland, the State House, State Senate, and Governorship are all in Democratic hands.  The legislature will remain in Dem hands.  The Governorship depends on how popular Governor O'Malley is, and whether or not the Republicans find a decent challenger to him.

          •  Hmmmmm so O'Malley could have done this already? (0+ / 0-)

            and he has another 2 years to get it done, with the same power structure, with the POTUS and leader of the DNC less than an hour away.

            Wow, that DLC Koolaid has taken the balls and the whiskey (shoutout to the Irish!) our of our governor.

            I hope he joins up with the DNC and becomes serious about winning.

            Thanks for the info!

            •  No (0+ / 0-)

              O'Malley could have done this already?

              Redistricting is typically done every 10 years, after the U.S. census.

              I guess technically it CAN be done prior to that, but so rarely that it's considered out of the ordinary, and just a blatant attempt at partisan power grabbing.

              Back in 2003, Texas redistricted a second time in ten years, at the request of Tom Delay, just to help Republicans.  I seem to recall us getting upset over that.

              O'Malley will likely do what 99.9% of Governors (regardless of party) do - wait until after the next redistricting.  Which is in 2010, meaning he has to get re-elected, and the Dems have to stay in control of the MD legislature.

              •  Sorry. O'Malley will wait until the next CENSUS (0+ / 0-)

                ...which is in 2010.  Redistricting will happen after that.

                Were O'Malley and the legislature to approve the redistricting posted here, redistricting would take place in 2011 (based on demographics from the 2010 census), and the first elections in the new districts would be 2012.

          •  Are you sure that's how it is in Maryland? (0+ / 0-)

            In California and New Jersey they have a commission do the redistricting that's separate from the legislature, but I don't know if it's that way in any other states.

            •  A few states use commissions, yes (0+ / 0-)

              However, I'm 99% sure Maryland isn't one of them.

              The MD legislature is heavily Democratic, and has been for decades.  The overwhelming majority of districts are drawn to favor Democrats.  And, in 2002, I remember reading stories about how the round of redistricting following the 2000 census tried to make a few MD districts more Democratic, to reduce the number of Republicans in the MD congressional delegation.

              It worked.  Connie Morella's new district was more Democratic than her previous one, and she lost to Chris Van Hollen.

  •  Wow thanks for posting this, coming from Distric1 (0+ / 0-)

    I needed a place to pose the question of what does it take to redraw districts, and or split an existing district into two.

    I know this is a broad question I should know the answer to already, but other than the Delay scandal, I don't know much how the process works.

    I was shocked when getting all riled up about Kratovil's huge cave and 1-termer vote on the budget, that I found out my district, district 1 voted only 40% for our President, while giving O'malley something like 46-49% in 2006, and of course Kratovil 50.1% in 2008.
    Besides it screaming WV at me, I don't feel it makes any sense in any framing for Baltimore County and the Eastern shore to be seen as one district at all.   I don't understand how the county of Baltimore, as large as it is is not a district itself.

    My problem with my district being stretched like that makes it near illogical for either political party to campaign successfully to such a large area separated by a huge body of water and county lines.

    Because for a liberal Democrat like me, I don't think it's fair that a bunch of folks on the other side of the bay get to dictate on the politics on our side goes.

    It would almost be like the voters of Long Island get to dictate the victory for a Manhattan seat.

    If I was to inject politics into this, I think it would benefit both parties to try and split District 1 into 2 separate districts.  If we want to be candid and cynical for the sake of expediency, draw that line to be as political as possible.  So that both sides are safe seats for both parties (another winner is MD with an extra congressmen).

    Our district needs this, at least my neiborhood (Baltimore County Towson) needs it.
    Our activist and DNC base barely exists in our district.   Even the Kratovil race barely was a blip on the national election news cycle, even when it dragged on for 2 weeks.  It was really like the RNC and DNC didn't give two shits about that race (except for the hillarious Harris ads).

    In 2010 we have 3 primaries coming up (Mikulski, Kratovil, O'Malley)  and I have heard no talk on that front.

    Are there any progressive groups in MD (Towson, Columbia) anyone can recommend?

    Im trying to draft Cummings or Edwards to replace Mikulski :D!!!

    (Please excuse any incoherency, Im usually sharper, but got little sleep last night)

    •  one comment re ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RickD, NM Ward Chair

      "My problem with my district being stretched like that makes it near illogical for either political party to campaign successfully to such a large area separated by a huge body of water and county lines."

      Obviously, MD-1 has to necessarily stretch accross the bay somehow b/c of "one-man, one-vote".  The Eastern Shore by itself is not big enough to amount to one district.  At least in the plan here, there's no more "connection" across the Bay Bridge, as there is under the current map.

      •  Am I naive? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NM Ward Chair

        First let me say, if your projections ring true, I think your proposal as it reflects District 1 is fair, and achieves my goal of a fairness for both parties.

        In my perspective as a life long resident of Towson/Loch Raven that we feel a connection to the rest of our county and the city than we do of any rural section of our state.
        Of course when I vote, I always vote whats best for our farmers and workers, but you can't count on everyone in my community to do that.
        Kratovil seemed to win by appealing to farmers for votes, he had to problem coming to my Towson home for money, but doesn't seem to be representing the 80& of his voters that also voted for Obama.

        All I am saying is other than helping a super funded primary challenger to Kratovil or O'Malley, I just don't see a drop of reason to get involved in district 1 campaigning or door to door in upcoming elections.   I would surely like to help get folks registered, but in the D vs R fight, it seems pointless.

        When a white Democrat get only hope to get 51% of the vote, and  a Black Democrat is lucky to get 40% and the main deciding factor is district lines, something has to give.

        What is the point when the DNC doesn't care about district 1, the media doesnt care, even the netroots doesnt care.......

        Like I said I would rather there be a bipartisan move to create more districts and make it more competitive for both paries, and in D1's case both communities.

        I still havent had my questioned answered of the HOW this gets done?

        I am conisdering taking this map to my next Towson Hospice, I mean DNC meeting and waving this in the air, while thrusting my pitchfork in the other.

  •  How does one do a map like this "fairly"? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nathguy, rossl

    Without getting into the Delay thing and just looking at Maryland, the last two maps-the nineties' one and the current one-were both gerrymandered.  Gov. Glendening and friends fixed the map to help Democrats by peeling off GOP areas from close districts and realigning them the already quite Republican districts 1 and 6.  This made it easier for Dems to win in the 2nd and 8th, although I think Van Hollen would have still won in the old 8th when he first ran.

    After the 1990 census, when the second majority-minority district was mandated, Gov. Schaefer chose to gerrymander to benefit HIS FRIENDS.  Schaefer rejected the map breaking up the 2nd district and forcing his close friend Helen Bentley (R-Serbia)to run against Wayne Gilchrist in the 1st; he instead chose to break up Anne Arundel's fourth and force Democrat Tom McMillan into a district he couldn't win.  Bentley then Bob Ehrlich controlled the second throughout the decade.

    This shouldn't be an 8-0 state, nor should it be a 4-4 one.    

    •  Van Hollen/Morella ... (0+ / 0-)

      "although I think Van Hollen would have still won in the old 8th when he first ran."

      Van Hollen would have likely lost in the 1992-2002 incarnation of MD-8 by several percentage points (I ran the numbers a while back using precinct data from the county; I live in Silver Spring, btw) ....

      under the proposed lines here, Morella would have likely beaten Van Hollen also in 2002 ...

    •  If I still had TU status (0+ / 0-)
      I'd give you a bagel for the "R-Serbia."
  •  OT Maryland 2010 ??? Three races, any rumors? (0+ / 0-)

    Ok Mikulski is up, OMalley and Kratovil both face tight races and low poll numbers.

    I will admit that my only gripe with OMalley is his unrepettant crush on the DLC and the many thugs that run it.

    When Maryland could have been a star in the Blue state family, all Obama's fantastic electoral records in Maryland where met with a thud.

    As far as Mikulski, Im not going to voice an opinion, I just assume with her age, and lack of political ambition in huge policy change, I think we need to draft Donna Edwards, or Elija Cummings to run for that seat.

    Kratovil, well we just elected him, but as you see, he is the only Democrat to win our district in a long time.  Is a progressive beats OMalley in the Governors primary, Kratovil doesn't stand a chance.
    Lets not forget that OMalley lost District 1 in 2006,  without redrawing D1, without a new candidate that runs a populist ticket, this seat is gone.

    And our Mayor, Sheila Dixon, much like OMalley represents that old Maryland DLC political machine politics.
    My problem with her and with many others is a lack of political participation.  Just because you are a mayor, doesn't mean your voice as mayor of one America's biggest cities should not not be heard.  That mayor of Newark, and the mayor of DC and NYC are on the records for their opinoins all the time.

    If Shelia Dixon is going to run as a Democrat, then she should represent us to the best of her ability.

    Im not gonna get into gift card gate as it is not concluded, but if true shows a very Palin like politician naivete.

    And speaking of Baltimore mayors we once could be proud of,  remember Mayor Schmoke?   Funny how he embaressed himself so terribly as the ambulance chasing lawyer to the honorable Senator Burris.
    (again, another machine politician giving the finger to the DNC)

  •  Donna Edwards would strongly object (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nathguy

    to being removed from much of the district which elected her.  In fact, a preliminary look at how the map was drawn leads me to believe her home would no longer be in her current district.

    I am pretty certain that ain't gonna happen.

    do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

    by teacherken on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 02:42:27 PM PDT

  •  My only concern for your map. (0+ / 0-)

    Is that MD-01 isn't strong enough to protect Kratovil.

  •  Nice job (0+ / 0-)

    A lot of the commenters complain about gerrymandering, but it's the reality we have right now. As you point out, your proposal is less gerrymandered than before, which is good. There are efforts in some states to reduce gerrymandering: California, as someone already mentioned, and Florida, too. We should work toward less gerrymandering over time, but we have to play the game today by today's rules.

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