Eric Beasley, reporting from Frederick County:
Last night, the Republican Club of Frederick County hosted Walter Olson, speaking about his work on Governor Hogan’s redistricting commission. When I write about such events, I never take notes. If something was said that did not leave an impact that I can remember the next day, it wasn’t all that memorable.
Mr. Olson was informative as usual and gave the Club some great insight into the current redistricting process. Some of my takeaways:
- The current redistricting process is corrupt.
- During the commission, there was a clear trend. Districts which were considered “Republican” districts had more people within the district than “Democrat” districts. Maryland allows for up to 10% population difference in their districts, and this flexibility was used by Governor Glendening and Governor Owe’Malley to marginalize Republican areas. There were a few outliers, Republican districts with less population. Upon further review, these were districts that flipped to the Republican side since 2010.
- Mr. Olson described “fingers” within the districts. These fingers were created to ensure the incumbent still lived within the district that they held office, and were thus able to run for re-election.
- While the Congressional map gets a lot of attention, the State legislative map is equally gerrymandered.
- Credit is due where it is earned. While the Democrat legislatures were astonishingly silent on the issue, Democrat activists like Kai Hagen have taken the logical and moral high-ground on the issue, advocating against gerrymandering.
- Democrats are throwing a fit over the commission’s recommendations, to the point of attempt sabotage of the commission. The common refrain was “BUT REPUBLICANS DO IT TOOOO!!!”, an argument generally reserved for small children angry about their older sibling being allowed to stay up an hour later than the younger.
I highly recommend that everyone take the time to listen to Mr. Olson discuss the commission in person, as the conversation was informative and substantive.
Also present were a handful of candidates. The perennial loud-mouth was there, likely to illegally place more signs on vacant property. A representative from the Hoeber campaign was also present. Along with 3 candidates for CD8.
Liz Matory spoke first. Ms. Matory has participated in many discussions on A Miner Detail over the last year and recently switched parties to Republican. Most of her talk was about why she switched parties. I could tell from the first panel that I participated in with her that she was really a Libertarian but she didn’t realize it yet. Glad to see that she has finally come to that realization herself. She has received a lot of grief, especially from the Houghzali Hydra, over switching parties.
I do not remember the names of the other 2 speakers. You can interpret that two ways: either I am biased in favor of Ms. Matory or nothing was said that impressed me. You decide.