Josh Kurtz On Redistricting

With all the Senate race and John Delaney hullabaloo this week, and me being out of town, I missed Josh Kurtz’s return from vacation Monday.

I’ve always said that Josh Kurtz guy was brilliant. Brilliant, I tell you. Read every word. He speaks the truth with a capital T. Here’s some of the religion he’s peddling.

So it’s easy for the Democrats to question Hogan’s motives as he tees up redistricting reform. It’s also fair to say that they’ll have a lot of sway over the fate of any proposal Hogan advances, given their advantages in the state House and Senate.

But you know what? Democrats ought to go along this time – because it’s the right thing to do. What a concept. And they’ll have a better chance of shaping whatever redistricting proposal emerges – or killing it, if it’s not credible – if they participate in Hogan’s commission.

Even the most partisan Maryland Democrat can’t help but look at the state’s congressional map and feel a little embarrassed – about the dreadful 3rd district, designed to allow Rep. John Sarbanes (D) to touch lots of fertile Democratic territory; about the way districts radiate out of Baltimore even though the city is losing population relative to the rest of the state; about the way Anne Arundel County has been carved up and has no Republican representation (ironically, the 6th district, which the Democrats redrew to pick up one more seat in 2012, is not the state’s most egregious – and has historical antecedents).

Democrats are so used to getting their way in Maryland that they’re reflexively opposed to anything that diminishes their power even in a little, even if it’s in the name of justice and democracy. But here is an opportunity for them to embrace reform – and share in the glow of any results that make our elections fairer and more competitive.

Preach, brother Kurtz. And let us all say “amen.”

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