Governor Larry Hogan Advocates For Independent Redistricting Reform In Maryland
Maryland Has The Distinction Of Having The Most Gerrymandered Districts In The Country Due To Partisan Politics

“And let’s also come together in a spirit of bipartisanship, to protect that most fundamental right of every American citizen: the right to free and fair elections. In Maryland, we have the unfortunate distinction of being the most gerrymandered state in the entire nation. We created the Redistricting Reform Commission to fight for the nonpartisan drawing of district lines – something nearly all Marylanders are strongly in favor of. We ask you today to join with us in that fight. Help us defend that very foundation of American democracy, and set an example for the entire nation by finally making Maryland elections fair elections.” -Governor Larry Hogan, February 3, 2016

Marylanders Want Free, Fair, And Competitive Elections – Governor Hogan Agrees

In August 2015, Governor Hogan Signed An Executive Order Establishing The Maryland Redistricting Reform Commission. “Governor Larry Hogan today signed Executive Order 01.01.2015.21, establishing the Maryland Redistricting Reform Commission. The commission, which fulfills a commitment by Governor Hogan to address Maryland’s redistricting process, will be made up of four members appointed by House and Senate leadership, as well as representatives from policy research and voter and government reform organizations. Governor Hogan directly appointed seven members of the commission, all of whom were announced today.“ (Press Release, “Governor Larry Hogan Signs Executive Order Establishing Maryland Redistricting Reform Commission,” Office Of The Governor, 8/6/15)

  • Governor Hogan: “Through the work of this commission, my administration’s goal is to reform this process and put Maryland’s redistricting process on a new path toward transparency, fair representation, and election integrity.” (Press Release, “Governor Larry Hogan Signs Executive Order Establishing Maryland Redistricting Reform Commission,” Office Of The Governor, 8/6/15)

In January 2016, Governor Hogan Introduced Legislation Based On The Recommendations From The Redistricting Reform Commission, Which Called For A Nonpartisan Apportionment Commission. “Governor Larry Hogan today introduced legislation that will reform Maryland’s broken redistricting process and put the state on a new path toward fair representation, election integrity, and transparency. Based on recommendations from the governor’s bipartisan Redistricting Reform Commission, the administration is proposing a nonpartisan Apportionment Commission to replace the existing, governor-led redistricting process… Governor Hogan is proposing a constitutional amendment that would repeal existing provisions relating to the redistricting process, and instead create the General Assembly and Congressional Legislative Redistricting Apportionment Commission.” (Press Release, “Governor Hogan Introduces Legislation To Eliminate Gerrymandering In Maryland,” Office Of The Governor, 1/26/16)

  • Governor Hogan: “For too long, fair elections and a healthy, strong, and competitive two-party system have been nearly impossible in our state. This is about recognizing a problem and choosing to do the right thing to solve it.” (Press Release, “Governor Hogan Introduces Legislation To Eliminate Gerrymandering In Maryland,” Office Of The Governor, 1/26/16)

Members Of Maryland’s Status Quo Political Class Will Say Anything To Stonewall Independent Redistricting

Senate President Mike Miller

Senate President Miller Opined That Members Of Congress Would Lose Their Jobs If Redistricting Reform Took Place. “A simple line change would end the career of John Delaney. Two simple line changes would end the career of John Sarbanes.” (Brian Witte, “Larry Hogan, Maryland Governor, Forms Redistricting Reform Panel,” The Washington Times, 8/7/15)

“It’s not going to happen.” (Michael Dresser, “Hogan Wants To Change Redistricting Process, But Democrats Not On Board,”The Baltimore Sun, 8/6/15)

I don’t want to mischaracterize anyone’s intentions, but it’s not just a page, it’s a chapter out of the Republican governor’s playbook… It needs to be handled with uniform rules and regulations and needs to be decided by the Congress itself on how to proceed.” (Bryan Sears, “Hogan Seeks Md. Constitutional Amendment On Redistricting,” The Daily Record, 8/6/15)

“This is an issue that needs to be settled nationally… What you want is some kind of equity between the states.”(Michael Dresser, “Hogan Wants To Change Redistricting Process, But Democrats Not On Board,” The Baltimore Sun, 8/6/15)

Senate President Miller Suggested That The Conclusions From An Independent Commission May Be “Preordained.”“Miller said he was not sure he would take up the governor’s offer to appoint a commission member, saying the panel’s conclusions may be ‘preordained.’ ‘If it’s being preordained, I’ll simply appoint another Republican member of the commission,’ he said.”  (Michael Dresser, “Hogan Wants To Change Redistricting Process, But Democrats Not On Board,” The Baltimore Sun, 8/6/15)

“No state east of the Mississippi has adopted a redistricting (reform) plan and the governor knows that. This is from a Republican partisan playbook. All elected officials east of the Mississippi, Republicans and Democrats, which for the Supreme Court to set the rules or for the Congress to set the rules. We’re not talking about legislative seats here. We’re talking about congressional seats, these are federal people. U.S. senators run statewide so it doesn’t affect them, it only affects congressional people. We would like uniform national rules and it can only come from the Congress themselves or for the Supreme Court.” (Bryan Sears, “Dropping The Mike: I Thought We Were Friends,” The Daily Record, 1/28/16)

“He’s playing politics with it, and it’s probably good politics from his point of view… But he knows it’s not going to happen. I support the concept, but the concept I support is (that) Maryland can team up with Virginia so we can agree with the panel. Or Maryland can team up with Pennsylvania. But it has to be more than one state.” (Ron Snyder, “Redistricting Debate Continues In Annapolis, Washington.” WBALTV, 2/2/16)

Senator Joan Carter Conway

Senator Joan Carter Conway Stated That A State Constitutional Amendment Establishing An Independent Redistricting Commission Would Never Happen. “I think it would probably be a fight , but I think it could pass,’ probably without the constitutional amendment that a new independent commission would require. ‘You’re never gonna get .’” (Len Lazarick, “Senator Pushes Pragmatic Change To Congressional Redistricting, While Commission Seeks Broader Reform,”Maryland Reporter, 10/20/15)

“You’re going to have a difficult time getting a constitutional amendment through the legislature if it has an independent commission in it… I don’t know a lot, but I do know how to count. I can count.” (Bryan Sears, “Md. Redistricting Panel Considers ‘Bold Plan’ While Others Want Delay,” The Daily Record, 10/20/15)

Senator Joan Carter Conway:  Independent Redistricting Commissions “Are As Far From Independent As The Legislators Are.” “Sen. Joan Carter Conway, a member of the redistricting commission, said that focusing on creating an independent group to redistrict Maryland is not possible since everyone involved has some political connection, such as the governor’s role of appointing judges and the legislature’s role in confirming them. Members of an ‘independent redistricting commission are as far from independent as the legislators are,’ said Conway, D-Baltimore City.” (Naomi Eide, “Redistricting Reform Commission Reaches Consensus On New Independent Process,” Maryland Reporter, 10/27/15)

Senator Thomas “Mac” Middleton

If that’s done in a very non-partisan way, that’s fine… But, you know, to set up a commission that you’re going to give this control, who appoints this commission? That becomes a political process in itself.” (“Maryland Governor To Push Redistricting Reform,” The Associated Press, 2/4/15)

Senator Paul Pinsky

“Nationally, the advantage is clearly to the Republicans, and for one of the few states with a Democratic majority to say we’ll give up any advantage we have and you won’t, it’s sort of silly… It’s naive.” (Anjali Shastry, “Maryland Lawmakers Rollout Redistricting Reform,” The Washington Times, 3/3/16)

Senator Jamie Raskin

“The only way to get through this now is for everybody to give up a little bit in a partisan sense for everyone to gain a lot in terms of principle…”   (Fenit Nirappil, “In Md. And Va., Efforts To End Gerrymandering Face Major Obstacles: Lawmakers,” The Washington Post, 3/10/15)

Senator Jamie Raskin Has Called For Virginia And Maryland To Engage In A Redistricting Reform Compact, Citing That There Is Little Incentive For States To Carry Out Redistricting Reform On Their Own.  “While the bill leaves the compact open for other states, Raskin said Virginia is the state he has in mind. ‘Maryland and Virginia could do America an amazing favor by showing that redistricting reform is something we can do together,’ he said… The ruling parties in individual states have little incentive to adopt reforms on their own, Raskin said. But he suggested that states dominated Democrats may be willing to move to a fairer system if states controlled by Republicans make a similar move.” (Michael Dresser, “Senator Proposes Two-State Solution On Redistricting Reform,” The Baltimore Sun, 2/9/16)

“Republicans are being critical of gerrymandering in Maryland, but they should also be critical of gerrymandering in Ohio, North Carolina and Virginia.” (Michael Dresser, “Senator Proposes Two-State Solution On Redistricting Reform,” The Baltimore Sun, 2/9/16)

Speaker Of The House Of Delegates Mike Busch

“If you’re going to have a national effect, you need a national policy.” (Bryan Sears, “Hogan Seeks Md. Constitutional Amendment On Redistricting,” The Daily Record, 8/6/15)

“I would suggest to you the last time the redistricting map was petitioned to referendum (in 2012) it passed in the state of Maryland by 64 percent… Now put that in perspective, there’s no governor who got 64 percent of the vote since William Donald Schaefer’s first election. So the general outrage from the public evidently didn’t show up when it went to referendum.” (Bryan Sears, “Hogan Seeks Md. Constitutional Amendment On Redistricting,” The Daily Record, 8/6/15)

“I think the vast majority of us would like to see something take place on the federal level, where all the states would be playing on a level playing field.” (Josh Hicks, “Hogan Wades Into Heated Debate Over Redistricting,” The Washington Post,8/6/15)

Speaker Busch Said That Maryland Should Wait For Federal Redistricting Reform. “Maryland House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) has said the state should hold out for Congress to pass a federal redistricting law — an unlikely scenario considering that Republicans control both chambers — or else work toward a regional agreement that includes nearby states such as Virginia, West Virginia and Delaware.” (Josh Hicks, “Panel Calls For Independent Process To Tame Gerrymandering,” The Washington Post, 11/3/15)

Delegate Kumar Barve

Delegate Kumar Barve Called Republican Bills Aimed At Redistricting Reform “Disingenuous.” “Leading Democrats are suspicious. Del. Kumar Barve of Montgomery County called the Republican bills ‘disingenuous.’ He pointed to maps drawn in Republican-controlled states that have helped the GOP solidify its hold on the House of Representatives and state capitols. ‘This is a national problem,’ Barve said. He said he would consider a regional compact in which several states — Republican and Democratic — would simultaneously adopt reforms. ‘The bottom line is we can either do this individually or do this separately, and I prefer to do it together,’ he said.”  (Michael Dresser, “Redistricting Reform Is In Spotlight – And In Bills,” The Baltimore Sun, 2/15/15)

  • In 2002, When The Congressional Map Was Not Drawn In A Way That Would Best Fulfill His Political Ambitions, Barve Blasted The Redistricting Process As The “Most Brutal Political Game On Earth.” “Maryland State Assembly delegate Kumar Barve has withdrawn from the race for Congress, blaming Democratic incumbents for his decision. Barve, the first Indian American to be elected to a state legislative Assembly more than a decade ago, was banking on the Congressional redistricting of Montgomery County, Maryland, which would have left an open seat that would have given him a rare and historic chance to win a seat to the United States Congress… ‘Redistricting is the most brutal political game on earth,’ he said, ‘Early in the summer and fall up until November, it was like a 60-percent probability that a new district without an incumbent would be created..’  ‘But the thing is, in all these political battles, it can come down to factors outside the control of the candidate. They (Democratic Party) felt I think that those (districts in Baltimore county) might turn out to be more Democratic, rather than Montgomery. It was in the interest of the other four Democrats in Congress to do it this way,’ Barve maintained. ‘It gets very petty,’ Barve conceded, ‘I have done everything I can. I had a role in redistricting for state-level changes, but in this case it is the governor, the Congressional incumbents, the attorney general.’” (Ela Dutt, “Barve Withdraws From Congressional Race,” News India-Times,” 2/22/02) 

Delegate Frank Turner

“Any proposal they have should maximize the opportunity to get more Democratic seats… That’s what happens in redistricting.” (Lindsey McPherson, “County Could Add Congressman Under Redistricting Plan,” Howard County Times, 10/12/11)

“It’s more of a political issue than the fact that we need to have compact geographical areas… It’s one that we should do but that we have to have the political will to do, which makes it very different.” (Amanda Yeager, “League Of Women Voters 2014 Legislative Luncheon,” The Baltimore Sun, 1/7/14)

Delegate Anne Kaiser

Delegate Anne Kaiser Re-Tweeted Support For Delegate Kirill Reznik’s Opinion-Editorial In Which He Expressed Skepticism About Governor Hogan’s Redistricting Reform Plan.

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 Delegate Kirill Reznik

“The political establishment here, especially in the legislature, does not feel it would be fair to unilaterally disarm… If we are going to fix it, it cannot just be Democrats saying, ‘We will be the nice guys.’”  (Fenit Nirappil, “In Md. And Va., Efforts To End Gerrymandering Face Major Obstacles: Lawmakers,”  The Washington Post, 3/10/15)

I have long been a skeptic of so-called independent, non-partisan commissions, and not just because I happen to be an elected Democrat in a Democratic-majority State. In studying the issue, I have come to believe that such a commission is much easier said than done. Inevitably, commission members are appointed by elected (partisan) officials, or applicants are chosen from balanced partisan lists.” (Kirill Reznik, “Questions Remain About Nonpartisan Redistricting,”Center Maryland, 8/12/15)

“…This brings me to the Governor Hogan’s Commission: seven members; three Republicans, three Democrats, and one unaffiliated, all appointed by the Governor; and four members appointed by the presiding officers and minority leaders of both Chambers, likely two Democrats and two Republicans. A total of 11 members appointed in a bipartisan fashion… But it is not nonpartisan and independent.” (Kirill Reznik, “Questions Remain About Nonpartisan Redistricting,”Center Maryland, 8/12/15)   

“So, maybe Maryland can develop a truly nonpartisan system that will be a model for the rest of the country, or maybe the Republicans will quietly laugh at us while continuing to run roughshod over their own maps.” (Kirill Reznik, “Questions Remain About Nonpartisan Redistricting,” Center Maryland, 8/12/15)

“I believe partisan redistricting has contributed to a toxic and gridlocked atmosphere in Washington, D.C… However, if we are to achieving legitimate redistricting reform, it must be truly independent and truly nonpartisan. It also must be done in such a way that no one party feels that it is being taken advantage of.” (Ron Snyder, “Redistricting Debate Continues In Annapolis, Washington.” WBALTV, 2/2/16)   

“I think we’re kind of in this spot where a lot of people, Republicans, Democrats and independents are all unhappy with it but nobody feels like it’s gotten to the point yet where it’ll cost someone an election… It’s not that kind of issue. It’s not marriage equality or firearms or whatever other hot-button issue that gets people to the polls.” (Anjali Shastry, “Maryland Lawmakers Rollout Redistricting Reform,” The Washington Times, 3/3/16)

Delegate Alonzo Washington

“I don’t think it something that can actually get done in Annapolis. Something that’s a pragmatic approach, something that we can actually propose to the General Assembly that can get passed through the House and the Senate. I don’t think this is the best approach right now.” (Bryan Sears, “Redistricting Reform Faces Tough Road Ahead,” The Daily Record, 11/4/15)

Delegate Carol Krimm

Delegate Carol Krimm Stated That It Is “Premature” To Talk About Redistricting Reform, Since It Is Not An Immediate Issue. “Democratic Delegate Carol Krimm, also District 3A, said she is always open to looking at proposals. But she doesn’t see redistricting as an immediate issue… ‘It may be a little premature, because we do have a map right now,’ she said.” (Jen Fitfield, “County’s Democratic Elected Officials Question Governor’s Redistricting Reform,” The Frederick News-Post, 9/7/15)

Delegate Karen Lewis Young

Delegate Karen Lewis Young: “All You’re Doing Is Selling Your People Out.” “Some legislators, such as Sen. Ron Young, District 3, and Delegate Karen Lewis Young, District 3A, both Democrats who represent the city of Frederick, say Maryland should not approach the issue alone. When a state acts alone, ‘All you’re doing is selling your people out,’ Sen. Young said.” (Jen Fitfield, “County’s Democratic Elected Officials Question Governor’s Redistricting Reform,” The Frederick News-Post, 9/7/15)

Delegate Karen Lewis Young Suggested That Maryland Partner With Another State That Would Like To Go Forward With An Independent Redistricting Process. “Maryland could try to undertake a state partnership, in which a state of similar size controlled by the opposite party agrees to also have nonpartisan districting, Lewis Young said. ‘If there is just a feeling that we aren’t going to wait for a federal government, we need to move ahead and find a good solution, and I think that is the next best thing,’ she said.  (Jen Fitfield, “County’s Democratic Elected Officials Question Governor’s Redistricting Reform,” The Frederick News-Post, 9/7/15)

“Maybe we could be a leader… We could share the recommendation and our ideas to other states. But to only change the process in Maryland — we’re not really fixing a national problem.” (Jen Fitfield, “In Gerrymandered County, Reaction To Redistricting Reform Split,” The Frederick News-Post, 11/4/15)

Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger

“This has been the process since we started our government… And it’s not that I think that it’s a great process, but when you have an independent group, they become political, too. Who are they representing? Who appoints them?” (Jenna Johnson, “Is This How Maryland’s Third Congressional District Is Supposed To Look?,” The Washington Post, 9/21/14)

National Democratic And Independent Political Figures Support Independent Redistricting Reform

President Obama: “But that means if we want a better politics – and I’m addressing the American people now – if we want a better politics, it’s not enough just to change a congressman or change a senator or even change a President. We have to change the system to reflect our better selves. I think we’ve got 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.” (“Remarks Of President Barack Obama – State Of the Union Address As Delivered,” White House, 1/13/16)

Governor Terry McAuliffe: “I want to be a leader in getting rid of gerrymandered districts in America.” (Jenna Portnoy, “Gov. McAuliffe Leads Democratic Effort To Redraw House Districts,” The Washington Post, 8/4/15)   

Governor Andrew Cuomo: “We’re going to listen to Ed Koch’s warnings – Mayor Ed Koch, who has been going all over the state. And we applaud him for it, talking about independent redistricting. Congratulations Mr. Mayor.” (Governor Andrew M. Cuomo Announces His ‘Clean Up Albany Plan’ In His 2011 State Of The State Address,” YouTube, 1/6/11)

Senator Bill Nelson: “It seems to me that we need an independent commission for future re-apportionment, so that you stop this self-serving process of drawing districts for your own self-interest.” (“Bill Nelson On Redistricting,” YouTube, 9/1/15)

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi: “First of all, I’ve chaired the California Democratic Party over 20 years ago, I’ve been involved in redistricting – oh my gosh – over 25 years and I don’t think Democrats have any fear or concern about any objective redistricting, when you say objective, non-political, not having the legislature do that… So again, objective reapportionment – I love it.” (“House Minority Leader News Conference,” CSPAN, 6/9/05)

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz: “The important thing for us, and I know from experience, in going through the process in Florida is that voters be able to pick their candidates – voters being able to pick their legislators, not legislators being able to pick their voters.” (“Christian Science Monitor Breakfast With Debbie Wasserman Schultz,”CSPAN, 9/10/15)

Congresswoman Donna Edwards: “I have long supported redistricting reforms to end the damage partisan gerrymandering does to our democracy,.. I look forward to reviewing Governor Hogan’s announcement to see whether it is truly independent of partisan politics.” (Rachel Weiner, “Donna Edwards Breaks With Party Over Redistricting Again,” The Washington Post, 8/7/15)

Congressman Chris Van Hollen: As an original co-sponsor of the Redistricting Reform Act of 2015, federal legislation to end the partisan drawing of congressional districts throughout the country, I read with interest your proposal for a non-partisan congressional redistricting committee in Maryland. I am open to reviewing your proposal for a commission here in Maryland…” (Press Release, “Van Hollen Calls On Hogan And Boehner To Support National Redistricting Reform,”Congressman Chris Van Hollen, 8/7/15)

Mayor Mike Bloomberg:  Now, it’ll be interesting in New York, where Ed Koch created an organization, got a lot of them to pledge in the State Senate and Assembly, if re-elected – which the all got re-elected. If re-elected, you will go and do fair, non-partisan redistricting. I hope they do what Ed has forced them to commit to.” (“No Labels National Leadership Conference,” CSPAN, 12/13/10)