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Afternoon Read: PAC Calls Maryland Legislative Redistricting “Pure Racism”

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PAC Calls Md. Redistricting "Pure Racism"

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A political action committee called the Maryland state legislative redistricting plan “pure racism,” The Gazette reported, echoing others who argue Maryland redistricting is diluting the African-American vote, The Gazette reported.

A group of nine black voters whose lawsuit was heard in federal court Tuesday argued the number of majority-minority congressional districts should be three -- not two -- based on the 2010 Census and accused Democrats in the General Assembly of trying to protect Democrat Rep. Steny Hoyer’s seat in Congress.

Similarly, the Fannie Lou Hamer Political Action Committee said the state legislative districts proposed last week by the Governor’s Redistricting Advisory doesn’t add enough majority-black state legislative districts. The plan calls for increasing the majority-black districts from 10 to 12 and creating a majority-Hispanic district in Prince George’s County. The PAC argues 14 majority-black districts would “more accurately represent black Marylanders,” according to The Gazette.

Republican Del. Michael Hough (R-Dist. 3B) of Brunswick is working on legislation to be introduced on behalf of his group that would create an alternate map, Cabrera said.

The PAC worked with Republicans to oppose Gov. Martin O’Malley’s congressional redistricting plan, passed by the legislature this year.

The group will testify at a public hearing on the plan scheduled for Thursday in Annapolis.

“There is no confusion in this map,” Radamese Cabrera, a consultant for the PAC, told the Gazette. “This map is a map for incumbency protection of white Democratic males.”

*Blue Virginia called the House refusal to extend a payroll tax cut “the height of cowardice -- refusing to even vote up or down on the payroll tax cut, and instead punting it to a non-existent committee,” and noted that only one Virginia Republican representative -- Frank Wolf -- voted “nay.”

*The revised D.C. ethics bill wasn’t revised to Council member Tommy Wells’s liking. The Ward 6 Democrat was the lone council member to vote against the legislation Tuesday.

WAMU 88.5

reported Wells “declined to vote for the measure because the council declined to take serious action on transparency. He also objected to the lack of changes to constituent service funds and the process of bundling campaign contributions.”

*Congress is finishing the year with a record-low approval rating of 11 percent, according to Gallup. D.C. residents have a host of close-to-home reasons to be upset with the legislators,

City Desk notes:

Budget riders that strip the District of self-governance, attempts to "fix" D.C. hiring practices, and other continued attempts by members of Congress to turn the District into its personal laboratory.

*DCist reports that legislation for tougher penalties for people who don’t shovel the sidewalks in front of their homes and businesses has been put off, according to a

tweet from Matt Ackland

. An outdated $25 fine was difficult to collect because the city had to sue for it. The postponed legislation originally introduced by Wells and Council member Mary Cheh would have fined residents $50 for a first offense, $100 for a second and $200 for a third. For businesses, first and second violations would cost $250, followed by a $1,000 ticket for a third.

*

Greater Greater Washington

is calling for better leadership to extend the school day, which could improve performance as seen in charter schools.

Unfortunately, neither DCPS nor the DC Council are taking the lead to study longer school days. In fact, DCPS and the Council don't even agree on whether legislation is required to extend the school day or not. DCPS says the DC Council must act, while the Council's attorney says DCPS could act if it wanted. And the two bodies haven't talked to each other to resolve this question.

Council member Yvette Alexander surprisingly submitted school-day extension legislation this month.

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