"The public doesn't, for the most part, give a tinker's damn how these lines are drawn."
-- Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller.
The legislature's foremost champion of a "people's plan" for congressional redistricting, Senate President Mike Miller, is trying to have it both ways. A month ago, he pushed through the governor's redistricting committee a map that he labeled a plan for the common man, but which was in actuality an exercise in raw, partisan politics. Now he is once again holding firm for this monstrous proposal, this time claiming that the public doesn't give a hoot what politicians do in tracing new congressional boundary lines.
Mr. Miller is wrong on both counts. His proposal remains an abomination. It shreds Baltimore County into five ineffectual pieces, forces Howard County (against its will) into the Washington sphere of influence, illogically lumps suburbs in Harford and Baltimore counties with the rural Eastern Shore and creates an impossibly large Western Maryland district. The Miller plan disrupts neighborhoods and splits communities. It distorts congressional boundary lines to save the political life of Democratic Rep. Tom McMillen -- even if this leaves the Baltimore region in tatters.