The fathers -- and mothers -- of Democratic hegemony.
Baltimore Sun columnist Jean Marbella wrote a nice piece today telling the back-story of how Maryland's congressional delegation went from 4 Democrats and 4 Republicans in 2002 to its current 7 Democrat-1 Republican configuration.
She rightly credits Gov. Parris Glendening as the grandfather of the boundaries redrawn after the 2000 census. But it's worth mentioning a few other names.
-- Jennifer Crawford: The future Mrs. Glendening was the governor's deputy chief of staff during the redistricing process and was the key staffer in charge of moving election districts around and achieving the governor's partisan goals. For those in the State House at the time, the work product was sometimes referred to as "Jennifer's Maps." She's never spoken to the media about her role; we'd love to hear what she has to say on the topic. C'mon Jen: Gloat a little. There's a "comment space" just below!
-- Sushant Sidh: Sidh was young, but already had long experience working in congressional and gubernatorial campaigns. He was Crawford's assistant, and Glendening put him on the panel redrawing the lines. After stints with a nursing home company and Anne Arundel county government, he's now an Annapolis lobbyist with a lot of notches on his belt.
-- John Willis: Willis was named secretary of state when Glendening became governor and is arguably the most knowledgable person in Maryland about the history of political boundaries. Willis argued with a straight face to me and others why the ridiculous-looking boundaries of the 1st District (the latest Dem pick-up) as well as the equally silly 2nd and 3rd made perfect sense and were rooted in history and tradition. He can laugh now if he wants to, but knowing Willis, he's probably not laughing, but lecturing.