I've written a Kennebec Journal column and a Down East post recently on the issue of congressional redistricting. The first looks at the effect the big changes the GOP has proposed would have on Lewiston/Auburn and the second is a report from the recent, well-attended public hearing on the competing proposals.
In some ways, the Republicans have already won. By presenting such a radical plan with such a straight face, they've pushed the boundaries of what's acceptable to talk about in terms of partisan gerrymandering in Maine. They may not get what they want this time, but when it comes to redistricting we're certainly no longer having the same conversation about small changes and continuity of representation that we have for the past 50 years.
Here's Lewiston mayor Larry Gilbert discussing what the GOP plan would mean for his city and region of the state, via Andi Parkinson:
This week on Big Talk, there was a lot to talk about. Hosts Al Brewer and Suzanne Murphy were joined by myself and Gerald Weinand of Dirigo Blue to discuss legislation that has just passed or is currently under consideration in Augusta.
Things are going very quickly in the Capitol at the moment and laws on everything from voting rights to abortion to the environment to workers' rights are all being voted up or down in the two chambers.
We also spent some time discussing the First District Court's redistricting ruling.
Also last night - it looks like the Appropriations Committee has reached a compromise on the biennial budget, although full details are not yet available. It now faces votes in the House and Senate, with a two thirds majority in each required for passage.