The Maryland General Assembly is expected to vote today on the Congressional redistricting map that has stirred controversy. The State Senate was scheduled to take a preliminary vote last night. But Republicans, the minority party in the Maryland General Assembly, asked for a vote to be pushed back until today.
GOP leaders feel the map pushed by Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) is politically motivated to lead to the defeat of Republican Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (Md.). State Sen. E.J. Pipkin (R) admits he and other Republicans really just wanted redistricting in the headlines for another day, as they feel the governor is trying to hide its unpopularity.
"By announcing his final plan on Saturday at 6:24 p.m., and putting the final plan in front of us on Monday," Pipkin says. "And then cleverly talking the gas tax today to step on the redistricting story."
Even Pipkin admits the map is likely to pass today. Meanwhile, the gas tax issue will be front and center this afternoon at a hearing where many state leaders will testify about transportation issues in the state. O'Malley on Monday said he will support raising the state's gas tax by 5 cents each of the next three years to help pay for new transportation projects.
The Republican ticket for November's election includes Ken Cuccinelli for governor, E.W. Jackson for lieutenant governor, and Mark Obenshain for attorney general.