Friday, February 20, 2009

does polling place consolidation hurt minority voters?

That's what Adam Pagnucco at Maryland Politics Watch says might happen due to the Board of Elections' plan to consolidate some polling places for the District 4 special election, citing low turnout:
"If implemented, the precinct closure plan recommended by Montgomery County Board of Elections Executive Director Margaret Jurgensen would disproportionately close precincts that voted for Nancy Navarro in 2008 . . . Navarro won a disproportionately large share of precincts with high black and Latino populations. By targeting Navarro’s precincts for shutdown, the Board of Elections plan may very well inconvenience black and Latino voters at greater rates than white voters."
Seriously? They'd better have a legitimate explanation for this, because there's nothing like allegations of voter suppression to draw indignant voters to the polls. (I hope.)

1 comment:

Thomas Hardman said...

Dan, if you bother to read any of the other recent entries, a clear pattern emerges.

MPW, which was formerly very partisanly Democrat in general and "progressive" in leanings -- whatever that may mean, a different thing to all different people -- is now very solidly in the Navarro camp, and is coming out of the closet as a front for the interests of the County Council as seated.

First, I get kicked off, which generally is the second clear indicator that an operation is a propaganda organ rather than honest reporting and critique. The first clear indicator is that all responses must pass the censor, and censorship of any form other than deleting SPAM or rank obscenity is anathematic to any claims to journalistic integrity.

Then the exact same person who demanded my ouster under the theory "if you can't say something good about someone, don't say anything at all", offers the following:

From Lefty:

[ ... ]
Moreover, it's not like he can rely on his record, or the support of his fellow delegates and senators. His performance in office has been abysmal. He has undercut county unity on countless occasions, most significantly during the special session, but also at other times. My sense is that there is barely repressed rage among the delegation, not only at his positions, which are best described as Republican, but even more so at his antics and the manner in which he goes about things, which is public and vitriolic.

If you see any incumbent delegates and senators supporting Ben Kramer, I suspect that it will be based on their desire to get rid of him in Annapolis, and not on any sincere belief that Kramer is actually the best candidate for the job.

As if that's not enough, I can't get a word in edgewise about anything because of my supposedly hateful race-baiting (WTF?) but the infamous "foolio" gets away with this:

recall reading in the Post sometime recently, an article about Ben Kramer ticking off the whole Black Caucus over his insensitivity to their concerns about racial impact/profiling in his "tough on crime" drive. This makes sense given your comments about his relationship with the rest of the delegation.

[Dood, you pretty much said that Ben Kramer is a heartless racist who's into abusing police power.]

Even Kevin Gillogly notices and takes offense at the coverge:

[ ... ]

More importantly the tone of this blog post and several others you come across as if you have already selected your candidate and if so then you should declare it. That is something you and I have always advocated for MPW -- to let people know who you are for.

I have not decided on a candidate for this race. I will let you know if and when I do. But this is now fourth post that you have tilted towards one candidate. Declare your support or start to write a more balanced post.

Adam Pagnucco defends himself:

[ ... ]

Last time, my union contributed to Navarro, a fact that I repeatedly disclosed. I have never contributed to her. I am not a member of her Facebook group, don't make campaign decisions for her and don't live in her district. I generally favor pro-union candidates, but that's not news to anyone who reads this blog.

I've never pretended to be completely objective. I throw out a combination of fact and opinion and regularly disclose my employment (with the Carpenters Union) and my political affiliations (with the District 18 Democratic Team). The readers know where I'm coming from. If they want to say, "He's a union guy, so we'll take his opinions with a grain of salt on union-backed candidates," so be it.

So, the focus on Navarro -- who isn't even someone that Adam can vote for, if I'm rightly reading his posting -- can't come out of Adam's own concerns or alignment with someone for whom he intends to vote.

From where, then, arises this sudden support of one candidate over all of the others, even if that support mostly consists of complaining about how the mean old Board of Elections seems to be gerrymandering under seeming guise of saving the taxpayer expenses on a Special Election that is likely to have the lowest voter turnout on record? Can we reasonably presume that he just a deeply would have opposed the gerrymandering that was openly and vociferously stated to be intended to make sure that Connie Morella could never again be elected? After all, as an Italian-American she couldn't possibly be more Latina, now could she. So I guess we can take any imputations of ethnic favoritism off of the table of discussion, and if it's not unreasonable partisanism (if it's good for Connie Morella, it's good for Nancy Navarro, eh?) and it's not based on ethnic solidarity politics, it's got to be based on something else. And watching someone who used to be widely respected for integrity suddenly do a blatant about-face and descend into harboring clear factionalists, there's got to be something behind that. And what's behind that stinks of 'house organ" and "astroturfing".