- The Washington Times - Friday, May 25, 2012

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Drawing political lines for gaining and/or keeping power for partisan purposes has been a part of this Republic since anti-Federalist Patrick Henry attempted to keep Federalist James Madison from representing the people of Virginia in the Congress in 1789.

Last year in an attempt to shift the House of Representatives nationally to a Democratic majority, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley created a congressional district map that is the most gerrymandered in the entire country.

Two months ago a petition effort was launched to place the congressional districts that were passed by the General Assembly on the ballot in November. The Congressional Districting Map (SB1) was designed by O'Malley for one specific reason: to change the partisan makeup of the House of Representatives from 6-2 to 7-1 by getting rid of Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, 6th district Republican.

With this move the politicians in Annapolis have forced severe damage to fair representation onto the people of the state of Maryland. The map places voters in Garrett County into a district that includes the Washington suburbs, divides Baltimore and Anne Arundel counties into four districts - while Baltimore City and Montgomery County are split into three - and creates two of the top five most-gerrymandered districts in the entire country. It also dilutes the black and Hispanic voting strengths of Baltimore City and Montgomery and Prince George’s counties by making them share representation with other subdivisions.

In fact, O'Malley’s map prompted a federal district court judge to write, “[The] actions taken here demonstrate to me an impermissible political gerrymandering that crossed the line.”

The only remedy available to the people of Maryland is the petition to referendum process. If you want to send a message to the politicians that the people of Maryland do not want this type of overtly partisan gerrymandering, sign the Congressional Districting Petition today.

ANTONIO WADE CAMPBELL

President, Marylanders for Coherent and Fair Representation Inc.

Towson

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