- The Washington Times - Monday, September 16, 2013

A group of right-leaning Maryland residents who feel underrepresented in the Statehouse have banded together to push for a secession.

Activist Scott Strzelczyk started a Facebook page titled the Western Maryland Initiative that is made up of residents in the area — Carroll, Frederick, Washington, Allegany and Garrett counties — who wish to secede from the state.

“We intend to exercise our right of self-determination and self-governance to better secure our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” the group’s page states. “Annapolis has repeatedly injured us and abridged or denied our fundamental rights and violated numerous articles in the Maryland Declaration of Rights. Our pleas for redress of grievances to the General Assembly and the Governor are ignored or rebuffed.”

The group’s biggest grievances are tax increases and the Democrat-controlled legislature’s gerrymandering of voting districts so that the state’s metropolitan areas have the most representation. Mr. Strzelczyk called the new gun restrictions to be enacted next year “the last straw,” Fox News reported.

The movement in Maryland is part of a larger separatist movement that’s be cropping up across the country, including in the Upper Peninsula in Michigan, Northern California and several conservative northern Colorado counties, Fox News said.

Secession would be costly, however, because many of these rural regions rely on money generated in their state’s urban areas. Secession leaders also would need state and federal approval.

Mr. Strzelczyk said the next part of their plan is to create policy committees, reach out to lawmakers for support and form a nonprofit 501(c)(4) group that is allowed to engage in political activities, Fox News reported.