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On the day after the election, I, needless to say, was not a very happy camper because many of my selected state and national candidates along with most ballot question outcomes did not reflect my point of view. I didn’t like the results; however, that is why we have elections. In my opinion, the state redistricting plan was the most troubling ballot question, as I feel its approval stuck a bayonet into the heart of fair and honest representative governance. I believe voters were hoodwinked into believing that this was an honest and fair-share redistribution of voting constituencies. In my opinion, this is political baloney.

Democrats who say they abhor bias toward minorities most certainly created a cloud of smoke that really covers up their true intention, which was to manipulate voting blocs regardless of racial makeup for the sake of consolidating their power. I believe that Gov. O’Malley (D) and the Annapolis crowd used racial profiling techniques. This is obvious, as they placed minorities into districts in a way that makes it very unlikely that anybody other than friends of their chosen “good old boys” get elected. Don’t think so? By using 2010 Maryland census facts, I wish to verify this claim that the earmarking of minorities into gerrymandered districts to attain certain results was their true intent. Nearly 40 percent of the population in Maryland is considered a minority, and most of these constituents live either in the city of Baltimore or in the Washington, D.C., suburbs of Charles, Prince George’s and Montgomery counties where there is a population of 1,981,748.

If you look at the 2010 census for these three counties near Washington, D.C., you will quickly realize that minority voters comprise almost two-thirds of the population (approximately 1,500,000, or about two districts). How come Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md., 4th) is the only minority legislator for this large concentration of African-American, Hispanic and Asian voters? Part of the answer is quoted in the Oct. 16, 2011, Washington Post Metro section, in an article that defines the new redistricting plan as follows: “The plan swings [Rep. Roscoe] Bartlett’s 6th Congressional District south along Interstate 270, into what is now the 8th District, territory represented by Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D). In return exchange, Van Hollen’s area would grow north and west into what is now Bartlett’s.” The article goes on to state, “The swap would encompass nearly a quarter of a million voters and concentrate more minorities in the 6th, with a net gain of about 34,000 Hispanics, 26,000 blacks and 40,600 Asians. In exchange, Van Hollen would pick up about 97,500 whites.”

In this redistricting plan, the progressive Annapolis crowd is the only winner. Folks, there are many losers. The 6th congressional district where his plan repositioned minority voters led to a Democrat upending a Republican in a rural western Maryland district. In addition, this plan also dilutes minority voters in such a way that it makes it highly unlikely that more than one minority candidate will represent areas where two-thirds of the constituents are African-American, Hispanic or Asian. You best believe that past and present faulty redistricting has assured re-election for Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md., 8th) and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md., 5th).

Don’t think so? The Democratic primary election, and then the election in November, clearly points out that Gov. O’Malley’s “good old boy” redistricting plan most assuredly redirects minority votes in such a way as to insure that the progressive Democratic hierarchy’s favored legislators do not have to worry about competitive primary challenges from minority candidates; however, these same favored sons will continue to receive substantial backing from African-American, Hispanic and Asian voters in general elections. This lousy mandated redistricting jigsaw puzzle plan, where the 4th district extends from inside the Capital Beltway toward the Bay Bridge, will be with us at least through the 2020 census, and clearly subjugates election outcomes for generations to come with the ultimate power squarely in the hands of a chosen few who will continue to produce an unacceptable lifestyle, especially for the poor. What has the Annapolis crowd done to improve minority lifestyles in the areas that they have governed for more than 30 years? Are there better schools or is there less crime?

I hope the court cases pending will overturn this malfeasance of power enacted against Maryland’s poor and underserved voting public. One-party rule does not give an adequate voice to all and ends in areas where crime and educational woes exist. Will the American Civil Liberties Union, NAACP or others take on this “good old boy” crowd and make it possible for anyone to serve the “Free State?” After all, we are the people.

John Petralia, Sunderland