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My First MDGOP Convention
As a newly sworn in member of the Republican Central Committee, I was recently afforded the opportunity to attend the MDGOP Spring Convention. For those who may not know, this is an opportunity for Republicans all over the state to get together. As expected, Central Committees from every county in Maryland attended the two day event. On the first day, which was a Friday evening, myself and others met to discuss the future of the Maryland government and how we intend to not only get our wonderful Governor re-elected, but how to get more Republican seats in both the House and the Senate. After our meeting, the Convention hosted an excellent outdoor dinner where everyone had the opportunity to socialize and honor various people who have done great things for the Party. Each honoree received a nice plaque. Saturday morning kicked off with a delicious breakfast and a visit from Governor Hogan. His words provided energy to the room and motivation to continue our fight towards victory! After breakfast all of the Central Committees gathered for the bi-annual meeting.
To be allowed on the Convention floor, Central Committee members, or their documented proxies, must register prior to the convention and sign in. No one is allowed inside the meeting room without credentials and identification. The morning meeting consisted of updates and information about the current state of the Party. We learned how our finances stood, (which is very well, I might add) and we were given our tasks for the upcoming elections. Some of the short videos that were created to help local campaigns were played as well as a somber tribute to the late Senator Wayne Norman.
At one point the Chairman, Dirk Haire, remarked on the new logo and importance of branding, in a fit of rebellion, the GOP banner chose that moment to fall, to which Dirk remarked "Our twenty something staffers may be good at slick videos, but not so good at hanging banners.” After a moments teamwork from the taller Committeemen and a gimlet eye from the Chairman, the banner chose to comply, defeated as soundly as the Democrats are expected to be in November. After averting that small crises and restoring order as well as the banner, Chairman Haire called for lunch.
Lunch was pleasant, I chose to spend my time on the grasspicnic style with a small group not afraid of a bit of foliage. The sun was bright and relaxing and the quiet camaraderie was welcome after the gravity of party politics. We were all given a box lunch that was fairly substantial in it’s offering.
The last session of the Convention was exciting. Several new bylaw amendments were proposed and the voting began. The first amendment was to reduce the number of conventions, this was defeated. The second amendment resulted in a lengthy debate and taxed the Executive Board’s knowledge of Parliamentary Procedure and while many people were flustered by the minutia, I was in my element. The amendment proposed to preclude any Central Committee member from working on a Democratic campaign. This would only affect the rules regarding races where there is no Republican Candidate as there are already rules governing that scenario. True to Republican form, many members expressed concern that this would allow the State to dictate how the Counties run their own Committees. To prevent the MDGOP having a greater say in local politics, an amendment to the amendment was motioned and adopted. After this change, the new amendment was accepted. Now local Central Committees “may” remove a member for participating in a Democratic campaign, but they are not compelled to remove that member. The last amendment we discussed was also adopted and allows Central Committees to act immediately in replacing a member of the Legislature if it is during or immediately before the Legislative Session.
As one of the newest members of the MD State Central Committee, I appreciated the ability to participate in organizing our Party. It is an honor to serve the Conservative citizens in our district and the Convention offered a unique opportunity to meet other members and organize a plan moving forward into the Primary and General elections.
Corine Frank, D31
Chelsea Gill, D30
The last Chairman’s message focused on gerrymandering Maryland’s seven Congressional districts. This article will focus on how gerrymandering effects our state legislature
Maryland is divided into 47 legislative districts, each with one Senator and 3 delegates. (This also makes the Senate population based, but that is a whole other issue.) The Maryland Constitution provides laws for drawing district lines in Article 4 Section 4. These laws mandate that a district must consist of adjoining territory, be compact in form, have equal population, and give due regard to natural and political boundaries. The districts may also be subdivided.
Inequities arise when districts are subdivided into A and B. These districts have one or two representatives in the House of Delegates. Yet, citizens in an undivided district have three Delegates in the House. How can this be equal representation? It’s not.
District 31 is divided into A and B, with the Brooklyn Park area (mostly Democrat) separated from the strong Republican area of Pasadena. The Republican voters of Pasadena would dominate in numbers and give the Republicans one more seat in the delegation if the area were not subdivided. Meanwhile on the western side of the county, District 21 is NOT subdivided even though it crosses the county line and goes into Prince George’s County. This is because the overwhelming numbers of Democrats in Prince George’s can overwhelm the polls and neutralize the strong Republican voice of west Anne Arundel county. So, if one lives in some parts of Gambrills and Odenton their representation comes from three people that live in the College Park area. To make it even more unfair all three of these delegates have a vote in the Anne Arundel County Delegation to assure that there is a Democrat majority there.
District 33 is drawn in such a way to concentrate the Republicans in one area. This limits the Republican representation in the legislature.
Note that district 30A is divided by two rivers. Why is that small segment south of the South River included? Why not keep the district more compact, and pay due regard to natural boundaries, as directed by the constitution, by connecting that to the area on the other side of the Severn?
The lines for districts will be redrawn in 2020. That is why it is so important that we re-elect Governor Hogan and give him the veto-proof legislature he needs to lead. (Right now the Democrats have a super majority and can override any of the governor’s vetos. New, fairly drawn lines, will help the minority Republicans have a stronger voice in state politics.
Authority of AAGOP, James Appel, TreasurerSign up