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  Md. Dems face redistricting mutiny
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ContributorScott³ 
Last EditedScott³  Oct 18, 2012 04:54pm
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CategoryNews
AuthorCHARLES MAHTESIAN
News DateFriday, October 5, 2012 10:00:00 PM UTC0:0
Description"As Maryland voters prepare for a November referendum to decide the fate of the state’s new congressional map, Montgomery Gazette columnist Blair Lee chronicles the quandary faced by Democratic Party leaders in strongly Democratic, earnestly liberal and good government-oriented Montgomery County.

On one hand, the newly drawn map — one of the most ridiculously gerrymandered in the nation — maximizes Democratic opportunities across the state. On the other, the new congressional lines are an indefensible affront to good government — an issue of concern in the affluent suburb of Washington, D.C., one the nation’s top goo-goo outposts.

Every county has a Democratic Central Committee, elected by Democrats, and a Republican Central Committee, elected by Republicans. Their jobs are to organize their respective parties at the grass-roots levels to win elections.

But no one takes this mission more seriously than Montgomery’s Democratic Central Committee. For instance, it’s the only committee that sends out a sample ballot to 240,000 Democratic voters, and this year that sample ballot has become a political battleground.

You see, Maryland’s voters have never faced four complex, contentious ballot questions before, and the level of voter confusion is expected to be sky-high. So, the Democratic sample ballot’s guidance on the ballot questions may prove all-important, even decisive.

Typical of issue-oriented, process-obsessed Montgomery County, the Democrats established a ballot question study commission that held public hearings, pored over the merits and issued a detailed report. And that’s when the trouble began.

Being ultra-liberals, the commission unanimously supported same-sex marriage and the DREAM Act, but recommended against the congressional map, 11-1 (and opposed gambling expansion, 9-4).

Then all hell broke loose."
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