Saturday was a beautiful spring-like day and I had the pleasure of taking a relaxing motorcycle ride through the rolling hills of Western Maryland to the Antietam National Battlefield. My riding companion, on his beautiful new Harley Street Glide, is an intriguing individual that is running for Delegate in Maryland. His name is Eric Bouchat. As the two of us walked the battlefield of Antietam, Eric explained the battle, statistics, and issues of the day to me. We discussed the munitions, and the horror of fragmentation shells that split as they left the cannon muzzle, fragmenting like huge shotgun shells on steroids. We discussed the horrors of medicine during the Civil War. If faced with a choice of being killed or wounded, which would be worse?

Whereas Eric is running for office, and I am a County Commissioner, it was inevitable the discussion would soon lead to questions of local politics.

For those of you that do not know me, I was the first county official in the United States to successfully terminate government involvement in the ICLEI/Agenda 21; the first local official in Maryland to write a nullification resolution declaring a local government to be a "Second Amendment Sanctuary County;" and the first local official in Maryland to expose Common Core as a de facto federal takeover of public education, while simultaneously implementing an education choice program.

So, how do state governments such as Maryland get into the mess they are in today with one-party supermajority rule in both chambers of the General Assembly? How is it that three or four liberal urban counties can rule the rest of a state with an iron fist? How is it that there does not seem to be any way to stop them from hurting us?

The answer is self-evident: The structure of bicameral legislatures across the country is broken.

Our forefathers knew exactly what they were doing when they created both a House and Senate… each with its own unique purpose. Representation in the House would be based on population, giving urban centers a bigger voice in proportion to their larger populations.

Conversely, representation in the Senate would give each jurisdiction within the Republic exactly two senators, regardless of population. This would ensure that less populated jurisdictions had an equal or greater voice in at least one chamber. This wise design was intended to protect rural areas from hyper-democratic processes wherein densely populated cities could simply outvote rural areas on every issue.

But alas, along comes Baker v. Carr, 369 U.S.
186 (1962), and the Supreme Court adopts a seemingly benign one-man one-vote doctrine stating that each vote should count equally.

This opinion had the destructive effect of profoundly corrupting the inherent benefits of a bicameral legislature. It increased urban representation within the senate, and decreased rural representation, thereby completely neutralizing the intentions of our founding fathers when they created a bicameral legislature. For example, in Maryland, the state senate is now simply a parallel clone of the House of Delegates, with urban counties controlling the majority of senate seats. Urban Prince Georges County now has eight senators, rather than two. Rural Allegheny County now shares a single senator with another rural county. This is NOT what our forefathers intended.

Thank you, Supreme Court, for another short-sighted opinion that serves to dismantle the inherent protections built into our bicameral legislature by our forefathers.

Now… back to Eric. He runs a small business and is not an attorney. Yet, last year, he wrote and sent his own petition to the high court, demanding a reconsideration of bad redistricting and the pernicious effects it has on our Constitutional protections. Sadly, the petition was unsuccessful.

So where do we go from here?

Eric and I agree, now is the time for the granddaddy of all Referendums. It's time to obtain petition signatures for a simultaneous referendum in every conservative county demanding a return to equal representation in the State Senate. Specifically, this referendum should require that all of the political gerrymandering be brought to an end, and every county be represented by exactly two Senators.

In most states, conservatives control the majority of counties. Success in this endeavor would properly restore control of the Senate to the majority of counties and resurrect the protections intended by our forefathers. This would enable us to stop the relentless punitive war on rural America being waged by a handful of urban cities and counties across America. Bad bills that seek to ban septic systems, ban guns, and tax storm water, would die in state senates as they rightfully deserve.

Congress and the courts have failed us. Now is the time for local officials to come to the aid of their Constitutional Republic.

Referendum anyone?

Please help me continue to lead the fight by local officials to restore our Republic, by going to www.richardrothschild.org.

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