Delegate Responds to Criticism of Bill to Mandate Charter Government
The following is a letter submitted by Delegate Eric Bouchat (R), District 5 in response to a bill he has sponsored that will mandate charter government in Carroll County and 11 other jurisdictions.
Republicans haven’t controlled the Maryland General Assembly since 1920, a time when all 24 state political subdivisions were governed under commissioner boards, and none had constitutions with a sovereign citizenry.
Currently, 12 counties have charter constitutions, with 6 using Code Home Rule commissioners and 6 following commissioner standard. Most rural counties led by Republicans operate with the Democrat-controlled General Assembly as their legislative branch, concealing this fact from their constituents. They do so to maintain control over a populace that is not sovereign over its local government, ensuring their perpetuation in office. Republicans, especially in rural counties, seem to lack trust in their own constituents’ ability to govern themselves. This lack of trust is a significant reason why the Maryland Republican Party holds only 27% in both chambers of the General Assembly, along with gerrymandering—an issue I am addressing in another state constitutional amendment.
Voters outside our party see the glaring hypocrisy of Republicans not trusting their own jurisdictions with self-government, while expecting the rest of the state to trust them with governance over the entire state. Republicans seem to prefer an obsolete British parliamentary system, contradicting the constitutional system established by our Founding Fathers through revolution and the Constitution. What Maryland Republicans like is an obsolete British parliamentary system we won a revolution to overthrow.
As long as this pattern of ignorance continues, Republicans are likely to remain at around 25% in a legislative branch that controls most county jurisdictions. Moreover, there’s a risk of losing governance of those rural counties to independent voters who support Democrats embracing what our Founders fought and died for: the sovereignty of the people through constitutional government at all levels, including local.
Voter registration numbers do not lie, and the party’s denial of reality only leads to more failures. Instead of blaming the consumers (voters), it might be more beneficial for Republicans to reconsider their product. Failing to adapt may result in being consigned to the historical pile of political science ignorance, akin to the Tories who sided with the British government during the Revolution.
Delegate Eric Bouchat