Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

July 24, 2013

Not so much

Assimilating D.C. would be the last thing Maryland needs

Thanks, but no thanks.

That is about as polite as we can be in commenting on Texas Republican Rep. Louis Gohmert’s proposal to have Maryland take over the District of Columbia.

The truth is, Maryland state politicians haven’t been doing the greatest job in running Maryland government as it is. Can you imagine the problems Maryland leaders would have if they had to contend with the District of Columbia’s finances and foibles?

Gohmert believes a Maryland takeover of the District would ease D.C. residents’ frustration of not having full voting rights.

According to American University’s radio station WAMU, the Texas Republican also introduced a similar bill in 2007.  Neither D.C. nor Maryland officials are behind the idea. Maryland Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen says the bill is really just a distraction from the real fight to give city residents full voting rights. "I think that we should continue to focus on trying to make sure that Eleanor Holmes-Norton gets full voting rights in the House rather than be distracted by some of these proposals," says Van Hollen.

In 1847 Virginia agreed to take back the portion of land it ceded to D.C. But that is the last time the District’s boundaries have changed. Perhaps Virginia would now be inclined to take over the entire present-day District.

We are all for giving District of Columbia residents voting rights. Just, please, don’t do it at the expense of Marylanders. We’ve already got enough on our plate.

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