Political Animals

April 08, 2002

"If you looked up `gerrymandering' in the dictionary, you'd see this map."

- Republican State Sen. J. Lowell Stoltzfus

Well, not yet, Sen. Stoltzfus. But stay tuned.

For now, the "gerrymander" you'll find in reference books is the winged monster an artist created in 1812 to lampoon a bizarrely reconfigured voting district in Massachusetts. The author of the district was the state's governor, Elbridge Gerry. His name, combined with a shape resembling a salamander, gave birth to the term, defined as "rearrangement of voting districts so as to favor the party in power."

But who knows? Perhaps Democratic Gov. Parris Glendening's imaginative contorting of Maryland's eight congressional districts will find its own place in political history. Maybe a few years hence, after voters finally figure out which districts they belong in.

FOR THE RECORD - An illustrated map showing the new congressional districts of Maryland in the shape of animals in yesterday's Sun transposed the identifications of the 7th and 8th districts. The 7th district includes portions of Howard and Baltimore counties and Baltimore city; the 8th district includes portions of Montgomery and Prince George's counties.
The Sun regrets the error.

Today, as the 2002 General Assembly adjourns, Sun cartoonist Kevin "KAL" Kallaugher offers his update on the gerrymander: a whole menagerie of political animals drawn from the new district map. Clip and save it to remember your new political boundaries - and the fact that now, we'll always have Parris.

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