Skip to comments.Perdue signs congressional redistricting map [Georgia]
Posted on 05/03/2005 4:27:12 PM PDT by SolidSupplySide
Gov. Sonny Perdue signed off Tuesday on a new map for Georgia's congressional districts, declaring it dismantles a Democratic gerrymander and puts people "back in charge" of deciding who will represent them in Washington.
"It's about as balanced as you can get," he said. "I think the people will be able to determine who their elected representatives are, and that's the way it should be."
Democrats scoffed, saying the map approved in March by the state's first-ever Republican-led Legislature was just as partisan as the one Democrats crafted after the 2000 Census.
"Redistricting by its very nature is a political exercise. This is at least as political if not more so than the previous map," said State Democratic Chairman Bobby Kahn.
The map cannot take effect until it is approved by the U.S. Justice Department. Georgia, like other states with a segregationist past, must get federal approval for changes in voting laws.
The new Republican-drawn map significantly restructures the state's 13 congressional districts, dividing fewer counties and voting precincts and eliminating many of the bizarre shapes Republicans have criticized.
It would allow most current members of Congress to seek re-election without facing another incumbent. The current delegation includes seven Republicans and six Democrats.
But two Democrats are dealt tougher hands under the plan.
Freshman U.S. Rep. John Barrow of Athens is placed in a newly drawn 10th District with longtime Republican U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood of suburban Augusta, and Rep. Jim Marshall, a Macon Democrat, will have a much different district with fewer black voters, a traditional gauge of Democratic strength.
Perdue defended the map as "a fairly balanced plan that gives both parties the opportunity to put their case before the people of Georgia without a predetermined outcome by virtue of gerrymandering."
"There are seven fairly safe Republican seats," he said. "There certainly are four safe Democratic seats and there are two battleground districts that are currently held by Democrats. Under the incumbency theory, both stand to get elected."
The net result could leave the delegation divided exactly as it is now, he said.
Pressure to adopt a new map came from Republican members of Congress, but Perdue said the purpose "was not partisan advantage."
Rather, he said, the goal "was to put communities of interest back together. It looks better because it is better, because counties are whole and people will know who their congressman is."
Perdue said the map Democrats drew in 2001 when he was a member of the Senate "offended me as a citizen and it offended me as a senator" and was one reason he ran for governor.
Kahn, the Democratic chairman, said the comment was "typical of his hypocrisy. The map is obviously aimed at Jim Marshall and John Barrow."
Well, at least the RATS won't take power in Georgia.
They may well regain the governor's office. The Flaggers are still mad.
While I supported the Texas redistricting because the legislature had not adopted a plan after the 2000 Census, the Georgia legislature had already approved a (horribly partisan and gerrymandered) redistricting plan in 2001 or 2002. Thus, I don't think that the new plan should (or will) be able to be put into effect. If state legislatures are allowed to redistrict every two years even when the current legislatively approved plan has not been declared unconstitutional, you can bet that district lines will be changing every two years in dozens of states. I think that GA Republicans should have pursued a court challenge to one or more of the districts in the current plan, and if just one district is declared illegal or unconstitutional the Republican legislators can then redistrict the whole state and eliminate the RATs' absurd monstrosity of a gerrymander.
If the plan is upheld in court, then perhaps we can see the return of Bob Barr and Max Burns. With Dr Gringery's GA-11 more secure for the GOP, Bob Barr may attempt to oust him like he tried to do to John Linder in 2002. Barr just can't stay out of the limelight.
"With Dr Gringery's GA-11 more secure for the GOP, Bob Barr may attempt to oust him like he tried to do to John Linder in 2002."
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