Georgia Redistricting to Benefit GOP

The congressional redistricting plan enacted last week by the Republican-controlled state legislature in Georgia and signed by Republican Gov. Nathan Deal, is a case in point for why Republicans should retain their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives—no matter what happens in the presidential contest at the time of the ballot.

In state after state where Republicans control the local legislature as well as the governorship, they have played hardball in the redistricting of congressional seats.  In Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Indiana, Democratic congressional districts were merged, diluted in terms of Democratic strength, or eliminated outright.  The result will almost certainly be a net gain for Republican ranks in the U.S. House.

The same has happened in Georgia, whose U.S. House delegation will grow from 13 to 14 Members thanks to the 2010 census.  The chief victim of the redrawing of the congressional district lines is Rep. John Barrow, the last white Democratic House Member from the Deep South.

“John Barrow is a walking dead man politically,” Phil Kent, former Editorial Page Editor of the Augusta Chronicle, told HUMAN EVENTS last week.  “With the Republican parts of Augusta and Columbia County added to the 12th District he represents, any Republican will win.”

The Peach State’s newest district was created in North Georgia and is considered a safely Republican one.  State Rep. Doug Collins, a close ally of Gov. Deal, has already announced for the new district.  An intriguing prospect for the seat is popular radio talk show host Martha Zoller, who is well-known for securing some high-powered guests on her program.  Should Zoller run, one of the more interesting stories in Georgia will surely be whether, like Sen. Jesse Helms (R.-N.C.), she can transfer the fervent following she has on the airwaves to the voting booth.

While some fans of conservative Republican Rep. Tom Graves grumble that Gilmer County (which he has never before represented) has been added to his district, the freshman lawmaker appears in strong shape for 2012.  Moreover, Rep. Phil Gingery, who represents the suburbs of northwest Atlanta, had his 11th District reconfigured into the city of Atlanta.  This will mean physician-congressman Gingery will become the first Republican to represent parts of the city of Atlanta since Fletcher Thompson, who served in the House from 1966-72 and ran unsuccessfully for the Senate in ’72.  (A stalwart conservative like Gingery, Thompson also campaigned hard among Atlanta’s black community, appointed blacks to his staff and to West Point, and also did well with African American voters).

Are Democrats playing political hardball in states where they control legislatures and governorships?  Sure.  New plans for districts in California and Illinois are likely to cost Republicans some House seats.  But thanks to the work they did in races for the legislatures and governorships last year, there are more states in which Republicans control the “works.”  That means a likely net gain in the redistricting process for Republicans—and, in all likelihood, a Republican majority in the House in 2012.

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  • Minny_Man

    Since we live in a republican democracy, it is hard to see how democracy has been “distorted.” The constitution requires the that States redraw their districts every ten years. As someone once said, “Elections have consequences.

    I wonder, are you outraged by the counting of illegals in the census which gives a distorted picture of our citizenry and actually rewards States that do not enforce immigration laws? That strikes me as a much greater distortion of democracy than anything found in this article.

    Is your discontent in this area selective or universal? Are you as critical about states like Massachusetts, where the GOP routinely gets 40% of the statewide vote but has no one in the State’s congressional delegation? How about California, where the GOP is grossly underrepresented in their congressional delegation?

    Are you equally worked up over the Obama administration’s ignoring of judicial orders? How about their utter lack of law enforcement of laws that they do not  like? In a republican democracy of “we the people,” should not the lax attitude of our leaders toward law enforcement be seen as a bigger danger to our survival than a constitutionally mandated activity such as redistricting?

  • http://twitter.com/aemoreira81 Adam Moreira

    Not him, but for me, it’s universal. It should be taken out of the hands of the Legislature and granted to retired judges instead.

  • Dan Kralis

    Retired judges are, of course, completely unbiased…….. give me a break!

  • laketrain

    Adam…judges are not “non-partial” nor non-partisan.   Redistricting should indeed be put into the hands of the representatives whom the voters of the state have elected to represent them.   It should be the legislative branch of government and not the judicial branch of government that is involved in redistricting.  Again a separation of powers.   The judicial section of our government is to determine the validity of our laws per the constitution.   And in recent times there have been men or women on the courts who have done a poor job of that..

  • georgerobinson

    Guess what? We do that here in Texas also, plus we gained a bunch of seats and jobs. (Our governor isn’t very smart y’all Yankees say) Did you hear where we learned that trick? Why, none other than Senator Lyndon Baines Johnson. If we would just use the rest of his tricks like ten thousand Kennedy votes from a county with six thousand people, fewer than two thousand voters, we wouldn’t even need an election. Funny I can fill a book with with commie comments about gerrymandering is the only legal avenue open and is fair. We just turned the whole state Republican except Austin maybe

  • JamesDrouin

    Lake – Both are involved.  Legislatures draw up district lines in accordance with federal law.  Federal judges confirm (or not) whether those Legislatures have complied.

  • JamesDrouin

    And you are under the impression that a “retired” judge is more impartial than one currentlyon the bench exactly why again??

  • JamesDrouin

    Classic example of a political ideology being imposed on the electorate.  Not the Republicans’ best idea (historically, or currently).