Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Redistricting moves to Governor's desk; Perdue places it under his Savannah snow globe for safekeeping

Just in case you’ve been under a rock for the last couple of days, we thought we’d remind you that SB 386, the redistricting bill covering ACC, passed the State House 100 – 69 yesterday. It already made it through the Senate, so now it’s off to the Governor’s desk for his signature.  

Yesterday’s gubernatorial sanity notwithstanding, there’s pretty much no chance that Sonny Perdue vetoes this. Why would he? The only folks pissed off about the bill live in Athens, which went for Roy Barnes over the Governor by a margin of about 60% - 40%, and they aren’t voting for him this time either, probably.

So, where does this leave ACC? Well, Ralph Hudgens and the COC-squad get the gold mine, and if you know your country music you can finish the thought for yourself. Don’t bet on this thing wasting very many of your tax dollars in the courts, either. In all the discussion over redistricting, we’ve yet to hear any cogent legal argument against this plan.

So, on the redistricting front, ACC is at a crossroads. We can sit around and talk about how unfairly screwed we were (and we were!), or we can figure out how to win some elections and move forward. Chances are, we’ll have more than enough of the former, not enough of the latter. Such is politics.


Anonymous said...

He doesn't even have to sign it. Just let it sit there and it becomes law. The perfect situation for Sonny.

Anonymous said...

Here's the deal. Can't remember if I have regurgitated this here or just to others, so pardon me if I restate. When these districts become law, the COC has won a relatively insignificant skirmish(redistricting) but have set themselves up to lose the battle(this year's election). This whole process has:

-energized the Athens democractic base, meaning greater focus on the "non-partisan" candidates next year, even greater activism, and more volunteers for "progressive" candidates;
-given Mayor Davison a chance to LEAD and put distance between herself and her liberal challengers (Johnson, Rusk) and her moderate one (Chasteen), who just lost all democratic support. The only mayoral candidate who lost nothing in this is Charlie Maddox.
-put the COC in a position where their endorsements and supports are even more of a liability than they are now. Their PAC money will be watched, and that will be used against their candidates.

What does this mean? In my book, a serious ass-whomping for conservative to moderate candidates in Athens next year, and a strong progressive slate of local elected officials. Probably re-election for Mayor Davison.

But long term? Above I used terms like skirmish and battle. I didn't say "the war," not because I care about the symbolism of violence, but because the big issue here is the big picture. Is Athens moving FURTHER to the left healthy for the community? I would say no. We're already investing in things like greenways, alternative fuels, and paying good wages to government workers. Adding additional costs on buisnesses to pay for a lame stormwater education program.

Having a block of dedicated progressives in office is a wet dream for many locals, but in terms of getting support for UGA, getting anything from the state, luring business, etc. it makes it close to impossible. It isn't our Senators that have been preventing the bacon from coming to Athens -- its the fact that our local officials piss off state government with their words and actions -- Chasteen had that much right.

Dawg Corleone said...

Very interesting, anon. I think your larger point is especially valid, and have heard others express it over the years.

It is certainly Athens' perogative to be as Blue as it wants to be. But as the state gets Redder, there will be consequences. Athens will be increasingly marginalized in Atlanta.

This redistricting this is an Athens story, period. To the extent that folks in Hahira and Unadilla care about this at all (and they don't) they wonder why in the world anyone would balk at having 2 Senators instead of one. They would see this (trust me--I've actually been south of I-20) as another example of the arrogance and provincialism that has been Athens' trademark for as long as I can remember.

Anonymous said...

This redistricting veto thing is a huge softball for Sonny. He vetos the bill...he comes off looking like a "statesman". He loses nothing. The Senate Republicans feel like they own that seat anyway, just as it is drawn. The bill obviously does not meet the criteria the Republicans passed last year. Nobody running for reelection to statewide office wants a "hornet's nest" of angry voters anywhere in the state...anywhere....even if in an area where they don't expect to do that well. Better to get the good press of a "statesman". He never would have let out the info that he was considering a veto if he wasn't serious about it. The upside is just too much for Sonny. He will lose nothing (except maybe Hudgens will scream and yell) but gain alot. Look for him to veto it.

Anonymous said...

You are a fool if you think Sonny will veto the redistricting proposal. He does not want to look like a "statesmen" by thumbing his nose at his own party and his own legislators.

Anonymous said...

Sonny gains or loses nothing at all whether he signs, vetoes, or just let's it sit under the snow globe until it becomes law automatically. Kinda sad that 100,000 people in Georgia can get screwed with their pants on and nobody other than those 100,000 gives a rat's ass. In fact, probably only about 20% of those 100,000 are even aware that this is an issue.

Either way. We're f**ked and you can just forget about the Goobernor or anybody else outside of affected areas even mentioning it around the water cooler.

As others have pointed out, it doesn't matter whether Sonny passes it or not - he's not going to win in Clarke County and is not likely to even campaign here other than a token appearance.

Publius said...

Agreed. This is a non-starter of an issue outside Athens, and the Gubner isn't going to pick up any votes if he vetoes it, so he might as well either let it sit and become law, or sign the stupid thing.

I don't think Sonny Perdue is going to pick any internecine party fights just to appease a county he lost by 20%.

DoubleDawgDareYa said...

Of course, there is always the possibility he'll do it just because it's the right thing to do.....nah, you're right...we're screwed.

letter-to-the-editor said...

I figure the UGA is wanting to plant an MCG partII at the Navy School; perhaps Sonny is using this as an inducement to win hearts. Funny to see Rep. Keith Heard up in arms -- it's because of 2nd string legislators like this that we see the current mess. You can bet the same folks who pushed "non-partisan" for Clarke are squarely behind the new districts -- and plenty of Clarke "liberals" deserve a swift kick in the butt for their stupidity in supporting that. Hmmm, wonder if the Republicans would support "non-partisan" elections for the state house?

Anonymous said...

Let us not forget that Tom Chasteen was also squarely and openly in support of the non-partisan change. In fact, it was one of the few issues that Tom actually took a public stance on.

I think anybody who should have known better and supported non-partisan voting for the ACC Commission can be fairly and accurately described as a Republican.

Tom has finally come out of the closet and he should pay the price.

Dawg Corleone said...

I can't recall an issue I cared less about that non-partisan elections. In fact, I don't even remember how I voted on it. Probably voted for it but I wouldn't swear to it in court.

But I'm hard-pressed to think of an issue that will have less impact than that one.

The local Democratic Party can still back a slate of candidates; the local GOP (if there is one) can do the same. Candidates can vie for their backing, if they choose, or they can stand up and say the sensible thing: the potholes we're filling in don't care what party we belong to.

And what this has to do with redistricting I don't know.

As I said earlier, anyone who thinks this is an issue that's going to sway voters in Tifton or Waycross or Atlanta or Columbus is kidding themselves.

monticello_pres said...

"Tom has finally come out of the closet and he should pay the price" - Anonymous

Did I miss something? Did Tom admit to laundering the money from Winterville Elementary? Was he part of the Abromoff scandal? Did he plot the attacks on America on 9/11? Did he help Hillary destroy files in the White House? Or Enron? Or was he part of the blog threat on CSHS teachers?

I'm just trying to determine what "price" he must pay and what crime he committed to warrant such.

If it is because he is conservative-enough to think Bike Athens shouldn't hold all of the cards in A/CC, then I thank him. If it's because he has the nads to stand up against a petty and juvenille resolution from our local officials, then bless him. If it's because he's the first and last conservative to dare grace the dirt of A/CC, then more power to him.

Afterall, a little balance of rationale never hurt anyone. Well, it never hurt anyone that wasn't afraid their points couldn't survive debate.

Anonymous said...

Non-partisan elections are a horrible thing for Democrats in ACC. They increase the likelihood that a conservative gets elected to the Commission.

Dawg Corleone said...

I'm sorry. I wasn't talking about Dems in the ACC. I was talking about the ACC.