Thursday, March 10, 2011

High noon at the Legislature today?

Update: Senate adopts Burton/Bryan plan, rejects Bryant plan.

Original post:
The legislative redistricting wars rage as the Mississippi Senate kills the House plan and takes up the Bryant and Bryan plans.The Senate is supposed to begin debate today at 11:00 AM. A group not registered anywhere called "Mississippians for Fair Reapportionment" is circulating the following email (I compressed it to save space):

Dear Rankin County Voter:
Rankin County needs your help!
The Mississippi State Legislature is redrawing legislative districts now to account for population growth and shifts determined by last year’s Census. The new districts must meet the “one-person, one-vote” requirement as well as the Federal Voting Rights Act. Because of massive population growth, Rankin County stands to gain one new senator at the Legislature.
Monday the Joint Redistricting Committee chaired by Republican Senator Terry Burton produced a plan that creates a new Senate district in Rankin County. This plan has the support of many Republicans in the Senate and experts say it will be approved by the Justice Department.
But Lt. Governor Phil Bryant wants a different redistricting plan for the Senate that protects his political allies in south Mississippi. His plan ignores federal law and, if adopted, will land us in federal court where the Obama Justice Department and activist federal judges will draw the districts.
If the Senate adopts the Lt. Governor’s plan, the new Senate Seat in Rankin County goes away for now----the Obama Justice Department will intervene and there will be delays because of lawsuits.
None of this needs to happen.
Please contact your State Senator xxxxx xxxxxx now at or call him at xxxxxxxxx. Tell Senator xxxxxx you want a new Senate seat in Rankin County this year!
Tell him to vote for the redistricting plan recommended by Republican Sen. Terry Burton.
Tell xxxxxxxx that you don’t want the Obama Justice Department or an activist federal judge drawing the state senate district lines.
Again, contact xxxxxxx today at or xxxxxxxxxx.
Mississippians for Fair Reapportionment

Just one problem with this email (probably created by Sam Hall. It smells like him.): Its not true at all. Here is the current map:

Here is the Phil Bryant Plan:

and the Hob Bryan plan:

As you can see, Rankin neither loses nor gains ANY seats. If anything, Madison County voters are removed from District 20 and thus the district is MORE representative of Rankin County. What is going on here is Hob Bryan, not Burton, wrote the Senate plan even though Burton's name is on it. You got it, Phil delegated the chore to his precious bipartisan committee which insiders have informed The Kingfish turned into Hob Bryan running rings around them as he created the so-called Burton plan. The Bryan plan is better for Democrats.

The truth is, both plans suck. Madison County and Clinton both get screwed royally. Dear Phil, that was real smart. Here you are, going into a primary election against a well-funded candidate and you present not one, but TWO plans that screw over Clinton and Madison County, two of the top Republican areas in the state. Clinton gets shoved over into Frazier and Horhn's district while Madison County gets stuck into Walter Michel's. Or if you're in NE Jackson, there's a chance you get screwed too as someone from Madison might decide to run for that seat and then suddenly, no one from NE Jackson is in the Senate. Happy with that thought?

So lets recap what is going on here. Mr. Bryant delegates to a bipartisan committee the task of redistricting. Hob Bryan and then Burton craft the plan that comes out of the committee. They steal a march on Phil and get a majority of signatures. Problem is, the plan creates a goofy looking majority-black district in Hattiesburg (and lets be honest, if we're going to raise hell about diluting white votes in Clinton its kind of hard to say Hattiesburg shouldn't have such a district.). Phil also doesn't like the plan presented by Mr. Bryan, oops, I meant Mr. Burton. So he then, ignores or backstabs, depending on if its a Bryant or Dennis supporter you are talking to, Mr. Burton, kills the plan, and then presents his own which doesn't have the controversial Hattiesburg district BUT still tramples Clinton and Madison County.

Meanwhile, the bigger question raised is whether Phil can control his own chairman and thus the Senate, or did he get cute and now his backtracking due to the unexpected backlash over the Bryan plan.

Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

Fish, it is the Burton plan, not the Hob Bryan plan.

Kingfish said...

I know damn good and well what I said. It might have Burton's name on it, but Bryan was the ghostwriter.

Anonymous said...

So you are calling Terry Burton a pushover and dupe?

Anonymous said...

I doubt Burton is either a pushover or a dupe. Am pretty sure the Senate committee let Bryan draw the map for one reason -- convenience.

Both Hob Bryan and Tommy Reynolds have savant-like qualities when it comes to redistricting. Not saying either guy is on the side of good or evil, they both simply have mastery of maps, Census figures, etc.

I would bet the Senate committee, made mostly of people who have worked with Hob for years, told him what their own basic desires were and then let him at it. He probably drew a map, showed it to the committee, Burton didn't see anything that riled him too much, and then there it was. Because Senators were thinking more of their own reelection prospects than Bryant's gubenatorial ambitions, they didn't see any reason to run it past him. Then Bryant gets his panties in a wad, and so forth.

I personally don't believe that it's possible to create a plan that everyone, even everyone on one side, will agree with. And I'm fairly certain that whatever plans get approved, these guys will all be running twice.

Finally, about Clinton getting screwed by both maps -- keep in mind, their primary Senator, David Blount, lives in Belhaven. The current map has a distrct that runs from NE Jackson to Byram, basically. By all accounts, Blount has done a good job staying involved in Clinton activities and has developed some strong alliances over there -- but how "not screwed" is Clinton right now, being represented by a Belhaven resident?

Kingfish said...

One lobbyist said Bryan is intellectually superior to most of the committee members and can run "rings around them". That would dovetail with your comment.

But I'm going to keep calling it the Bryan plan to drive the point home. Too many sources told me he wrote it.

bill said...

I like Terry Burton and agree with him a lot more than I agree with Hob Bryan, but Bryan might be the smartest guy in the Senate. That doesn't make Burton a dupe any more than it makes dupes out of anyone else on the committee, it just makes sense to assign the work for the first draft to the member who probably can do it the fastest. Once he brings his first draft back to the committee they can make the changes they need to make, but they haven't wasted time by all of them trying to draw the map at once.

9:34 stated the most obvious truth in the whole mess - no plan is going to please everyone. Given that, why not wipe the map clean and start from scratch? Use existing geopolitical boundaries and let the lines fall where they make the most sense. THEN measure for majority minority populations and adjust if you need to. THEN look at how many incumbents were drawn out of their own districts and adjust if you need to. THEN make the other political concessions you need to make to get it past the DOJ and any other court where it might be challenged. These guys are trying to do it in the reverse order from how it needs to be done. Bill Billingsley

bill said...

The most recent C/L report states that Madison gets its own Senate district under the new plan. Are they wrong as usual and your maps are accurate? The last Burton/Bryan plan has District 25 including a good bit of southern Madison County, but it's certainly not a city of Madison district. Bill

Anonymous said...

That's an astonishing repudiation of Bryant, who claims to be the heir apparent to the Barbour domination of state politics. He's emascualted and really makes Dave Dennis look like a viable alternative.

Anderson said...

So how does this play out for Bryant's gov race?

He's not looking like the brightest bulb on the Xmas tree right now.

Anonymous said...

dave Dennis is a JOKE

Anonymous said...

It occurs to me that this move could be representative of something that could have a major impact on the race between Billy Hewes and Tate Reeves -- can someone who has never been part of the Senate actually LEAD the Senate? Bryant was out of the legislative arena for a good while before getting elected Lt. Governor. He didn't really go to war with the Senate because, generally, the Senate did what Haley wanted, and Bryant went along.

But Bryant has shown a remarkable lack of influence and connection with senators on this one. Is the lesson that the person best-suited to run the Senate is a person who has actually served in the body recently and has an existing network of allies?

I actually think this whole thing is bad news for Reeves, too.

Anonymous said...

To: 3:56

Spoken like a true Bryant supporter! By the time August gets here you will find out the real identity of the JOKE - - - and it will NOT be Dave Dennis!

Speaker34 said...

God help poor Phil! He had to stand at his podium while Hob Bryan made him - and his plan - a laughing stock. Hob should take his act across the state and finish with a two week gig at the Beau. Before he was finished he had most of the Senate republicans snickering at the man who would be governor. Phil! better start considering his options. Don't think they include digs on Capitol Street.

Anonymous said...

Hob Byran is very smart but is a real jerk. Monroe County could do better.

Anonymous said...

Hob Bryan doesn't have the stones to run statewide.

Anonymous said...

I have talked to Dave Dennis and I agree he is a JOKE

Speaker34 said...

Of course you think he is a joke. But, why would Mr. Dennis want to speak substantively, or match wits, with someone with no more imagination than to identify himself as "anonymous?"

Anonymous said...

Well I wanted to use the substantial name of Speaker34 but it was taken!

Anonymous said...

Since "Anonymous" is obviously a Bryant supporter and is so very quick to make disparaging remarks directed at Mr. Dennis, I would like to point out that at least Mr. Dennis knows the difference in the words "fiscal" and "physical", unlike Mr. Bryant. I find it hard to believe that someone who served this state in the position of State Auditor does not know the difference. Neither does he understand the use of these two words in a sentence. I do not know about you but, that makes me very unconfortable!

Anonymous said...

5:07, Phil Bryant got to be auditor by hitting a single and ending up on third. Ever since, he has thought he hit a triple. He claims the "fordice mantle" while Fordice claims his appointment of Bryant was one of the two worse actions he ever took as Governor. As to his 'serving in the legislature' giving him experience, it evidently didn't do him any good in this deal - he couldn't control his chairman and he couldn't count the votes on the floor. Going to be an interesting summer!

Anonymous said...

5:07 would you mind sharing where the Fordice quote is from you reference?

Anonymous said...

I was one of the rankin county republicans who walked the streets with Kirk an Pat, while everyone else was with Pete Johnson; I stayed in contact with him up untill the end, never heard him uttter anyting but praises about Phil.
Like 12:22 where is your source of the Fordice quote?

Anonymous said...

I am NOT the individual who posted the statement on the Fordice quote regarding Phil Bryant. I was/am a Kirk Fordice supporter. However, that statement is very true - - - it was one of his worst, if not THE WORST, mistake he made while serving as Governor - - - sometimes THE TRUTH HURTS!

Anonymous said...

And I think you and Dave Dennis are both JOKES and this truth does not hurt at all, it feels good!!

Anonymous said...

Let's see who is the JOKE after the votes are counted!

Anonymous said...

Dave Dennis will get elected Governor of Mississippi. He is a great man and will be a wonderful asset to our state.

Get over it 3:19! After the primary will you give your support to the GOP nominee or the democrat?

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