Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Republicans jumping ship on Phil Bryant

Andy Taggart, longtime Republican operative, wrote an open letter yesterday that denounced Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant's approach to redistricting.  Quoted in a lead story in the Clarion-Ledger, Taggart said he had:
"very grave concerns as a matter of basic fairness about the alternative plan's purposeful dilution of black votes in Forrest and Jefferson Davis County."
Taggart went on to warn that if the Legislature doesn't approve maps for both houses, then lawyers for the Justice Department will have significant input in drawing the maps. Accurately, Taggart deduces that would lead to maps more favorable to Democrats.

Then the story turns to Sen. Terry Burton (R-Newton), who says the Senate's plan makes more sense than Bryant's plan. One of the main differences between the Senate plan and Bryant's plan is the creation of a majority-minority district in the Hattiesburg area. Bryant refuses to draw such a district, even though Hattiesburg is a majority black city. Bryant's obstinance, should his plan pass, is what will lead to his plan's rejection by the Justice Department.

So that's one key Senate Republican and Gov. Fordice's Chief of Staff on the record against the Bryant plan. Let's see how many follow their lead.

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