Monday, May 9, 2011

A Funny Way of Saying “I Love You”

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the Governor and MSGOP offered their own legislative redistricting plan in their latest court filing. The “one percent plan”, so named for its one percent deviation in overall population among districts, is remarkable for several reasons but mostly because of the pairings it contains.

When I refer to “pairings”, I mean those instances where two current House members are pitted against one other in the same district. While the MSGOP didn't provide data sufficient for a complete analysis, my review shows twelve instances where pairing takes place. Of those pairings, three involve only Republican House members. These races are as follows:

  • Rep. Jim Ellington (R-Raymond) vs. Rep. Phillip Gunn (R-Clinton) - Gunn is a Speaker candidate.
  • Rep. Andy Gipson (R-Braxton) vs. Rep. Tom Weathersby (R-Florence)
  • Rep. Mark Baker (R-Brandon) vs. Rep. Kevin McGee (R-Brandon) - Baker is the current House Minority Leader

Another interesting pairing involves Rep. Jeff Smith (?-Columbus), a former and current candidate for Speaker of the House, and Rep. Gary Chism (R-Columbus).

These pairings are notable because they represent a political party unnecessarily sacrificing at least three loyal members without any known input from active Republican legislators. This is striking evidence that the Mississippi Republican Party is concerned solely with obtaining numbers sufficient to obtain the Speaker’s chair without regard for its current elected party members, even if those members happen to be a Speaker candidate and the active House Minority Leader.

Other pairings are as follows:

  • Rep. Harvey Moss (D-Corinth) and Rep. Bubba Carpenter (R-Burnsville)
  • Rep. Linda Coleman (D-Mound Bayou) and Rep. John Mayo (D-Clarksdale)
  • Rep. Bobby Howell (R-Kilmichael), Rep. Warner McBride(D-Courtland, but retiring), and Rep. Tommy Reynolds (D-Charleston)
  • Rep. Bobby Moak (D-Bouge Chitto) and Rep. Becky Currie (R-Brookhaven)
  • Rep. Jim Evans (D-Jackson) and Mary Coleman (D-Jackson)
  • Rep. Johnny Stringer (D-Montrose) and Steve Horne (R-Meridian)
  • Rep. Jessica Upshaw (R-Diamondhead), Rep. Dirk Dedeaux (D-Perkinston) and Rep. J.P. Compretta (D-Bay St. Louis)
  • Rep. Shaun Walley (D-Leakesville) and Rep. Deryk Parker (D-Lucedale)

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