Walter C. Jones wrote for the Rome News-Tribune yesterday, Revised congressional map passes House committee
The House redistricting committee voted along party lines Wednesday to approve a revised congressional map with multiple changes from the one made public Monday.Yeah, they restore it all right. Here’s before and after:
The changes restore Valdosta’s Moody Air Force Base to Republican Jack Kingston’s district and about 16,000 people in Effingham County to Democrat John Barrow’s to keep the two equal in population.
Hard to see? Look at the detail map on the right here. This latest proposed gerrymander gives Kingston Clinch and Echols Counties just so Jack can send a green tongue out from Echols to lap up Moody with as little of the rest of Lowndes as possible.
It gets better. Look at the Lowndes County precinct maps:
It looks like that tongue includes the Naylor precinct, but chops a chunk out of the Pine Grove Precinct just to get Moody.
Hard to see? Try this detail map, on which I’ve drawn a green line approximating the shape of the green tongue on the new proposed district map:
It looks like Jack’s green tongue runs up Studstill Road and Bemiss-Knights Academy Road to get to Bemiss, then follows Cat Creek Road to New Bethel Road, which it follows to the Lanier County line. It doesn’t include any of Lanier, Berrien, or Cook Counties: just enough of Lowndes County and its Pine Grove Precinct to get Moody AFB.
According to Orlando Montoya in GPB News 16 August 2011 Kingston’s motivation is:
US Congressman Jack Kingston is closely watching the once-a-decade redistricting turf war in the state capital.Right. By dividing up the community of interest of Lowndes County, and dividing up the community of interest of Pine Grove Precinct. And separating Clinch and Echols counties from their nearest metro area. Thanks, Jack.
The Savannah Republican wants to keep his Valdosta constituency.
Valdosta is home to Moody Air Force Base.
Kingston also represents Fort Stewart, Hunter Army Airfield and the King Bay Naval Submarine Base.
The ten-term Congressman says, the military installations represent a community of interest that should be kept together.
And what does Austin Scott get in exchange? Telfair County. If Telfair people don’t like being a pawn in Scott and Kingston’s game, maybe they should contact their legislators, too.
Either way I won’t be in Jack’s district anymore; like the rest of Lowndes County, I’ll be in GA-08, currently held by Austin Scott. But this is ridiculous gerrymandering, maybe even worse than chopping up Lowndes County into four Georgia House districts like the legislature just did.
Also, why do we have to go to a Rome, GA newspaper to find this stuff? Where’s the VDT when we need it?