Sen. Rogers Says That The Chamber Knows Better Than Clarke County’s Elected Representatives

In his latest snafu, Senator Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) told the people of Athens-Clark County yesterday, much to their surprise, that the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce better represents them than their own popularlly elected county commissioners.  

The chamber represents the will of the people more than the Democratic Athens-Clarke County commissioners who oppose the new map, the Senate Reapportionment Committee chairman said.

“The wisdom of the chamber of commerce, given the makeup of the chamber of commerce, may surpass that of the commissioners,” Rogers said.

Wow!  I guess we see who this Republican Senator listens to.  And it aint the people.

This mid-decade partisan redistricing has been so unpopular and has turned into such a mess for Republicans that Rep. Jane Kidd is considering continuing to run for the Senate seat now even if the districts do change.


  1. I don’t know if anyone saw this or could maybe repost these images to the front page, but it looks like you can take the existing districts, do a simple swap that doesn’t involve Clarke, and make Madison whole (which should make Hudgens happy) and make the Clarke people happy too.

    Eric Johnson, have you seen these proposals? You told me in the other post you wished there was a way you could make Madison whole without messing with Clarke, well now there is! Step up to the plate or become the thing you hate (Democrats circa 2001).[email protected]/88448850/[email protected]/88448851/

  2. DoubleDawg3 says:

    Chip Rogers isn’t to blame for this redistricting – he’s told what to do by leadership and I’d assume he’s told what to say by them as well.

  3. Well then maybe Chip Rogers should be the chairman of the robot committee instead of the reapportionment committee. If he’s not to blame then who is for this? Will anybody take credit or step up and do the right thing on the Republican side?

    Did voters, frustrated with years of Democratic abuses of power, really elect Republicans so they could do the same thing all the while pointing a finger saying “I’m not responsible, someone else is”?

  4. I never thought I’d say this but I’m counting on Bobby Franklin to give this a fairer shake in the House, to seek input from both sides and to maybe even do the right thing. He’s certainly shown his independence before — puting out a Congressional reapportionment map that made both parties go “HUH?”

  5. UGA Wins 2005 says:

    Chip Rogers is not at fault here. Get off his case.

    Wouldnt you expect democrats to yell about this plan? I would be concerned if they didnt. But hey, the first 135 years of post Civil War history in Georgia is gone with the wind now……

  6. Who cares about Chip Rogers. Will any Republicans acknowledge that there is a way to make Madison County whole without screwing Clarke in the process.

    Done deal or not, I’m not sure the justice department or the courts will like to find out that Clarke was tampered with for political reasons when it didn’t have to be.

    Mr. Pro Tem? Just because Kemp and Hudgens lied to you and said there was no way to do this redistricting while also keeping Clarke whole doesn’t mean its too late to right that wrong.

  7. cheapseats says:

    just another example of what makes Athens a unique community – what other Georgia city HATES it’s Chamber of Commerce?!

  8. DoubleDawg3 says:

    You might have a chance with Bobby Franklin — look at his proposal last year, now THAT was the map the State of GA should be under right now — it was far better than the one that the Congressional delegation picked out for themselves. Plus, it gave the GOP better percentages.

    But, I’m sure this plan will pass — the guys that introduced it wouldn’t have done so unless they were sure it was going to get through and unlike SB 5 last year, I don’t think this is going to generate enough negative press (maybe only in Athens) to influence the process

  9. TigerLily says:


    What is the deviation of your map? Does it alter black VAP? Just wondering….the republicans in the Senate and House do follow principles of redistricting and the deviations that were applied by the Court that drew the current maps. I think it is 1%. Like it or not, this is the kind of map that comes out and I would almost bet that in the next census the deviation would be 0% thanks to technology.

  10. TigerLily,

    The deviation proposed above by me and others is well under 1% on all districts. In fact, the deviation improves (closer to 0%) for each district compared to the court drawn map.

    That’s because the regions that are swapped (portion of Madison for portion of Elbert) have nearly identical population. Something like 5,100 compared to 5,400. 46 actually ends up shedding the smaller portion and getting the bigger portion, but it had negative deviation to begin with. SD 47 ends up shedding the more populous Elbert portion for the slightly less populous Madison portion. But it started out with too much population (a little over 0%) so that’s an improvement there as well.

    The black VAP is virtually unchanged. But equally important, so is the political performance. Simply put, Madison and Elbert aren’t that different. Swapping parts of the two doesn’t change much of anything — population, political performance, deviation, black VAP. However, doing the proposed swap that Hudgens and Kemp want drastically changes performance and geography.

    My hope is that when the Republicans in the House (and Senate) see how this could/should have been done wisdom will prevail. When people see the alternative proposals side by side they will know the only reason the Hudgens/Kemp one was done was to try to elect a Republican in SD 46. You can’t look at it with a straight face and claim otherwise.

    As an aside, technology already exists to make deviation 0% (or more likely +/- 1 voter, perfect 0% is not always attainable because of the math involved). That’s how we draw our Congressional districts, they are all either 0 population or +1 person or -1 person. The 1% or 5% safety net for legislative districts allows us to keep counties, precincts, cities, etc whole where possible.

    If you think about it, striving for 0 deviation might be a good idea, that’s the fairest way to draw the districts. But at some point, wouldn’t it be better to let some districts be marginally bigger or smaller so that they can contain full counties and precincts so as not to confuse voters?

    As I read Larios v Cox, it says that deviation (even 5%) is still allowable as long as there is a justifiable reason to do it and a certain pattern wasn’t followed. One of the things that really f—ed the Democrats was when Linda Meggers said “I just put as much of South Georgia as possible into as many districts as possible.”

    She basically told the court that she used the deviation to reward one section of the state (South Georgia) with more districts, and penalized the other region with fewer districts. That’s not allowed. Neither would districts where majority black districts are always larger and majority white districts are always smaller, for example.

    But done without malice or bias, there is nothing wrong with deviation. In fact, the state House plan the court drew would probably be a lot prettier if they had used 2.5% or 5% deviation instead of 1%, because you have such little leeway at that point. But they chose 1% and I think both Republicans and Democrats would be wise to try and emulate that.

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