Former Governor Roy Barnes is an expert on redistricting, having unveiled an unprecedently partisan redistricting plan more than ten years ago which divided Georgia voters, diluted their votes through the use of multi-member districts for the State House, paired GOP incumbents simply because he could, and ultimately was held unconstitutional as violating the one person, one vote principle .
In addition to these travesties, Barnes’s Senate map created a district 51 that looped across North Georgia with a thin land bridge connecting two very different populations, and which took a newspaper reporter eight hours to travel.
Why bother revisiting this history, since the GOP took over the state legislature and passed the first redistricting maps to gain Justice Department preclearance during my 20-year+ career in politics? Because the same Roy Barnes is now complaining that politics has divided his hometown of Mableton as the Cobb County delegation redistricts county commissions seats.
At issue is the Mableton area in south Cobb that would be split into two commission districts under a proposed map drawn by Reps. Rich Golick and Ed Setzler. All of Mableton is currently in the southwest district represented by Commissioner Woody Thompson. The proposed map carves the Mable House complex, including the Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre, out of Thompson’s district and places it in that of southeast Cobb Commissioner Bob Ott.
The lawmakers said they had to even out the size of the four districts after west Cobb commission districts grew faster than the east ones, and they argue that it gives Mableton more representation.
…Barnes, a Mableton native, who called the decision to divide Mableton “petty politics.”
“I think it’s a shame and disgrace that Mableton, which is the only community other than Smyrna, which has pulled itself up by its own bootstraps and is trying to redevelop and has aggressive plans to do so, now is being slapped in the face by the legislative delegation and by the commission in failing to keep Mableton together in one district,” he said.
Roy Barnes knows about petty politics and slapping voters in the face, so it must be true, right? Or perhaps its just proof that Barnes has no shame and that there is no limit to his hypocrisy.