Something Is Rotten In The Peach State
On the coattails of January 6th ‘Trump Hate,’ Georgia Republican top brass abruptly stripped some ‘fellow’ Republican Senators of their Committee Chairman positions in the Georgia Senate. Speaker of the House David Ralston, Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan, and presumably Governor Brian Kemp, all GOP, led and directed these vindictive actions towards Matt Brass, Burt Jones and Brandon Beach for their willingness to publicly engage the election integrity crisis in the state of Georgia. Ironically, around 80 election bills hit the floor around that same time.
By duty, these Senators publicly heard from citizens and worked issues in order to begin a thorough review of irregularities, illegal actions, and audit pathways. However, instead of embracing the insight of citizens via the transparency efforts of these Senators, Republican leaders consider them dejectedly ‘far right’ and a blight to the uni-party goals. These same leaders have trained House and Senate caucuses to reject contrarian and research-oriented perspectives on election integrity, and more. Most Republican members cannot bear to even READ messages related to election integrity, as was the finding of Savannah citizens who attempted to personally deliver them to all the Republican Senators during their Savannah Caucus Retreat in September. The Georgia Republican Senatorial Caucus Committee staffer, Derrick, blocked citizen messages and gifts at the direction of Senator Butch Miller, a deceiver who is running for Lieutenant Governor.
The smooth operation of the state of Georgia relies on the strong support of these Committee Chairs, and the misleadership action of David Ralston required thousands of Georgia businesses, unions, and lobby groups to start from ground zero with their state advocacy initiatives. Some of the new Chairs are unknowledgeable of the committee areas in which they were placed, such as those placed in charge of the State Transportation Committee and State Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee. This gravely undermines the needs Georgians to depend on representatives placement to be respective of their highly-specialized areas of expertise. Many would say that this has robbed Georgians of valuable intellectual property needed to govern.
This time, it is Republican representation in primarily Constitutionally Conservative Coweta County that is the target of GOP top brass.
Speaker Ralston, who has served in his role since 2010, is conducting another vindictive campaign. He is utilizing post-census redistricting, which is the political re-drawing of district lines, in order to push out Republicans with views opposing his own.
The process of redistricting has been a topic of much suspect action for the past six months. Representatives throughout the state have called meetings and information sessions for citizens, as if there were details that citizens ‘might’ need. Typically, equitable hard lines are handled by the respective parties at very technical sessions. The proposed ‘retributive’ lines are up for discussion in the Georgia General Assembly, which is currently in special session to handle the matter. The people of Coweta are applying pressure. And, it is likely other areas have been sullied.
Representative Philip Singleton from Sharpsburg in Northern Coweta county is currently representing HD71, and is one of Ralston’s prime targets for this apparent vindictive gerrymandering. Why? He was the only GOP State Representatives willing to sign onto a suit to get ride of the illegal Dominion voting machines in Georgia. Flashback to January? Yes!
The current proposal is to create the new HD67, which includes the eastern section of south Fulton County including Palmetto, Fairburn, and part of Union City. With the current proposal, Rep Singleton would live in a district that would become 30% Republican / 70% Democrat instead of currently 70 / 30.
However, Singleton says that his concern is not about himself and losing his seat. “It’s about the county, and this is definitely not what’s right for the county,” he said. “If they just want to get rid of me and I can save the county, that is what I’ll do,” he asserted. “I know I’m a thorn in Republican leadership. I’m difficult to deal with,” Singleton said. “By every metric, I’m the most conservative member of the Georgia General Assembly.” By splitting up north Coweta and putting those voters into two heavily Democrat districts, “They’re taking away 30,000 of the most conservative voices in the state.”
On Friday, November 5, citizens were asked to travel to the state capitol to speak at a meeting of the House Redistricting and Reapportionment Committee. Representative Lynn Smith from HD70, who serves on this committee, provided a copy of the statement she said she made at the meeting:
“On behalf of the whole Coweta delegation, Senator Brass, Reps Bonner, Singleton, Jenkins and myself, I’d like to recognize a group of Coweta citizens who are here today to ask that the two proposed House Districts, HD56 and HD68, be reconfigured to make their community of interest whole again. We, the delegation, support their position. The proposed districts break up their community of interest currently HD71, represented by Rep. Singleton.”
Brant Frost, who is the Chairman of the Coweta County Republican Party, and who also serves as the 2nd Vice Chairman with the Georgia GOP organization believes there is a way to fix the split of northern Coweta without impacting other districts. He acknowledged the vindictive nature of the effort, but also expressed hope that the citizens, who are mostly Constitutionally conservative, could successfully replace the existing proposal.
Critics are also saying that ‘lapdogs’ like Representative Steven Meeks give David Ralston power. The vote will need at least twelve lapdogs to stand up in order to keep the new district maps from passing and then force another change in proposed maps. The Democrats plan to reject the redistricting proposal in order to maintain the power to sue.