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Good Day For Bryant And The GOP

March 17, 2011
tags: redistricting
by Brett

As we noted shortly after the vote, Republicans prevailed in a 29-18 vote to Invite Conference on J.R. 201. Two Democrats sided with 27 Republican Senators on the issue following a threat from Speaker Billy McCoy that he will ignore what the Senate does. has some of the floor speeches leading up to the vote. Some quick thoughts:

** First, this is a major win for Phil Bryant. A week ago, after Bryant’s alternative map fell well short in the chamber, Democrats and the media went on the attack sensing a weakness in the lieutenant governor. A vote to Concur would have been a second major loss in a row. But, that would obviously not be the case. Bryant- with the strong backing of conservatives (who will be voting in the GOP primary) – came through, simple as that.

Whatever the press says about Bryant is too be determined, but he certainly delivered a win for conservatives in this case. Whether it was because of his leadership or not, when you are in that position and things go your way you get the credit.

** Just like Democrats wouldn’t have been pushing so hard for their House maps if they thought it was a wash, Republicans wouldn’t have taken their chances either with rejecting it. Republicans knew what the House maps meant and what they would do and like there chances better with courts, running twice, or whatever else may happen. The Reynolds map is a worse case scenario for Republicans, and they look like they have avoided it.

** Billy McCoy’s threats obviously hold little water to Senate Republicans. I am not saying by any stretch that Republicans win a majority this fall in the House, but this sounds like a man who has lost it, has been out maneuvered again and appears to be on his last leg as Speaker.

** If McCoy holds strong on his promise to ignore conference than this is a moot point, but wanted to speak on the Senate conferees for a minute. Sen. Terry Burton, who has chaired the process on the Senate side, hasn’t always agreed with Bryant throughout this process but I see no way in which he doesn’t get a seat there from Bryant. He may worry some Republicans with his previous public support for the House Democrats plan, but I see him getting a seat if that comes next. It would be a major shakeup if he didn’t.

** Statement from Haley Barbour on today’s vote: “Congratulations to Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant and the Senate for protecting the interests of all Mississippi voters. I hope the conference committee will craft a House plan that treats voters in every district the same.”

12 Comments leave one →
  1. travis228 permalink
    March 17, 2011 2:41 pm

    I really think we should look at decreasing the amount of State Reps. to 104 instead of the current 122. This could save our great State money($2 million over 4 yrs, conservative estimate) and the districts would only increase there size by less than 5,000 citizens.

    I know it is late in the game but in 10 years I hope we have a plan that can achieve this goal. Don’t just say you are conservative, Prove it. Just a suggestion. Please comment to show your opinion on this idea.

  2. jack bauer permalink
    March 17, 2011 2:54 pm

    Looks like the “good day” may only last a few minutes. What I’m sure is the first of many lawsuits on this junk was filed a few minutes ago. Not sure who filed it or why, but for Republicans to be “inviting and encouraging litigation” may make GOP Senators and House emebrs smile, but not me.

  3. Curious permalink
    March 17, 2011 3:05 pm

    Do you believe it a good idea to trust Burton on the conference? I understand he worked very hard and I respect that; but if a conference takes place, you know McCoy will pick three staunch democrats that will be difficult to persuade.

    I believe Burton is more willing to move from a conservative position than any other Republican in the Senate; his willingness to accept the House plan in the name of passing the “Burton” plan proves exactly that.

    Burton certainly sent a political punch in the stomach to many senate Republicans and the Lt. Governor the first go round. Would it not be a mistake to put him on the committee now?


    • Republican Dawg permalink
      March 17, 2011 4:00 pm

      I wouldn’t trust him, but I don’t think we’re going to conference so it doesn’t matter to much.

      Just let the courts handle it. I’m fine with that. There’s a movement in many states- red and blue- to get redistricting out of the politicians hands and to nonpartisan panels. Might not be the worse idea in the world.

    • Ivehadbetter permalink
      March 17, 2011 4:32 pm

      If they do conference on the resolution (and I don’t think they will), it is safe to name Burton as a conferee if you have two others that are firm. Each house has to have signatures of two of the three conferees before it is filed. Basically, Burton’s signature on the conference report would be useless without an additional conferee signing it. I would go with Burton, Hewes, and McDaniel.

      Keep in mind, the conference report still has to clear the floor of both houses… Although, I know no one wants to go down the road of sweating out a Senate floor vote again.

    • Geoff permalink
      March 17, 2011 5:19 pm

      i agree there won’t be a conference and this will be in the courts and may take a couple of years before it is finalized

      if the House compromised between the Reynolds Plan and the GOP Plan and left the Burton Plan intact for the Senate, what would happen?

      in other words, if House Republicans were happy, would the Senate go along?

      • Ivehadbetter permalink
        March 17, 2011 6:05 pm


        If House Republicans were happy, both plans would pass.

        This thing might not be tied up for years in court. If the courts don’t want to draw the lines this year and ask the Legislature to try again next year, House members will run in their current districts. If Rs can take the House, then a R Speaker appoints a redistricting committee and passes the House R plan. The Senate would pass the Burton plan or something similar and all is well. Lots of lawsuits between here and there and lots of circumstances, but that is a possibility.

        Remember, we don’t have to do anything with regards to redistricting this year. The only reason that we are trying to get it done this year is to prevent running twice.

  4. March 17, 2011 5:59 pm

    FWIW… Bryant said he intends to appoint Burton, Hewes, and McDaniel.

    • Ivehadbetter permalink
      March 17, 2011 6:06 pm

      Good idea… /gloating

  5. Dontreadonme permalink
    March 17, 2011 8:20 pm

    Burton is a bad choice. I see McDaniels in there to protect his district. Now, Hewes has been a big disappointment in this process and I will not vote for him (possibly drop my insurance). If district 41 is not moderated to give everyone a chance, then these men will pay with their political lives and I will drop my insurance. If the injustice is corrected, they will come out smelling like a rose.

    Good Luck

  6. jason permalink
    March 17, 2011 8:52 pm

    I am glad the state senate stood tall and rejected the McCoy plan today. That being said, I can still forsee the possibility of this ending badly for the Republicans. A member of the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit will be on the panel. In the past, that person has been a member of the court from Mississippi. If James Graves ends up on the three judge panel, it will be a disaster for the Republicans in both the house and senate. Nothing McCoy and Reynolds could dream up would be as bad as what Graves will do if given the chance.

  7. INJUSTICE4ALL permalink
    March 20, 2011 1:13 pm

    You guys are so clueless it is embarassing to have you in my party.

    What happened is that Haley set a trap that Bryant and Hewes stepped right into. It was a beautiful political move that allowed Haley to seriously politically wound his in party opponents and help his picked succesor and have a chance of taking out McCoy.

    By getting Bryant and Hewes to back a plan and then working gainst it they got hung out to dry, and pissed off their fellow senators.

    He put them in classic catch 22 position. If they cut a deal with McCoy, they are toast, if they dont they are seriously politically wounded. The ploy that redistricting will defeat McCoy is total Bull but it is what the base believes. This was all about sucking in Bryant and Hewes. It worked brillantly….but Team McCoy saw it as an opportunity too and called the play by refusing to confrence sending it to Court while being able to blame it all on Bryant & Hewes too. Now the Obama administration and the Bennie Thompson hand picked US attorneys will draw the lines. As a result many elected officals will get screwed, (probably mostly Republicans) and they will blame, ….Hewes and Bryant.

    In the end was really no way in hell for the Republicans to get the house, best chance is with existing districts which is what they got at least once. Haley got that & put his people in better position to win the LT Gov & Govs race by putting Hewes and Bryant in a no win position. He really is the master of this.

    But it really had little to do with McCoy. He was a patsy to make the play work. Learn people Learn.

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