House Speaker Billy’s McCoy’s Clarion Ledger column on redistricting

It appears that Republicans are setting the stage to complain about the House plan, regardless of what it looks like. Almost all of these complaints are coming from Republicans outside the House. I believe those of us who serve in the House can come together and craft a plan that will be fair to all who call Mississippi their home. I also believe we have an obligation to avoid the expensive cost of litigation. There’s no need to spend hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars defending a reapportionment plan when we can draw one that will be fair to almost all members.

There is no question there is some pain involved in this process. We have to create new districts where population has grown. Those districts have to come from areas where the population is smaller than what it was ten years ago. That means three to five incumbents will see their districts disappear. There is nothing we can do to avoid that from happening.

A Republican legal challenge also could do one more thing: force lawmakers to run in their current districts this fall and then run again in 2012. Especially in these tough economic times, that would be an incredible waste of tax money.

I am hopeful our members can set aside party politics and look at the House redistricting plan for what it will be: A fair, effective way to accurately reflect population shifts the past 10 years and ensure the principle of one person, one vote.

Better MS Report
2/27/11