mississippi opinions

Legislative short-change

South Mississippi complains

about new district maps

What is a sane or, at the very least, sober person to make of the boundaries being proposed for legislative districts for the next 10 years?

Take, as an example, Senate District 47. For the last 10 years, this predominately rural district took in most of Pearl River County, all of Stone County, a chunk of George County and an odd slice of Jackson County.

For the next 10 years, this district is expected to take in parts of Pearl River and Stone counties, then drop down into north-central Harrison County, then squeeze over to the northwest corner of Jackson County before snaking down into the middle of that county. A last-minute amendment before the Senate’s 43-8 approval late Wednesday restored a part of Pearl River County in exchange for a portion of Stone, but the rest of the convoluted district remains.

And these legislators were ridiculing a congressional redistricting plan by calling it the “Tornado Plan”? This looks like the “Aftermath of the Tornado Plan.”

What is now a compact district populated by people of similar interests is to be a jumble of rural and suburban precincts pieced together in an illogical pattern.

The districts for the state House of Representatives are even worse, yet they were adopted by that chamber by a vote of 107-14 on Wednesday.

Is it possible that, when push came to shove, South Mississippi’s incumbents surrendered an additional seat in the Senate and at least one more in the House in order to protect the seats they already occupy?

Out with these old Senate districts . . .

. . . and in with these new Senate districts.

- The Sun Herald, Biloxi/Gulfport