Kelly Robinson today released the following letter in response to continued failure by the Douglas County Board of Commissioners to address vote “suppression” during the redistricting process.
As stated during Douglas County’s public hearing in September 2011, the process of redistricting involving drawing commission, legislative and congressional lines is sensitive. The discussion focuses on race classification of “whites and blacks”. Elected officials don’t have the luxury of being emotional about a topic that is core to how money through appropriations moves annually in Douglas County (~$73 million), GA (~$18 billion) and in the U.S. (~$3.5 trillion).
In the year following a census (2010), states and local governments redraw their legislative districts in order to balance their populations to ensure all people have equal representation. This people adjustment is required by our U.S. Constitution, but much more takes place. Party leaders can use redistricting as an opportunity to help their incumbents win reelection by swapping undesirable constituents with those more favorable to the party, they can attempt to expand their majorities by creating new districts that their party may win, and they can wreak havoc on their opponents by grouping their incumbents (those in office now) together and diminishing their reelection chances by manipulating their constituencies.
Whoever controls the re-districting process have the opportunity to shape and control economic policy which is always tied to “money” – whether at the U.S. Congressional level, the General Assembly in GA or the commission level in counties. The best political strategists, map architects, and economic consultants will tell you that all three levels should be aligned as much as possible so that access to funds along the food chain is controlled. Once donors exhaust legal limits to a candidate, then they begin to redirect money to PACs, parties and other legal aggregators of campaign dollars in the name of “issues advertising”. Commissioner Mulcare refuses to perceive that some of us are educated, progressive and can debate policy issues.
When Commissioner Robinson’s vote was suppressed, as is usually the attempt with the current BOC administration, roughly 29,000 votes were censured. After the gross negligence or arrogant malfeasance was discovered, the BOC feigned surprise when they were confronted by Commissioner Robinson about this irrefutable act and as he demanded justice: they say why?
In Douglas County, there is only one minority-majority (District 2) at 57.45%. As we all know, there were many travesties in the 60s as America matured in assuring civil, voting, women, and employment rights. While we are not in the days of poll taxes (sorry, I’m not paying Mikey) and literacy tests (Yep, Tommy, I can read), strategies are used by few to control many.
In a recent District 2 town hall, it was revealed by a delegate in the General Assembly that during the process of approving the BOCs map before heading to the Governor that it was conveyed there were no objections at the commission level. That was May 22, Primary Election qualifications occurred on May 23-25. During that period of time, the county responded to a request for the official map resolution. I was shocked and angered that my vote had not been codified in the effecting, legally-binding resolution! It was blank but I was not absent where
normally if one is not in agreement, the “opposed” or “abstained” is reflected. It’s not that there was not a majority vote, it was the fact that there was deliberate effort to “silence” any opposition. So, my statute of limitations from my discovery on May 25th is July 21st.
Read on for the full release.
Commissioner Mulcare and the BOC are at fault for taxpayers having to pick up another 6 figure payout to lawyers which they could have “avoided” by governing. Why did the BOC resort or allow this to happen? Why is Douglas County legislative or public voting process never above approach? BOC, answer me and the 33,000 people of the new District 2!
It’s insulting to those not only born in Douglas but almost half the people who migrated into the county over the past 20 years who actually get information beyond the county’s legal organ – such as NPR, the regional newspaper like the AJC, Atlanta Business Chronicle, the Wall Street Journal and other sources of internet-based information according to one’s preferences or leanings such as Huffington Post. Surely, the public can find out that there are 43 pending litigations at the Department of Justice from GA filers alone dealing with redistricting issues: litigation is part of the legal process. It is amazing how if a non-majority exercises the same options available to others it is an issue. We can turn on the TV and with 7 major news stations (some 24 hrs) and see redistricting lawsuits every where – even DOJ vs. GA is anticipated.
After a recent press conference, 2 people came up to me and stated that they were inspired by my speech and wished more elected officials showed such resolve. They were “public” defenders. There was the lady at the mayor’s swearing in ceremony who tapped me on the arm very gently and said: “I know it is tough being the lone voice, but we are watching. Keep going.”
Then, there was the email that read “I can’t vote for you in your district. But, I commend you for not being a rubber stamp for this go along gang”. In the commission under card on July 31st: 3 private supporters beats a public lb. of chap stick endorsement. We are in agreement that Douglas County needs a leadership shift and that all smart money is on the “all female” main event in November. Yes, a woman shall be our chair and lead us into the future: I like blue.
Other Douglasville Patch articles on this matter: