Casey Cagle wins an obscure but important tiff over redistricting

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle apparently survived another attempt to circumscribe his authority over the state Senate this morning.

As previously reported, there was an attempt on Monday to insert language into a resolution on the Senate consent agenda that would have given President pro tem Tommie Williams, R-Lyons, control of the Senate committee that holds the chambers purse-strings.

Say-so over the money, means say-so over staff. And that’s important.

But Cagle refused to call the item to a vote, and a days’ worth of backroom strategizing followed. (The exact wording of the Monday proposal remains a mystery. For some reason — no doubt a Senate staffer obsessed with recycling — all copies have disappeared.)

A morning meeting of the Senate Republican caucus stretched into overtime while a compromise was hashed out.

Under the measure that was approved by a 37-16 vote today, Williams indeed wins the chairmanship of the Committee on Administrative Affairs. But Cagle retains a majority of appointments to the panel.

More important was this paragraph:

”By agreement with the appropriate officer or officers of the House of Representatives, the President of the Senate [i.e., Cagle] may authorize the establishment and employment of staff for newly created joint offices of the General Assembly.”

In other words, Cagle retains the power to negotiate, with House Speaker David Ralston, the composition of the House-Senate committee that will oversee redistricting this year.

Williams had sought to make himself the Senate’s arbiter with the House on the most crucial issue of the year – the district boundaries for members of Congress, the state House and Senate, and many offices. All are to be redrawn, based on new census data.

This is where Williams’ motivation for seeking more authority in the Senate becomes understandable for many Georgians. Right now, the three figures who will control redistricting are Gov. Nathan Deal, the House speaker, and Cagle.

All are from north Georgia, which is certain to gain representation because of population growth.

Williams is from Lyons, in south Georgia, a region that is slowly but steadily bleeding people and losing political clout.

Come this fall, when the Legislature is likely to take up redistricting in a special session, residents of south Georgia may wish Williams had won today’s obscure little fight.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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24 comments Add your comment

Jim S.

January 25th, 2011
1:50 pm

It should be a fun special session this summer!

Just Nasty & Mean

January 25th, 2011
1:57 pm

The “Guys from Gainsville” are going to make sure they control the boundaries of the new Congressional District to make sure their butt-buddies get that plum district.

They want to soothe their sycophants and punish their enemies.

This is not a Repub vs. Dem comparison. They BOTH do it. Anybody remember the last Georgia dictator—Tom Murphy?

Just Wait

January 25th, 2011
2:15 pm

Nothing more enjoyable that watching a school of Republicans feeding on themselves.


January 25th, 2011
2:22 pm

Tom Murphy was an honest, dedicated public servant. He told what he thought and that is what he stood by. He took nothing from the state, he had no affairs with lobbyist, was never less than loyal to the people of Georgia. He served the people, not his owners and handlers. Look somewhere else for your snide trash talk.

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January 25th, 2011
2:35 pm

Enter your comments here


January 25th, 2011
2:37 pm

Oops! Sorry about the previous post.

The scum bag Barnes had his redistricting garbage in 2000 thrown out by the courts. Republicans can do no worse.


January 25th, 2011
2:59 pm


Amen, brother. Amen.

One with a sense of history

January 25th, 2011
3:01 pm

MiltonMan, please get your facts straight. Barnes did not draw the map, the legislature did.


January 25th, 2011
3:14 pm

@ Just Nasty & Mean — most of the Republicans enjoying power today spent many resources castigating Murphy and his gang for such behavior — and promised never to behave that way. So, which utterance of truth are we supposed to take to the bank (wait, they crashed the banks) – ok, which utterance of truth shall we be schooled (wait, schools are trashed too). Would you give a job to someone (wait a minute – no jobs) — never mind – it’s all messed up!

Double Zero Eight

January 25th, 2011
3:19 pm

Republicans have no loyalty, even to their own. Talk about cut throat!!!!
I take that back. The republicans are loyal to the lobbyists.


January 25th, 2011
3:26 pm

God forbid doing the right thing for constituents should come before making sure you are re-elected.

Let the Big Dawg Eat

January 25th, 2011
3:26 pm

Who the flip cares?


January 25th, 2011
3:43 pm

Barnes redistricting was thrown out? Well, the one he changed that affected me wasn’t thrown out. I didn’t feel good about voting for Nathan Deal, but the only thing that made me push that button was the hope that I would once again be represented by someone who really represents me and my neighbors. I’m not a huge fan of Casey Cage either, but it’s time for those South Georgia rednecks to quit whining about Atlanta. I’m thankful this situation has been set up this way. Hope it works to my advantage.


January 25th, 2011
3:51 pm

Both parties are a bunch of hypocrites when they get into office. However, Cagle was elected by the whole state, and Williams just from his little district in south GA. Even though I think Cagle is not the brightest star in the sky, he deserves to have more power and authority than Williams. If Williams wants that kind of power and authority, then he needs to run for statewide office and get elected.


January 25th, 2011
3:54 pm

Waw, Tom Murphy was one of the meanest people I ever saw in action under the Gold Dome. And honest? Remember it was under his Speakership that the worst gerrymandering in Ga history took place in 2001… gerrymandering so bad the courts threw it out and a three judge panel redrew the districts

The Ghost of Lester Maddox

January 25th, 2011
3:56 pm

I wouldn’t sell those south georgia boys short myself. I’m sure no final map will be offered up unless it has been blessed by the legislative wine south of the gnat line.


January 25th, 2011
3:59 pm

The 2000 redistricting was done by Sen. Robert Brown, Tyrone Brooks, and the contingent of the legaislative Black Caucus. Gov. Barnes and Tom Murphy gave them a blank check on redistricting, along with the design of the flag.

Smug Conservative

January 25th, 2011
4:42 pm

I’ve lived in the same home for over 20 years & I’ve been gerrymandered a couple of times…..the last time was more than obvious that we were “placed” in a democratic-heavy “new” district. We’ve been burdened by a completely un-responsive David Scott (John Lewis’ personal lap-dog) for way too long. I trust the R’s will put me BACK in Phil Gingrey’s District.

beep beep

January 25th, 2011
4:53 pm

Tom Murphy honest! …you made me ___ my pants when I read that.

Sonny Did

January 25th, 2011
8:59 pm

Smug, you do know that the Republicans redrew the maps and swapped out precincts from Gingrey right? The original 13th District did not include Cobb until after Gov. Perdue was elected.


January 26th, 2011
9:28 am

It appears Georgia created a Lt. General, not a Lt. Governor.


January 26th, 2011
10:14 am

“If Williams wants that kind of power and authority, then he needs to run for statewide office and get elected.”

Agreed! Trying to sneak this through in such an underhanded manner, is particularly offensive.

The Bald Eagle

January 27th, 2011
8:59 am

Tommie Williams has more Honesty and Integrity than any politician I have ever met. The “Truth” is , that if Tommie wanted to run for statewide office he would win hands down. I have the deepest respect for “The Man” who is led by His Priciples and His Convictions and not finger in the wind politics. I am sure Senator Williams is trying to protect Rural Georgia from a complete takeover of the House and Senate by the beltway Boys and Girls. The new minority is not Blacks and Hispanics or women, But hardworking Rural Georgians . Yes the “South” is in the most danger of being ran rough shod over. I Trust men like Tommie Williams to do the right thing. Some Others I don’t.