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County to appeal district voting decree

The Fayette County commission "will pursue" an appeal of a federal judge's ruling that would toss out Fayette County's election process in favor of a district voting format.

The judge's ruling earlier this month granted the request of individual plaintiffs including the local and national branches of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The ruling forces a new election scheme called district voting that would limit voters to choosing just one representative each to the county commission and the board of education. Currently the at-large system allows all voters to cast ballots in all five races on each board.

The plaintiffs argued the current system discriminates against black residents by keeping them from selecting the candidate of their choice. Black residents comprise just above 20 percent of the county's population according to the 2010 U.S. Census.

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PTC Observer's picture

Don't you guys have something better to do?

There's no way a federal court is going to overturn this ruling, you know it, we all know it, so stop wasting our money.

NUK_1's picture

Pretty amusing to try and appeal when your chairman already blasted everyone in FC in the past as being a bunch of bigots for opposing district voting. Like anything else, Brown did a complete 180 on that when he realized that he'd never be elected in FC again if he didn't dump his alleged heartfelt "principles. "

http://archive.thecitizen.com/node/26339

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Just a mere 5 years ago. Fun to read, but thank God Matt won and he's doing a great job. Some new people may not know that Matt's opponent was none other than Steve Brown.

I think mudcat might be right - we may have a closet Democrat leading us. At least he's flexible when he needs to be.

Live free or die!

NUK_1's picture

Not hard to tell who beat Brown when he rants quickly on Ramsey and Logsdon. I know the margins of victories were humiliating for Brown against both and outright total rejections, but having a shred of class would be nice. Then again, this bozo is now somehow a few years later chair of the FC Commission so what do I know about political tactics here?

Harold Bost at one point was considered persona non grata and now he's the kingmaker of FC politics. What the hell has happened here?

Fayette County will spend over $600,000 on the Voting Rights Act case just in attorney fees. Those so-called experts from Atlanta billed us $300 large ones to lose in district court, they'll soak us another $100,000 on appeal and then we'll have to pay at least $200,000 to the winners of the case, all under the Voting Rights Act.

Pure political pandering to the masses who oppose district voting and an incredible waste of time and money. Instead of throwing money at this, how about taking that $600,000 and correcting our stinky water issue for good. And like TDK, The Brown Clown was for it before he was against it. Thomas Jefferson is credited with saying “The government you elect is government you deserve.” His continuing ability to get elected speaks volumes about the electorate in Fayette County.

NUK_1's picture

Fayette voting more resembles a cult of personality more times than it does informed voters. Right now, we're dealing with Harold Bost coming back from the political grave somehow and anointing who gets elected office and the sheeple gladly following.

I have probably posted the Steve Brown diatribe for district voting at least a dozen times and not a single Brown supporter has ever once even said ANYTHING. Not even "I like Brown but disagree with this," or even "I happen to agree with Brown on this issue." They all just blindly vote for whoever tells them the BS they want to hear and gets headlines and are too cowardly to have an ounce of integrity and say what they feel about Brown's published letter.

After Brown "bravely" changed his opinion on district voting completely, he made noise about favoring term limits for elected officials. Who here thinks for a second that Steve Brown will voluntarily limit himself to two terms of elected office with the FC Commission????? It's just too funny watching Brown twist and spin everything and repudiate his own positions over and over and also watching his cult followers drool behind his footsteps.

The paper did not indicate how the commission voted, but based on your track record of always following Mr. Brown, I am going to assume that you voted with him to fight this uphill battle.

If you utilized your decision making checklist you promised to use, I would like to see your reasoning for each line item so that I can understand your decision.

Robert W. Morgan's picture

I think fighting it is just another way of stalling and stalling is probably a good overall strategy. They can stall for at least a year since there no elections this year that will be affected by the proposed (by an activist judge) districts. Somebody needs to be sure the school board doesn't roll over and play dead again.

Certainly during that year the Supreme Court will rule that it is time to get the Feds thumb off Georgia's back and release us from Voting Rights Act and I believe that the lawsuit and the judge's order disappears with that.

The trick is to limit the spending on our side and force the NAACP to keep spending money on a lost cause. Might even influence their ability to raise funds in the future - unless the federal government funds them somehow - like NPR.

Live free or die!

Is it a good idea? Depends on who you ask.
Do we need it? No
Do we want it? Certainly
Were major unanswered questions answered? No
Were minor unanswered questions answered? No
Alternative plans considered? Yes, one of my brothers on commission may lose.
Will taxes remain the same? Not if we have to pay the attorneys
(As opposed to increasing.)
Can we afford it? Sure, it aint my money
If it was my money, would I spend it? Heck no, my wife wouldn't let me.
Have we consulted with 3rd parties? Sure, the lawyers think we can win
Have we consulted with County employees? What do they know?

Robert W. Morgan's picture

But seriously, the alternative which is to not fight it and agree to draw up 5 districts means that we would be stuck with that decision even if the Supreme Court let's us off the hook on the Voting Rights Act sometime in the future. Its not like we can go with the districts now and then decide to do away with them later after a black commissioner was duly elected. That might actually be racism.

The real danger here is not the fear of having a black commissioner, it is the smaller district voting pools will make it easier for more people like Mary Kay Ballacio and David Barlow to get elected. Of course we elected them anyway, so its not like we aren't already scraping the bottom of the barrel.

"Heck no, my wife wouldn't let me" - that's pretty funny right there.

Live free or die!

I see the positive and negatives of both sides of the equation. While I enjoy having the opportunity to vote for all members, it would also be nice to have someone looking out for the best interest of my little neck of the woods. District voting could result in a stronger pool, because we would recruit/enlist stronger leaders to fight for the best interest of our district. If we elected someone weak, certainly our district would suffer.

District voting will also help us clean up the streets. We probably won't have to look at Barlow or Bacallacio waving at me like an idiot during my commute. (Like that will sway my vote, lol). Instead they could go door to door.

I would just like to understand commissions logic here. Certainly the delays will cost us legal fees. What are the odds of winning? Who is advising these guys besides the lawyers looking to profit?

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Stall until the Supreme Court releases Georgia from the Voting Rights Act which I believe dismisses the suit and makes the judge's ruling irrelevant - meaning we keep the current system. The stall only works for about 1 year and if the Supremes act like liberals and vote 5-4 to keep us under their thumb - we toast.

Regardless of how the districts get created, at least 1 or 2 commissioners - and certainly the chairman would be vulnerable in the district drawn around his house.

That's part of the logic, the other part is they don't want to face reelection having voted for district voting and knuckling under to the NAACP. Most that vote in the county would view that as a sign of weakness and not representative of what the majority of voters in the county want.

Not a bad stance to take - might win and if we lose it is someone else's fault. Now, the weak link her is the school board. They will be judged more on spending money they don't have for legal fees. They did roll over once not too long ago. Don't know if that was the new board or the old board, but we gotta watch them.

Live free or die!

any better than the next guy.

I am on the fence as to how I feel about fighting it. IF we win, is any of our money(from taxes we pay!) spent refundable from the Feds? If we win will this keep the NAACP and or the Feds from ever redressing this issue again? (that I doubt) IF both of those question could be answered with a resounding yes, I would say fight it.

If this issue was put up for a County wide vote, it very well might have passed..

How is that for on the fence?

But, having said that, I think having district representation may actually benefit all citizens of Fayette. In my opinion, the closer our elected officials are to the electorate, the better the representation and the more accountable they can be held. As it stands now, if you have an issue, who the heck do you contact? The first Commissioner you get to take a phone call? And besides, I'm no lawyer but I don't think the county has a snowballs chance in hell of winning the appeal. So why waste the money.

NUK_1's picture

It's a major uphill battle on this issue, especially when the NAACP can point to their past "Man of the Year" Steve Brown's comments published right here 5 years ago about district voting.

Better to just save the money and suck it up and accept the decision regardless of merit at this point. I personally don't like it and think it's ludicrous, but district voting has become very entrenched across the USA already and I don't see FC winning a very extended court battle over it nor do I see it being the end of the world in FC representation for that matter. Not worth all the money to battle it out, especially with Brown's utter BS that has already come back to haunt him, except to the Cult of Steve followers who keep drinking the Kool-Aid.

G35 Dude's picture

If we are forced to go to district voting I think our tax dollars should also stay in our district. I don't want to hear how that's not fair. If you want my money you get my input. We had a we're all in this together environment and some didn't like it. Even though we had one of the best public school systems in the state with this system and others moved here for that, they now want it changed. And I've yet to see a real example of how the current system failed these people. They have wonderful schools that the rest of the county helps to pay for. They benefit from taxes paid by people in places like PTC. While they live in much less taxed homes. Why didn't they just move to a system that they liked?

[quote]If this issue was put up for a County wide vote, it very well might have passed..[/quote]

Putting this up for a county wide election and having it pass would, in my mind, be the only fair way to enact it.

You can't use logic with an illogical person.

I have been asking those for years who wanted district voting, why not just move to a County that has that?

I agree about the money and input...but it would be hard to put wheels on.

G35 Dude's picture

[quote]I agree about the money and input...but it would be hard to put wheels on.[/quote]

You are correct. I'm just stating my opinion without regard to practically.

You can't use logic with an illogical person.

[quote]And I've yet to see a real example of how the current system failed these people. They have wonderful schools that the rest of the county helps to pay for. They benefit from taxes paid by people in places like PTC. While they live in much less taxed homes. Why didn't they just move to a system that they liked?[/quote]

Who in the Sam Hill are 'these people'? Do you feel that all blacks in Fayette County live in the north end? Do you feel that only 'white' taxes go to pay for schools in the north end? Do you feel that only black people want District Voting in this county? Many of us see the unwise decisions based on some PTC thinking in Fayette County - and would like to have more input - and skin color has nothing to do with this! The nation has identified PTC as an 'ideal place to live' stinky water and all. It would be interesting if this would be put up for a countrywide vote. Having this issue brought up at this time while the Supreme Court is looking at certain states in our country and how they are implementing the Voting Rights Act may be a blessing in disguise. It looks like Fayette County is going to fight this - with my taxpayer money. I'm not too happy - and yes I chose to live here and that is my choice and I'm not going to leave. (And I may pay more in taxes than others of another color) Geeez - just sharing my opinion. from my point of view as a 'black' taxpayer who lives in 'south Fayette'.

G35 Dude's picture

[quote]Who in the Sam Hill are 'these people'?[/quote]

DM you are all too predictable. With you it's always black or white never about the issue. My definition of these people in this instance are those that are wasting my tax dollars to institute changes that I don't see as necessary. I don't care if they are black, white, pink or purple! If you like it here by all means stay. I plan to also. But why move to an area then try to change it? I wouldn't. Why not just go where you'll be happy to start with? This would be my choice.

[quote]It looks like Fayette County is going to fight this - with my taxpayer money.[/quote]

You knew that Fayette had District voting when you moved here and Fayette is not the one seeking change. So who is to blame for the wasting of YOUR tax dollars?

You can't use logic with an illogical person.

[quote]But why move to an area then try to change it? I wouldn't. Why not just go where you'll be happy to start with? This would be my choice.[/quote]

I moved to an area that I knew had changed greatly in the past 30 years - that is why I moved here. The issue is using politics to maintain power for a certain group of people by gerrymandering, districtwide voting, etc., etc., etc. This is why the SC is looking at the implementation of the Voting Rights Act. I did not know that Fayette County had districtwide voting. That is not a subject that a real estate agent brings up to a couple from California. The Geogian NAACP is seeking the change - using the reputation of Fayette County as a 'hold out' for supremacy of voting power for a certain segment of citizens. . You would be insensitive if you did not predict my response to this nonsense. It is obvious that change for change sake is difficult to understand. But you know what - all citizens in this country like to feel they have some voice locally and nationally. Minorities and women have this power nationally - but even with the Voting Rights Act - unless change is made, minorities do not have that power in some local communities. I do not believe that a 'white' person in my district would not vote for a qualified 'black' person. I do not believe that a black person in my district would vote for a 'black' person if he was not qualified. There is a segment of our citizens who understandably cannot see an issue from another's perspective. . I am accused of 'holding on to the past. Well IMO, there are others here who are trying desparately to hold on to the past - and I am not happy about using my tax dollars to accomplish this!

G35 Dude's picture

To me there are the following reasons to change a law. The majority want it changed. If this is the case let us vote and see what happens. Or someone (a minority perhaps) has been harmed by it. If so please state how. As I see it the 5th district is probably the poorest district. This being the case they are benefiting from the rest of the county's tax dollars. And up until now no one cared. But now "these people" want the money but no input from the rest of the county? Fayette County has a system that has worked. Why change it?

[quote]It is obvious that change for change sake is difficult to understand.[/quote]

I totally agree with this statement. So please explain to me why we should change just for changes sake?

You can't use logic with an illogical person.

PTC Observer's picture

simple, the law will be changed so black people in the county can be represented based on color. They don't believe that their race can be represented under the current voting system.

Therefore, the districts will be gerrymandered to insure that a black person is elected to the BOE and the County Commission. This is nothing new to American democracy, just look at the Congressional districts nationwide and how they have been shaped based on race.

Like it or not, we have a system that is based on racial profiling.

meanoldconservatives's picture

The National Conference of Black Mayors convention is going on in Atlanta this week. That may not be such a good thing for the local economy though. Seems their convention leaves a pile of unpaid bills at convention sites. So say businesses and hotels in Memphis, Vail and Atlanta anyway. They also apparently owe $400,000 in judgements and $500,000 in IRS liens, on top of the unpaid bills. This is even with corporate sponsors such as John Deere, United Water, AT&T, Comcast, Coca-Cola, Wal-Mart, Georgia Power, Georgia Pacific and others. Really impressive....

Hopefully the National Conference of White Mayors have no such problems after their conventions. Anybody heard????

The goal of the NAACP is to turn back the clock and segregate the county by race so that a power base can be built in one corner. Their goal is to turn one of the best counties in the state into a dysfunctional sewer, just like they did with S. Fulton and Clayton.

suggarfoot's picture

Dekalb

PTC Observer's picture

I think it is better to say that it is not their goal but it is the outcome based on the exit of most whites from a community that is run by blacks. The question is why does this happen?

I assert that it is community crime that begins the exit of whites from black run governments. I don't think that whites in general these days care if they live among blacks, they do care however what conditions exist in their children's schools, crime on their property, crime where they shop, etc.

Therefore, unless representatives black and white take action to dispel the notion that crime is out of control. People, usually whites first, will move to areas that are safer.

That's why I support the idea of a Law SPLOST to fund more police, courts, prisons and personnel in Fayette County, the sooner the better.

PTC Observer's picture

Care to point us to the links for this assertion? Your "facts" seem pretty detailed so I suppose there is a lot written about wake of financial destruction wrought by the NCBM. You can just start with let's say three of four articles on it.

Regards,

PTCO

meanoldconservatives's picture

http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/story/22463241/i-team-seeks-answers-to

I saw it initially on the news. Then I went out and looked around online. You can do the same. Are you saying you couldn't find anything and I made it up PTCO?

suggarfoot's picture

that is some kind of leadership. Entitlement seems to be a deeply rooted trait of affirmative action. Why pay anyone when you deserve just to take huh?

PTC Observer's picture

Saying I couldn't find anything, thanks for the link.

Now, this is much more creditable than your first posting.

Seems there is a lawsuit and both parties have their point of view. I wonder how this group is doing on their current obligations vs. those in question under the suit?

I also wonder why the reporter didn't simply apply for press credentials before the conference? Certainly an organization of politicians never turn down an opportunity to get in front of cameras. Then it would seem that the reporter would have been able to ask questions with real cameras and actually get some answers.

Now, I am not saying there isn't a problem with this group, I just have a healthly dose of skepticism about reporters selling air time.

Anymore links on this would be welcomed.

meanoldconservatives's picture

I don't have answers to those questions. I understand your skepticism on reporters and agree to a point. I will say this though....there is no way Fox 5 would put themselves out there on a public witchhunt with there being no history or evidence. That lawsuit would have already been filed. You also have to ask yourself why (to my knowledge) no other Atlanta news stations covered this? Also, why was there no story in the AJC? I think you can probably figure both out if you want to. Thank goodness Fox 5 isn't quivering in their boots at certain subjects.

As far as credibilty goes, that does not concern me in the least. I would never make something that scandalous up with no basis in fact at all, even in a blog. I do have one other hint for you though. Go out to the Fulton County Superior Court website and do a search on civil suits. I understand your point about both sides of a lawsuit, but this clearly shows a history going back to 2007 with at least five different actions. And, that is just in Fulton County. Decide what you want to.

.

That's the reality. Hopefully - future generations will change this.

DM in a perfect world people would vote for the most qualified candidate but many voters are uninformed or just plain ignorant. If qualifications were looked at Hillary Clinton would have overwhelmingly defeated Obama in the Democratic primary.

meanoldconservatives's picture

The guilty dog barks first, and often.

americanpatriots's picture

Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act is before the current session of the Supreme Court.

The NAACP suit against Fayette County concerns Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and has nothing to do with the issue before the Supreme Court. Therefore, a Supreme Court decision on Section 5 will have no effect on Judge Batten’s ruling whether we ultimately win or lose the appeal.

Hold your horses until you read more about the commissioner's decision that should come out next week!

Jim Richter
PTC

Robert W. Morgan's picture

I did hear about the different sections from one source, but she was uncertain. Two others told me the whole Act was under review and might be thrown out. So, stalling for the Supremes can no longer be used as an excuse to fight this.

That leaves us with political pandering to the redneck base (inexcusable, but understandable) or a genuine belief that we will be the first county ever to prevail in this type of suit (hopelessly naive). Can there possibly be any other reason. Maybe we shall hear some new reasons to spend money on this next week.

Live free or die!

Could be political suicide to fight this and lose.

Perhaps they are smarter than we think when they hired them big city lawyers.

What I want to know is who is winding these guys up: American Patriot? Bob Ross? Harold Bost? Whose telling them they can't lose?

americanpatriots's picture

You post the dumbest comments! The commissioner's are not listening to any of the three idividuals you mentioned; however, they have retained and are listening to a very capable legal counsel.

Jim Richter
PTC

.

You don't think they can lose?
Percentages are against us.
How about you dig into your pocket to fight this?
I'm supposed to trust the judgement of a 2 time bankrupt commissioner who is now spending my money.
We know if this passes someone is probably out next election due to the district voting.
Lets hear why they think they can win and who is advising the boys, perhaps ill change my mind.

NUK_1's picture

Usually it's me that americanpatriots get all hissy about. Welcome to the "club."

hutch866's picture

Looks like it took 3 hours for Brown to tell aAmericanpatriots what to reply. He's getting slower.

I yam what I yam

I want to know what happened to the press release promised.

Guess it had to go thru a few more revisions.

American Patriot doesn't bother me. He backs anything SB.

americanpatriots's picture

You are even dumber than Husband and Father. Grow up!

Happy hour is over. You have to leave before you have to pay full price.

NUK_1's picture

Last Call...for integrity!

Just so you know, I was at Johnny's yesterday and they DO NOT have Sweetwater IPA, just 420. But I had Hare Brewery's Gangland IPA--quite tasty. BTW, if you go on a Thursday, check your bill because the last 2 times I've been there, they charged me the regular price for the 16 oz Craft beer instead of the $3.00 Thursday special price. Of course they changed it after I brought it to their attention. Regardless, the Pizza, Thin Crust, extra crispy, double cut, is still good stuff!

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