Desoto Times Tribune > Opinion > Editorials > : www.desototimes.com/articles/2011/09/02/opinion/ed…9.txt

Earlier this year, the Legislature muffed its job of redistricting itself under the 2010 Census and Gov. Haley Barbour, who has a state constitutional mandate to call lawmakers back to work exclusively on reapportionment, shows no sign of doing so.

Right now, it looks as though a mal-apportioned Legislature will meet under the dome January 3, 2012, waiting weeks, or months, for a federal court panel to draw a new map lawmakers should have done. It’s just another example that Mississippi is incapable of self-government.

Trouble is, the likely incoming governor, Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, evidently is happy with a federal court doing the job, since he pulled the plug on adoption of a redistricting measure in April that had been approved by the joint legislative reapportionment committee and headed for final passage. It’s unclear if outgoing Gov. Barbour backed Bryant in steering redistricting into the hands of the feds, but it is known he personally took part in secret backdoor negotiations.

Though neither said so, the Bryant-Barbour duo was believed to favor any redistricting outcome if would lead to the ouster of their household devil, Democratic Speaker Billy McCoy. Low and behold, several weeks after the 2011 Legislature had gone home, McCoy surprised everybody by voluntarily stepping down from his Northeast Mississippi legislative seat, automatically giving up the speakership.

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