LISTEN: How egos, grudges and backdoor deals shape Georgia’s mapmaking

June 23, 2020 Atlanta - From left, Chief of Staff for Lt. Governor Duncan, John Porter, Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan and Sen. John Albers (R-Roswell) confer in the Senate Chambers on day 37 of the legislative session at Georgia State Capitol on Tuesday, June 23, 2020. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

June 23, 2020 Atlanta - From left, Chief of Staff for Lt. Governor Duncan, John Porter, Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan and Sen. John Albers (R-Roswell) confer in the Senate Chambers on day 37 of the legislative session at Georgia State Capitol on Tuesday, June 23, 2020. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Egos. Grudges. Backdoor deals. Intense bargaining. And plenty of nervous lawmakers.

On Thursday’s edition of Politically Georgia, Republican strategist John Porter offers an inside look at the pressures that weigh on legislative leaders as they draw new maps, rewarding some lawmakers while punishing others.

A top aide to former Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, Porter was deeply involved in the maps that lawmakers drew two years ago. Lawmakers are now overhauling the political boundaries after U.S. District Judge Steve Jones ruled they must be redrawn to give Black voters more representation.

Porter likened the process to an intensely personal and complicated version of “shifting deck chairs.” And he noted that even though Republicans run the Legislature, Democrats sometimes get in on the act, too.

“Don’t kid yourself,” he said. “Democrats are walking in the backdoor to cut deals.”

You’ll also hear our wrap-up from Martha Dalton of the emotional three-day celebration of the life of Rosalynn Carter, who was laid to rest in the family burial ground in Plains this week.

Plus, we’ll give you a look at the state Senate’s approval of a pro-Israel resolution and a preview of Thursday’s unusual debate between GOP presidential candidate Ron DeSantis and California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Have a question for the show? Call the 24-hour Politically Georgia Podcast Hotline at 404-526-AJCP. That’s 404-526-2527. We’ll play back your question and answer it during the Listener Mailbag segment on next Friday’s episode.

Listen and subscribe to our podcast for free at Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts. You can also tell your smart speaker to “play Politically Georgia podcast.”

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