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Sell outs......

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ATLANTA — Democratic defections are changing the balance of power in Georgia's state Senate, just days after Republican Sonny Perdue won the Georgia governor's race, putting a Republican in the state's top seat for the first time in 130 years.

State Sen. Dan Lee, formerly a Democrat, is the first lawmaker to have switched parties in the wake of Perdue's stunning victory.

"Sonny Perdue told me he wants me to help him govern Georgia whether I changed parties or not. I made this decision three or four months ago, before the end of the campaign," Lee said.

Not long after his defection on Friday, Democratic Sen. Don Cheeks also jumped onto the Republican bandwagon.

"It took me a few years to do what I'm doing today. But I do intend to be a part of the best administration I hope the state will ever see under Sonny Perdue, under Republican leadership," Cheeks said.

Prior to last Tuesday's election, Georgia's state Senate was comprised of 23 Republicans and 33 Democrats. The day after, the Democrats lost three seats to Republican gains.

With two senators switching parties, the state Senate is now evenly split — 28 Republicans and 28 Democrats.

Political analysts suggest the party switch may be a backlash to aggressive redistricting done by Democrats, which divided communities and left some party members fighting for their political survival.

"In one case, [a Democratic district] was drawn so it would remain a Democratic district, but probably become a minority district. One of the senators who switched is the representative from that district. So, it's one of those cases where they shot at the emperor, missed and wound up paying the price for it," said Jim Wooten of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The newspaper reported last week that Democratic state Sen. Rooney Bowen has announced plans to switch to the GOP, giving the Republican Party its first majority in the Georgia Senate since reconstruction.

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I was watching something last night (I'll dig up the info if anyone cares) in which a guest speaker attributed what's been happening to the Democrats to what he says as the Democrats becoming pseudo-republicans rather than a different party altogether. It's an interesting theory, but the discussion didn't get too far before the show's time ran out.

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