Friday, July 11, 2014

What will Republicans do now? In redistricting lawsuit against Florida GOP gerrymandering: a hard won victory for the public … by gimleteye

Let's say you are a Republican voter and that you also voted for the 2010 constitutional amendment requiring Congressional districts to be fairly drawn that passed by well more than 60 percent of the popular vote.

Perhaps you were, as a Republican voter, grudgingly in support of that earlier constitutional amendment pushed by the GOP that a 60 percent super-majority popular vote be mandatory in order to change the Florida constitution. The reason for that initiative was to raise the bar and to make it more difficult for citizens to impose their will over state legislators beholden to special interests. You were willing to raise the bar but also willing to vote for Fair Districts.

So if you are a Republican voter and just learned that a state court judge ruled against your party, the GOP, concluding that in fact the Republican leadership and top state political officials did indeed violate the law requiring fairly drawn Congressional districts, wouldn't you have a few questions to ask?

For example, wouldn't you -- as a Republican taxpayer -- want to know how many TENS OF MILLIONS in taxpayer money has been appropriated by the GOP state legislature to fight the Fair Districts lawsuit? Fair to say, the Republican Party of Florida has been spending a huge amount of money to fight against the interests of Republican voters.

If you are a thinking Republican, ask for a change in leadership of your state party. Demand an end to the obstructionism that characterizes not just the Republican political apparatus in Florida but in Congress, too. Ask how many more millions will be spent by your GOP party to fight the Superior Court ruling.

The 41-page order from Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis will almost certainly be appealed to the Florida Supreme Court. … In his ruling, Lewis quoted President George Washington's farewell address warning of associations of "cunning, ambitious and unprincipled men" who could subvert the will of voters.

So what is a Republican voter to do in the upcoming election cycle, including local elections beginning in August. For one, they could vote for Democrats. Or simply not vote as a protest against those cunning, ambitious and unprincipled men.

10 comments:

Steve Cody said...

Sadly, there may not be enough time to draw new congressional districts for the November 2014 election. Federal law determines when Congressional elections take place and a state court judge could not enter an order rescheduling them. Qualifying for the Congressional races has concluded and we are about 5 weeks from the party primaries. So, with the expected appeals, it would probably take at least six months to complete the review before the order to draw new districts becomes operative. (State law provides that when a State agency appeals a state court judgment, the judgment is automatically stayed.) The Florida House and Senate are guaranteed to make an appeal. The only thing to lessen the time would be if the Supreme Court were to take the case directly, bypassing the First District Court of Appeal. That is not likely to happen. The best bet: that the Legislature will take up the issue AFTER the election, either as part of a special session or as part of its regular session in the Spring.

Anonymous said...

Great win for the public? or Democrats?

Anonymous said...

The City of Miami had its own Redistricting Scandal. One District, District 5, saw 12,000+ residents vacate over ten years, mostly due to ineffective and corrupt District 5 Commissioners. That meant that tainted District would be given more land and new residents. A side deal was allegedly worked out by the two neighboring commissioners and 10,000 innocent residents got screwed.

Cato II said...

Last Anon: the Equal Protection Clause of the US Constitution requires that the districts be equalized. Some of the population loss was due to the fact that a lot of land was bought by inner urban speculators for redevelopment. The residents were evicted, the land was bulldozed, and then the recession hit. No new developments. With too few residents, population had to be shifted from somewhere. It made sense to take it from a district that bordered District 5, in this case that was the coastal District 2, which was overpopulated almost exactly the amount that District 5 was underpopulated. The northern half of the Upper East Side was moved into District 5 and the districts were rebalanced. There was no "secret deal". Mark Sarnoff was more interested in keeping the areas slated for development or redevelopment in his District and was happy to hold onto them for the sake of keeping his hand in the redevelopment for the next four years.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting that out of twenty-something districts in the state, the judge would reach for one of the tiny little three districts that represent Black communities. There has long been a conspiracy to take Corrine Brown's safe seat. White democrats have been unsuccessful in convincing their people to vote for them. So their long-term strategy has been simply to eliminate the district, and use the Blacks in that district as population fillers for districts that might possibly elect White democrats. That is the basic game plan. Now they are able to reach for it through hankie pankie from the GOP. It looks like a snake because of systematic historical racial discrimination and economic isolation. Once the appeals are over, the map drawing process begins. The question is how will the Blacks be divided up? Will there be a sprinkling here, a sprinkling there to the point where they have no influence or power at all, like it was for most of the history of the state of Florida? Or will it be drawn in such a way that they have some small bit of power left? We all need to watch closely as power is divided up again in the state of Florida.

Anonymous said...

David Rivera just suspended his campaign "because he won't be held hostage to liberal activist judges."

Anonymous said...

Our state looks different from other states. We are not square like other states. We look like a snake. If you cut off the panhandle, and make those districts square you could run snake-like districts up and down the peninsula for the remainder of the state. Just for discussion, it would be interesting to see a map like that.

Anonymous said...

Marc Sarnoff threw his "coastal constituents" under a bus. They voted for him twice and he slapped them in the face with an anvil. Now they get no representation which was exactly what they predicted. There were other options. In fact, one of the attorneys who pushed the alleged scam was almost immediately disbarred. Hmm.

Anonymous said...

http://www.crespogram.com/index_public_html/VERONICA_DIAZ_WANT_TO_BE_A_JUDGE.html

Anonymous said...

What will the GOP do? What they do best - obfuscate, delay, appeal the ruling. Anything they can to keep the voters of Florida from having a full, open and fair election.