Florida Inc: Thank you League of Woman Voters!
Gerrymandering has been going on in Florida for a long time and it truly has been a bipartisan activity. It took the very awesome and very bipartisan League of Woman voters to get the whole mess straightened out.
“In the process of setting electoral districts, gerrymandering is a practice that attempts to establish a political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating district boundaries to create partisan advantaged districts.”
“The League of Women Voters (LWV) is an American civic organization that was formed to help women take a larger role in public affairs as they won the right to vote. It was founded in 1920 by Carrie Chapman Catt during the last meeting of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, approximately six months before the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution gave women the right to vote. The League of Women Voters began as a “mighty political experiment” aimed to help newly enfranchised women exercise their responsibilities as voters. Originally, only women could join the league; but in 1973 the charter was modified to include men. LWV operates at the local, state, and national level, with over 1,000 local and 50 state leagues.”
“The League of Women Voters of Florida (LWVF) is a civic organization in the state of Florida. The League’s bylaws mandate that the organization will not support any candidate or party, but the League’s members do advocate on policy issues.
The Florida League got its official start in the state in 1939, when women in Winter Haven, Winter Park and St. Petersburg initiated the Florida League of Women Voters, following some earlier efforts. Its first project was a study of state government with a particular focus on the State’s Constitution. Early advocacy efforts encouraged the Florida Legislature to end the process of gerrymandering.”
A case brought by the League of Women Voters and Democratic-leaning plaintiffs could force the Republican-controlled state legislature to redraw Florida’s “lopsided” election districts before the midterm elections, The Washington Post reported.
Both houses of the Florida legislature are controlled by Republicans as is the governor’s mansion. Republicans had invested heavily in winning the legislature in advance of the once-in-a-decade redrawing process.”
Lawyers for the defendants have told the court that none of the documents sought by the plaintiffs have been “deleted, destroyed, lost, misappropriated, or otherwise became unavailable for production” and that they produced more than 20,000 documents in response to the request.
“The subpoenas were sent April 2 and include Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando; state Sen. Don Gaetz, a Niceville Republican who served as head of the Senate redistricting committee and then Senate president; former state Rep. Dean Cannon, who served as House Speaker when the maps were passed; and state Sen. Jack Latvala, a Clearwater Republican who filed a last minute redistricting amendment that was ultimately passed by the Senate.
Much like the congressional lawsuit, plaintiffs again allege that lawmakers violated anti-gerrymandering provision added to the state Constitution by voters in 2010. The amendments say, in part, that politics cannot play a role in the redistricting process.
The subpoena list is also full of state redistricting staff and outside political consultants, many of whom were also involved in the congressional lawsuit. That includes Gainesville-based GOP consulting firm Data Targeting.
Records released as part of the first lawsuit show the firm drew both congressional and Senate maps and submitted them through third-parties. Firm founder Pat Bainter said the anti-gerrymandering amendments are unfair because it makes it nearly impossible for people who work as political consultants to take part in the map drawing process, which should be their right as a state citizens.”
HAAHAHAH That’s rich!
“The Legislature intentionally disregarded political and geographic boundaries to favor particular incumbents and the party in power,” read the lawsuit.”
So what happened.
“TALLAHASSEE, Fla., July 9 (Reuters) – The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the redrawing of some of the state’s U.S. congressional districts before the 2016 elections.
The state’s high court found the legislature’s redistricting plan was “constitutionally invalid,” the latest decision in a long-running legal battle over gerrymandering in the state.
The court said two of the state’s 27 congressional districts, currently occupied by Democrat Corrine Brown of Jacksonville and Republican Daniel Webster in the Orlando area, need to be redrawn, as well as adjacent districts.
These districts have been the subject of litigation. A circuit court judge ruled last year that the legislature’s 2012 maps “made a mockery” of anti-gerrymandering provisions in the state’s constitution.
“The court has made it abundantly clear that partisan gerrymandering will not be tolerated,” said attorney David King, representing a group of plaintiffs led by the League of Women Voters of Florida and Common Cause. (Reporting by Bill Cotterell and Letitia Stein; Editing by Bill Trott and Mohammad Zargham)”
GOP continues to fight tooth and nail for its gerrymandered district maps, despite ruling by Florida Supreme Court firmly against its Congressional district gerrymandering … by gimleteye.
You can read the entire decision from the Supreme Court of Florida there.
“Kenneth W. Detzner (b. 1952 in Chicago, IL) is the current Republican Florida Secretary of State. He was appointed on January 18, 2012, by Governor Rick Scott, and confirmed by the Florida State Senate in late February.Detzner previously occupied the secretary of state’s office for a short period in under then-Gov. Jeb Bush, during its transition from an elective cabinet post to a gubernatorial appointed post. Bush named Detzner his chief of staff until appointing him to serve as interim secretary of state.”