Fair Districts ad: politicians like bank robbers and foxes in the hen houseby Dara Kam | October 11th, 2010
Politicians are foxes guarding the hen house or bank robbers protecting the banks when it comes to drawing their own districts, a new ad by the backers of Amendments 5 and 6 accuses.
The amendments would change the way Congressional and legislative districts are drawn by prohibiting them from favoring incumbents or political parties.
Opponents of the measures are fighting back – they’ve enlisted the help of former NAACP president and civil rights icon Benjamin Chavis to boost their argument that the proposals would make it harder for minorities to get elected.
Supporters of Fair Districts, the group that collected the petitions to put the amendments on the ballot and is running the ad, include the NAACP, the League of Women Voters and national groups – including ACORN – that traditionally back Democrats who’ve pumped millions of dollars into Fair Districts’ campaign fund.
But the amendments are pitting minority leaders against one another and Democrats.
Opponents of the measures include GOP legislative leaders, the state’s biggest business groups and U.S. Rep. Corinne Brown, a Democrat who is black, who’ve set up their own political committee – Protect Your Vote.
They say the measures will make it harder for minorities to get elected, although Fair Districts supporters say federal voting rights laws won’t let that happen.
Chavis is now on board and, like other opponents, challenged Fair Districts to draw districts.
“Supporters of Amendments 5 and 6 cannot guarantee their guidelines will not reduce minority representation in Florida, which is why they have yet to produce a map,” Chavis said in a statement.
Supporters of the amendments say they won’t create districts because they would be challenged in court if they wound up being used by lawmakers in their redistricting plans.