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Fair Districts advocates blast redistricting plans advancing in Legislature

by John Kennedy | January 27th, 2012

Organizations which backed the voter-approved constitutional amendments guiding redistricting Friday blasted proposed maps slated to be voted on later in the day by the House Redistricting Committee.

In a 12-page letter to House Redistricting chief Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, former state Sen. Dan Gelber, a Miami Beach Democrat serving as legal counsel to Fair Districts supporters, effectively urged lawmakers to scrap the plans they’ve been working on.

The League of Women Voters, Common Cause and the National Council of La Raza have submitted an alternate approach to district maps that Weatherford today plans to introduce as an amendment to the House plan.

┬áThe alternate proposal would “nest” three House districts within the 40-seat state Senate plan, making the boundaries more compact and logical for voters, Gelber said in his letter.

Congressional districts also would meander less, under the proposal. House, Senate and congressional maps recommended by the groups also would lean less Republican and prove more reflective of a state where registered voters are closely divided, with Democrats still holding a 500,000-voter edge.

“In sum, we believe that we have provided the committee with alternative proposals that comply with the Fair Districts amendments, while the proposals currently under consideration by the committee and those already passed by the Senate fail to comply with those amendments,” leaders of the organizations concluded in the letter to Weatherford.

The alternate maps likely stand little chance of being approved today.

But the letter lays out what could emerge as the central argument against the legislative maps when Florida’s redistricting effort advances for review to the state Supreme Court and U.S. Justice Department in coming weeks, and when Fair Districts advocate file an expected legal challenge.

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3 Responses to “Fair Districts advocates blast redistricting plans advancing in Legislature”

  1. Noam Says:

    They always label themselves “fair”. It’s a way to garner sympathy for their cause and it makes the other entity seem ‘unfair’.

    Chomsky would be proud.

    Too bad. It was your failure to keep your party in check. Your head nodding to Obama and without fighting some of his programs resulted in the entire nation voting out democrats.

    I like rectangles and squares, not jigsaw puzzle districts.

    It’s “Sensible” Districting.

  2. Mike Says:

    Where exactly were these guys over the past few months. Having watched a number of the meetings on redistricting I know they were asked on a number of occasions to present maps that they felt were appropriate. They had there chance, chose not to participate and now expect them to drop all the work that was put into drawing the lines???? The maps are ready for a floor vote. If the House or Senate tried to put a whole new set of maps in at this point these guys would have gone nuts. But apparently its okay for them to do it. Give me a break.

  3. Downtown Danny Says:

    Another example of a majority vote being ignored by Republicans.
    The high speed rail we voted for? Scott kills it.
    This is a corporate dictatorship gone wild we live in.

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