House OK’s new district maps in partyline voteby John Kennedy | February 3rd, 2012
In partyline votes, the House on Friday approved redrawn boundaries for legislative and congressional districts — sending the maps back to the Senate, which is expected to sign-off on the proposal next week.
The move came with few fireworks. But it did include efforts by ruling Republicans and outnumbered Democrats to set some legal standards for redistricting’s upcoming course through the courts.
Spanning seven hours of debate over two days, Democrats basically charged the proposed maps again pack minority voters into select districts, “bleaching” surrounding seats to make them more likely to elect Republican lawmakers. Democrats say maps were flawed early, when Republicans sought to maintain current minority access districts.
House Redistricting Committee Chairman Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, denied the allegation.
“The last thing we would ever want to do is pack, and there is none of that in any way, shape or form,” Weatherford said.
Weatherford also blistered Democrats for listening more to legal advice than judging the merits of the maps.
“If a decision is based on politics, and if you’re pushing the red button because an attorney told you to, I can’t respect that,” Weatherford said.
Tags: Rep. Will Weatherford