Look who’s talking: Scott says he’s spoken with congressional members about redistricting planby John Kennedy | February 7th, 2012
Gov. Rick Scott acknowledged Tuesday that he’s been lobbied by Florida members of Congress on the redistricting plan expected to be sent his way soon.
But the Republican governor didn’t want to mention any names.
“Oh, I don’t think anybody wants me to talk about any of those conversations,” Scott said, when asked if U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Plantation, was among those contacting him.
West last week announced that he would leave his battleground congressional district, straddling Palm Beach and Broward counties, to run this year in a proposed new district, which includes Martin and St. Lucie counties, and part of Palm Beach.
West’s decision emerged as part of a GOP three-step dance – touched off by U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Tequesta, who said he’d run in a newly drawn, mostly rural and interior Florida district.
Former House majority leader Adam Hasner of Boca Raton completed the moves by announcing he was abandoning his U.S. Senate run to run in the district that West was exiting.
House and Senate redistricting leaders say they have kept their distance from members of Congress, mostly in an effort to comply with constitutional amendments approved by voters in 2010, which ban new electoral boundaries from favoring incumbents or parties.
Scott, though, said at least some in Florida’s delegation have reached out directly to the executive office. While Scott isn’ authorized to act on legislative maps, he can veto the congressional plan.
“I’ll review it when I get it,” Scott said of the congressional proposal. “I’ve had a few phone calls from some people that have had questions about it. My response is, ‘send me what your proposal is, and I’ll review it at the time.’
Senate Reapportionment Chairman Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, said Scott’s contacts with unnamed members of Congress doesn’t strike him as out of line — or unconstitutional.
“Any citizen is entitled to petition their government for the redress of grievances,” Gaetz said.