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Tuesday, 25 August 2015 08:19

Rigged Voting Districts Episode continues...

Written by  Compiled news reports

Posted August 25, 2015
Corrupt Florida's Rigged Voting Districts, cont'd.

Isn't it time for a completely new and INDEPENDENT group (is it possible?) to draw up Fair Voting Districts for Florida? Carl Hiaasen must be hysterically excited by this continuing saga, for all the good stuff he's getting together for a rollicking ridicule of the corrupt and incompetent Florida legislature! It's just too good to pass up, Carl!
-- SCPA Editor


House takes redistricting standoff to court

The News Service of Florida, by Brandon Larrabee, August 24, 2015

TALLAHASSEE — The House headed to court Monday as the next step in a heated battle with the Senate over how to redraw Florida’s 27 congressional districts.

House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, announced late Monday that House lawyers asked the Florida Supreme Court to allow a Leon County judge to consider redistricting plans from the House, Senate and potentially other parties in a lawsuit that led to a ruling last month striking down eight of the state’s congressional districts.

A special session aimed at redrawing the congressional lines collapsed Friday after the House and Senate failed to agree on whether to amend a “base map,” drawn by legislative aides to satisfy a Supreme Court opinion that the current districts violated the anti-gerrymandering “Fair Districts” standards approved by voters in 2010. Senators wanted to make changes to the base map to consolidate eastern Hillsborough County into one congressional district and avoid splitting up Sarasota County, but the House balked. …


Epic fail in Tallahassee

Miami Herald Editorial, August 24, 2015

The collapse of the Legislature’s redistricting session last week is the most pathetic example yet of legislative malpractice in Tallahassee. Given a final chance to draw a Congressional district map that meets constitutional standards, lawmakers couldn’t agree on a fix.

Monday, legislative leaders were still at odds. The House hoped to get a Leon County judge to determine which chamber had the most viable map. Senate President Andy Gardiner, however, responded that he was not ready to cede control to the court, which has set a scheduling hearing for Tuesday. He wants to reopen the special session to find a compromise.

If that’s the case, then perhaps — perhaps — Sen. Gardiner is finally turning out to be the adult here in trying to produce a map that lives up to the voter-approved Fair Districts Amendment. So far, though, the childish tantrums that ended both this session and the regular session of the Legislature — featuring an abrupt walkout by the House after the failure to agree on Medicaid — show they can’t be trusted to get the job done. ...


Florida taxpayers pay up: June special session cost $651,000

AP Associated Press, by Gary Fineout, August 24, 2015

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - A messy budget fight that forced Florida's legislators to hold an unusual June special session cost taxpayers more than $651,000, according to figures released Monday by the Florida Senate.

The nine-day special session turned out to be the costliest special session in the last 15 years, and the most expensive one since Republicans took full control over state government with the election of Jeb Bush as governor.

Lawmakers last Friday wrapped up a 12-day special session where they failed to draw up a new congressional map despite a court ruling ordering them to do so. Those totals are not yet finalized. …


Documents reveal secret Florida Senate process to draw district maps

Miami Herald, by Mary Ellen Klas, Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau, August 20, 2015

The shadow redistricting process that brought down the congressional map also was in full swing in the state Senate’s efforts to redraw its own districts in 2011 and 2012, depositions and email documents submitted as part of a court case revealed.

The documents, filed Wednesday in Leon County Circuit Court as part of a lawsuit over the Senate map, show that Republican operatives faked “public” submissions, possessed draft Senate maps more than a month before senators, and submitted Republican-leaning maps that matched pieces that became the foundation of the adopted Senate redistricting plan.

The same tactics emerged in the congressional redistricting trial that led to the Florida Supreme Court ordering the maps being redrawn in a special session that ends this week.

Documents show that the elaborate plan, which included staffing up public hearings with fake testimony and building maps in the shadows, involved many of the same Republican advisors who influenced the congressional plan ...

Testimony also shows the degree to which former Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, was engaged in drafting the maps.

… before the public release of that map, Gaetz was privately conducting secret briefings with individual senators, some via video conference, in which they discussed possible alterations to the map.

Gaetz would later tout the process as “the most transparent” redistricting in Florida history. But John Guthrie, former staff director of the Senate Reapportionment Committee who retired in June, said Gaetz intentionally met individually with senators so they could “share their reactions” and avoid the public meeting requirements of Senate rules. …

COMMENT: Do you remember how sanctimoniously smooth and polished was Sen. Don Gaetz when he traveled the state with his entourage of legislators (including Brevard's Sen. Haridopolos) gathering testimony from The People regarding voting districts? We knew Gaetz + gang were intentionally delaying drawing up of districts -- and wasting taxpayer money in the process. At Viera, then Sen. Haridopolous sat, regal, in on the meeting at Brevard County Commission meeting room. In their posturing, the legislators looked as distinguished as they possibly could. But the whole thing was a farce -- an expensive (financially and politically) joke on Florida citizens, at citizen expense. We now know Gaetz (gasp!) was a secretive conniver with others in the rigging of Florida's voting districts! My! Who would have guessed?
--SCPA Editor



Arguing Florida lawmakers agree on one thing: silence the Supreme Court

Fair Districts Now
News and Alerts


Rigged districts, cont'd.

Legislature defends rigged voting districts

Public has right to see rigged district documents
Judge confirms rigged, mockery of fair districts … 'most biased' ever seen…

Compiled by Team SCPA


Last modified on Tuesday, 25 August 2015 09:30
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