Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Was Redistricting Gerrymandered?

I am not shocked that former Florida House Speaker used a private email account to dodge Florida's Sunshine law.

But some emails show legislative employees exchanging information with these same consultants. In one example, a top aide to then-House Speaker Dean Cannon used a personal email account to send a consultant a link to a congressional district map. The aide, Kirk Pepper, did not respond to a phone call or email requesting comment.

There is good reason Republicans didn't want the emails. made public. Gary Fineout reports that party officials and lawyers had strategy sessions on redistricting.

The emails show that in December 2010 Republicans set up a meeting to "brainstorm" with nationally-known attorney Ben Ginsberg along with several party employees, party political consultants, two lawyers advising the House and Senate on redistricting, the staff director of the House committee redrawing lines and an aide to the chairman of the Senate committee overseeing the process.
The League of Women Voters, La Raza and Common Cause is now considering legal action. At issue is the voter approved fair district amendments that are now part of the Florida Constitution. The amendments were created to end gerrymandering. President Barack Obama won Florida but Republicans still hold both chambers of the legislature. Districting isn't entirely the reason that Democrats are in the minority. The Florida Democratic Party has been disorganized and has failed to field candidates for races.

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