Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Why Did Florida Legislature use Data Targeting?

The "Fair Districts" case continues in the court of Judge Terry Lewis. Data Targeting was given 6 weeks to turn in documents relating to districting. Data Targeting is claiming that the documents are privileged information.

“What we’ve said all along—it’s a fishing expedition for political reasons,” said D. Kent Safriet, a Tallahassee attorney. “You can’t unpublish (the documents) in the newspaper.”

The documents could shed light in how the district maps for Florida congressional and state legislator seats were made. An interesting side note is Data Targeting's website is nothing more than a homepage. Good luck finding out the company's management or clients from the website. Mabus on Democratic Underground found this on Data Targeting.

Branding and selling a product is but one aspect of the business. The other is having the expertise or staff to handle all customer questions or problems. Orlando operates its CareeRealEstate center as a turn-key venture where all calls are directed to the association, then passed on to the vendor, Canadian-based Brainhunter Inc.

The next step in Orlando's strategic plan was to branch out and foster products the association could sell or license to other associations or organizations. For this effort, Orlando formed another for-profit subsidiary called Orracle, a joint venture with Data Targeting Inc. of Gainesville, Fla., to create a political management system that can be used with equal success by professional organizations, trade associations, committees, political parties, and candidates.

Orracle is a sophisticated data mining product that helps forecast how individual voters feel about certain hot-button issues and how they are likely to vote. In its three years on the market, it has generated outstanding results at the polls and begun to pay back the association's nearly $200,000 start-up investment, says Jennings. Numbered among its current clients are the Kansas and Nebraska associations as well as the Lexington-Bluegrass, Raleigh and Pinellas Sun-coast associations."

The new districts are based on the last census. Why would Republicans in the Florida legislature want to know how people in potential districts would vote? The districts should be based on the demographics from changes in the state population and compliance with civil rights laws. My fear is Republicans used Data Targeting to figure out how Floridians would vote and make new districts favorable to Republicans from this information.

The good news is we might get some answers in court.

Lewis said that if the documents were not produced quickly, he do just that.

“I’m not real happy about it,” he said.

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