4

Republicans Want Fair Districts Initiatives off Ballot

^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

At first glance, it seems a little strange that despite the fact Florida is a classic swing state that actually has more registered Democrats than Republicans, the GOP controls both houses of the state legislative by large majorities and sends more Republicans to the House in DC.

That's because after the 2000 census, the legislature, controlled by Republicans, perpetrated what is believed by many observers to be one of the most shameless cases of gerrymandering in the nation. As an example, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart chaired the house redistricting committee then, and it's generally held that he drew the boundaries for Congressional District 25 so he could win it himself.

A group called Fair Districts Florida is trying to get two amendments on the 2010 ballot that would discourage drawing districts for political reasons and make them follow more sensible geographic and community boundaries.

Republicans, though, say this might lessen the number of minorities who hold office, all the while completely ignoring the fact that, publicly at least, it would lessen the number of Republicans who hold office.

So they're asking the Florida Supreme Court to keep the initiatives off the ballot, citing a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

It's nice and all that Republicans are feigning concern for minority representation, but in the long run, does it really help minorities if the party preferred by many minorities remains in the legislative minority?

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.