I am researching the Proposed Constitutional Amendments on Florida’s Ballot for 2010, so that I can be an informed voter when I hit the polls in less than a month. I figured that I would share my views, so that others could be informed as well.
Amendments 5 and 6 are being done together because they are Amendments purportedly being placed on the ballot to eliminate gerrymandering of the State (5) and the National(6) legislative districts. Gerrymandering is the tendency for politicians to redraw legislative districts in order to favor their own pet causes.
Redistricting is the act of re-dividing the state into new election districts. By law, it happens every 10 years. And each time lawmakers begin the process, which involves using sophisticated computing, it draws intense scrutiny from critics who accuse incumbents of choosing which voters to put in their districts to ensure re-election.
Pro: Proponents say that these amendments would establish fairness standards for use in creating legislative and congressional district boundaries. While protecting minority voting rights, the standards would prohibit drawing district lines to favor or disfavor any incumbent or political party. Districts would have to be compact and utilize existing political and geographical boundaries. In other words, natural competitiveness and fairness would be required.
Cons: I could not find an opposition group in my search, but this is what I think: The group pushing for this is fairdistrictsflorida.org. On thier site, they claim to be “a nonpartisan group of Florida citizens working to establish constitutional rules to stop politicians from drawing districts to favor themselves.” However, also according to the site, they are sponsored by the League of Women Voters, AARP, NAACP, Democracia Ahora, and the Florida League of Cities, all of whom are dominated by Democrats and their causes. It is run by lead by former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz (Independent, former Democrat), former Senator and Governor Bob Graham (Democrat), former Attorney General Janet Reno (Dem), former State Senator Daryl Jones (Dem), former Comptroller Bob Milligan (R), former Assistant Secretary of the Interior (in the Nixon Administration) Nat Reed (Progressive Republican), and former Judge (and director of several environmental groups, such as the Everglades Foundation) Thom Rumberger (R).
The districts are to be redrawn, but by whom? With the kind of Democrat and RINO support that is behind this amendment, it makes me wonder what the angle here is. According to sources I could find, the law would require districts to be divided in straight lines. This is, in my opinion, designed to use the heavy population of the coast to dilute the rural populations of the inland areas.
This appears to me like the Democrats are trying to wrest power from the Republicans by changing the map of Florida’s legislative districts.
Even though I don’t like either party very much, I do not like many of the laws that the Florida wing of the Progressives have pushed on us, especially in the gun laws department. I think I am going to vote no on this one.