Posted on July 15, 2012 by Kartik Krishnaiyer
NY Times Photo
The Everglades ecosystem is arguably the most important driver of Florida’s sustainability. The one of a kind environmental feature is unique to Florida and Florida alone. But many southeast Florida Democrats have consistently ignored the need to protect and preserve the River of Grass and have become in the process become addicted to sugar money in a way that many in the GOP has not.
No industry has done more damage to the fragile Everglades system than big sugar. Runoff from sugar has caused many of the problems the Everglades now faces. The following is from Friends of the Everglades:
Filed under: Florida Democratic Party, Rod Smith | 27 Comments »
Posted on April 12, 2012 by Kartik Krishnaiyer
It would have been easy for Rod Smith and the FDP to follow another course. Given the partisan nature of redistricting and the general malaise felt by Florida Democrats, Smith and party lawyers had three alternatives: A) disengage from reapportionment much the same way as the FDP had in 2002, allowing public interest groups to fight a lonely fight against the Republicans; B) Submit a partisan map to the Supreme Court, C) Honor the Fair Districts Amendment passed by 63% of Florida voters in 2010 by signing on to a fair non-partisan plan that likely keeps a GOP majority in the Senate for the next decade. The plan originally submitted by the League of Women Voters and Common Cause draws fair districts based on communities of interest and the Voting Rights Act, and
Smith wisely chose option C. In the process he increased the credibility of the FDP on the reapportionment issue to new heights. Throughout recent years the assumption was that the Democrats did not really believe in the principles of Fair Districts, but were simply pushing the Amendment because they were in the minority. Any astute political observer would come to that conclusion based on the self-preservation doctrine most Democrats have subscribed to since falling into the minority.
Filed under: 2012 Redistricting, Florida Democratic Party, Florida Legislature, Florida Politics, Rod Smith | 59 Comments »
Posted on March 28, 2012 by Kartik Krishnaiyer
“We’ll see you in court.”
With this one line the Florida Democratic Party fired a salvo at the Senate whose redrawn maps barely passed out of the House on Tuesday. The 61-47 vote in favor of sending the revised Gaetz plan to the Supreme Court for review is a strong indicator that this plan is not even close to being universally accepted outside the halls of the Senate Office Building. While several Democrats voted for their own self-interest in the Senate and passed the incumbent and partisan protection plan, House Democrats, in a remarkable demonstration of party discipline, largely voted no as did several Republicans.
The Senate’s Republican majority has repeatedly thumbed its nose at the will of the voters and shown a remarkable amount of arrogance in the process. In the past they would have gotten away with it as an impotent Florida Democratic Party would have no doubt mismanaged the public campaign and given the Republicans no orchestrated or organized opposition to their schemes to maintain power. The Democrats uncanny ability to bungle any attempt to frame a positive message in order to hold the GOP’s feet to the fire in the past decade and a half has repeated itself time and again. But that now appears to be history.
As we have previously pointed out on our site, Rod Smith has his own checkered history on this issue. As a Senator in 2002, he was instrumental in cutting a deal that saw Richard Mitchell thrown into a GOP leaning seat and the Democrats left with very few pickup opportunities around the state. But that was before Fair Districts, and at a time when the FDP had no cohesive organization and absolutely no plan to deal with redistricting other than to file hopeful lawsuits.
Filed under: 2012 Redistricting, Florida Democratic Party, Florida Legislature, Florida Politics, Rod Smith | 9 Comments »