Senate’s Defense On Redistricting Shows Continued Arrogance

The Senate continues to misfire in the reapportionment debate. In their brief to the Supreme Court the Senate lawyers have claimed that the chamber fixed every objection of the court in the initial plan which met with court rejection. The Senate argued that they had fixed the problems in Central Florida but in reality they have continued to gerrymander two districts, overlapping multiple communities of interest and ensuring two Orange/Seminole County based seats continue to elect Republicans despite the overwhelming swing politically against the GOP in the area over the past ten years.

The idea of large portions of Polk County being represented by an Orange County-based legislator should be enough to get this plan tossed. Polk, which has had some of the most powerful resident Senators over the past 30 years, has long been a moderating influence on the chamber. When the Democrats were in the majority the likes of Bob Crawford, Rick Dantzler, and Curtis Peterson were to the right of the majority of Democrats. In the GOP majority era, the likes of Paula Dockery and JD Alexander have been moderating influences on the entire framework of legislative policy.

Potentially stripping Polk County of an additional resident Senator despite robust growth not only ensures continued service from Andy Gardiner but probably undermines advocacy for agricultural  interests in the state. Moving further south, the Senate argues they have fixed the district where Ellyn Bogdanoff could run in southeast Florida, but the reality is they have drawn a 55 mile long district designed to keep as many GOP voters in heavily Democratic Broward & Palm Beach counties in place to help Bogdanoff’s cause.

Perhaps the most comical part of the Senate’s brief is that the non-partisan plan pushed by various good government groups, and this week supported by the Florida Democratic Party, is a partisan gerrymander. As the comments on earlier posts on this site indicate, many Democratic activists feel the plan Rod Smith and the party lawyers signed on to is not partisan enough. It is, in fact, a plan that endangers several Democratic incumbents and ensures a continued GOP majority, albeit a smaller one. The non-partisan plan draws compact districts based on communities of interest without regards to party performance or incumbent protection. This was the criteria that led 63% of Florida voters to cast ballots in favor of the 2010 Fair Districts Amendments.

What the Senate’s arrogance is continuing to show is that politicians of both parties cannot be trusted to draw the maps. It is entirely possible that irrespective of how this court case is decided, in the next decade a push for an independent redistricting commission will resurface. Fair district standards are great, but most politicians who are in power cannot be trusted to ever follow the law even when the law is clear.

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38 thoughts on “Senate’s Defense On Redistricting Shows Continued Arrogance

  1. The senate is all in. They’re going to the mat for this plan so the best way to do that is to cast aspertions and doubt on every critic. They’re dug in big time.

  2. The Senate is trying to stall…..run out the clock.

    that is the play here. that is why bondi took so long to file a brief also.

  3. If the Democrat plan was truly partisan it would give us a majority as we have more registered dems in Fla.

  4. It is mid April. Qualifying is around the corner. This is like the good ole days of legislative chiickanery. No idea how this ends but I would be sorely disapointed if the Senate got away with this map.

    When you note how poor many first quarters were for established candidates and incumbents much of it has to do not only with session ongoing but also the serious doubts about district lines and potential opposition. Many are keeping their powder dry until they know how this will end up.

  5. I love that the taxpayers are paying for these lawyers who in their arguments are blatantly disregarding the very taxpayers who pay them.

    THEY ARE BILLING THE TAXPAYERS TO DENY THOSE VERY SAME TAXPAYERS THEIR RIGHTS AS VOTERS!!!!!

  6. The map will probably need to be modified again but this can be rectified quickly.

    I doubt that the alternate map discussed earlier in the week on this blog will ever become reality.

    The Florida Democratic Party also should have considered the number of Democrats in the Senate who voted for this plan before condeming it so aggressively.

  7. Speaking of arrogance and Senators has anyone seen the PB Post article on former Senator Dave Aronberg today? Serious allegations against his campaign for State Attorney. His campaign apparently used various questionable means to clear the field of serious contenders. So much for the rising star of the Dem Party.

  8. Gail,

    It is unfortunate the Palm Beach Post is being used by a bitter GOP candidate to attack good Democrats like Aaronson and Aronberg. Nobody prevented Marks from running or accepting the appointment. The article itself is poorly sourced and full of hearsay that plays on the established reputations of some of the players to paint a picture that has no factual background.

    I can think of nothing worse for the future of Florida than one of our best potential statewide candidates being taken down by a partisan inspired smear campaign masterminded by the Guzetta’s, who had Jeb Bush as the best man at their wedding.

    The Palm Beach Post should be ashamed of itself. In a year with clear divisions between the parties the Post faced with declining circulation and a credibility void has offered an attack that will in fact not affect any of the players mentioned but finish the paper itself off.

  9. Jonathan,

    Why would the PBP be at fault for dirty politicians making deals and trying to scare judges and people that are running for office? That does not make much sense. The partisan thing can not be used in this case since Aronberg has the Republican party backing him and the key campaign guy is Johnson who everyone knows works with Crist & the Sargeant guy…sick sick sick

  10. The Palm Beach Post is trying very hard to sell papers and create news when they have none to report. It is sad and unfortunate. I agree with Jonathan. Any further disucssion of this non story is a waste of time.

  11. You seem almost smug in your continued attacks on the Senate. If the Democrats were in power and doing the sane thing would Krishnaiyer be posting nonsense like this on a daily basis?

  12. If the post is lying than they would sue.
    I think there is something to all this. We are not corruption county for nothing.

  13. ARONBERG HAS ESTABLISHED SUPPORT AMONG THE VAST MAJORITY OF DEMOCRATS AND MANY HIGH PROFILE REPUBLICANS. HE IS A CONSENSUS CHOICE AND THE PBPOST IS SIMPLY TRYING TO CREATE CONTROVERSY SO THEY CAN SELL ADS TO CANDIDATES AND CAUSE PRESSURE POINTS TO SELL PAPERS. POPULAR POLITICIANS BEING ELECTED IN UNCONTESTED RACES DO NOT HELP THEM.

    I ASK THE MODERATOR OF THIS BLOG, A MAN WHO HIMSELF HAS RUN AFOUL OF THE LEADERSHIP LOCALLY IN THE PAST AND HAS PAID THE PRICE TO DELETE THE LINK TO THE STORY AND ALL MENTION OF THIS MATTER. DO NOT ALLOW THE POST’S CYNICAL ATTEMPTS TO CREATE TROUBLE GAIN MOMENTUM.

  14. The previous post is not right. You attack the writer of this blog who people respect. Classy. If all you say is true the parties will sue. Dave is a lawyer so he knows this. Both parties are guilty of something we know going by the past. STOP yelling too. You sound like someone who is guilty or just nuts. This blog is for information only not psychos.

  15. I do not want to wade too much into this Palm Beach State Attorney thing but the PBPost limits comments.

    I think it is time for a new day in the county. We need fresh blood. For too long a few law firms, particularly Weiss & Handler have controlled the county.

    We need new blood. Young people not connected to the entrenched power structure. Every time a new exciting face pops up like Aronberg they get co-opted quickly by the leadership and become part of the problem. Others like Skidmore fall by the wayside. I think Bucher and Pafford is good but their appeal is limited.

    This whole thing is unfortunate, and the county remains an under capitalized backwater.

  16. This blog has an opportunity. With the shoddy journalism of the Palm Beach Post it is important that blogs like this step up and defend our Democrats from partisan attacks led by Republicans manipulated by Jeb Bush and Rick Scott.

  17. Weiss & Handler corrupt?

    You don’t say?

    That Post article could have been written about any number of previous races when Aaronson has pulled this crap.

  18. The entire Post story was based on hearsay and no sources on the record. It is a sad day when a daily newspaper changes its philosophy from reporting the news to trying to settle political scores with so-called investigative writing.

    The Post as a paper has shown a strong bias against matters of importance to the Jewish community in South Palm Beach County. With the baseless attack against our leaders they have continued this pattern.

    It is no small wonder why the Sun Sentinel is the preferred paper of record in Boca and Delray.

  19. Pingback: Senate’s defense on redistricting shows continued arrogance | Saint Petersblog

  20. I read it today in the Sun Sentinel today. Are they trying to do this too in order to promote sales? Weird huh? I dont think so. So disappointed. I am sorry Dave but I can’t vote for you unless you stand up against Aaronson & Weiss & Handler. Your job is like my breakfast this morning….toast!

  21. No shock. Business in PBC done via Weiss/Handler dirty deals for years. I am
    Just surprised that the newspapers are now showing interest.

  22. Two subjects going on here.

    On reapportionment, the court has a clear responsibility to not accept the senate maps just for political sake. if we we have chaos ensuing from the maps being thrown out so be it. they have not met their responsibilities under the constitution.

    Regarding the Palm Beach matter, this thing happens constantly with Aaronson. He is not well liked by the activists or people who work with the county. He is a bully. But Aronberg himself is well qualified to be SA or AG. I voted for Gelber but like Aronberg and wish he had steered clear of a group of politicians and lawyers who constantly try and manipulate the processes for personal gain.

    The Post paints an interesting story of how influence in the condos translates. Also isn’t the Ballard firm a GOP firm? Why is Aaronson and Aronberg so involved with them?

  23. Weiss & Handler are like machine lawyers who should be in prison.

    Boca, Boynton and Delray are more corrupt than Chicago.

  24. Aaronson is a horrible person. A bully who tries to get anyone fired who opposes him and hurt anyone with a difference of opinion. The blogger writing here knows that well from the past and I would hope he would step up again and take this jerk on as he did in the past.

  25. Those Democrats are dare I say Republicrats are the ones that need to be condemned. Makes it easy for the GOP to claim a “bi-partisan” plan when so many Dems vote self interest first.

  26. Why haven’t we seen a post from K2 on the growing scandal of political intidation in Palm Beach? I thought we’d see somethibg right away here but we haven’t.

  27. Dave Aronberg is a user of the worst kind. Before McAuliffe was out of office, he was talking to the Cop Talk radio show host Rick Sessa, the PBSOTalk.com web host Mark Dougan and the Banner Man. He was also the guy who encouraged the newest Sheriff Candidate, Joe Talley, to run, because he didn’t want to be the first to announce. now, now that he has announced, he hasn’t called any of them to my knowledge. And once McAuliffe dropped out, he told Joe Talley he didn’t want it to be known that he was talking to Talley because he didn’t want to get the Sheriff mad at him. Yes, Aronberg and Sheriff Bradshaw are two crooks that are in bed with each other. If you need more information, just go to http://www.coptalkradio.com or to see the culture of corruption in Palm Beach County, go to http://www.pbsotalk.com – you will see the corruption at the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. Did you know Sheriff Bradshaw steals guns from evidence and commits other felonies? It’s all documented there.

  28. No, the R plan creates seats which favor 25 Republicans and 15 Democrats and the 15 includes a seat that they’ve made Bogdanoff accessible. So in reality the spread could easily be 26-14 just as it was for the first 8 years after the previous redistricting which was the most partisan in the history of the state. This would be done despite the fact that 63% of Florida voters wanted a fair districting system enforceable by the constitution and courts. The senate plan is HORRIBLE any way you look at it.

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