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Florida House Releases Redistricting Lines Tuesday, Mapping Out Flagler’s Political Future

| December 5, 2011

The Floida Senate's proposed Congressional District for Flagler would closely replicate the 7th Judicial District, which includes Flagler, Volusia, St. Johns and Putnam counties. The proposal for Senate districts appears below. Click on the map for larger view.

The House of Representatives panel charged with redrawing the state’s political boundaries will unveil a slate of options for the state’s congressional and state House districts Tuesday, setting the stage for discussions that could affect the balance of power in Florida for a decade.

House Redistricting Chairman Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, is expected to unveil several versions of each map at a meeting Tuesday afternoon. Members of the three subcommittees overseeing the congressional, House and Senate plans will then hold meetings Thursday to consider the alternatives for the once-a-decade redistricting process that follows the decennial Census.

House leaders have been relatively tight-lipped about what the maps will look like, but the options will almost certainly be compared to maps released last week by the state Senate — where a comparison is possible.

The maps will also reveal how the House views the anti-gerrymandering “Fair Districts” constitutional amendments approved last year by voters in a referendum.

Already, Weatherford has said the House will start off with the maps the Senate proposes for its own districts — following the example of the Senate Reapportionment Committee, which has deferred to the House to come up with the first draft of maps for that chamber. But the letter from Weatherford added a twist that so far hasn’t been brought up by the Senate.

“In addition, the Senate Redistricting Subcommittee will workshop a State Senate map that was submitted by the Florida State Conference of the NAACP,” Weatherford wrote. “Therefore, … Tuesday, we will be releasing options for Florida’s Congressional and State House maps only.”

But the NAACP maps have drawn criticism even from members of the Democratic Party, a frequent ally of the organization that sometimes finds its interests diverging from the NAACP’s when it comes to redistricting.

“Basically, they are retreads,” said Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich of Weston. “… They pretty much follow what was done 10 years ago. And I’m sorry but what was done 10 years ago, to my way of thinking, will not stand the muster of Amendments 5 and 6.”

The NAACP maps appeared aimed at preserving minority voters’ ability to select candidates of their choice in a handful of heavily black and Hispanic districts around the state — something that often leaves surrounding districts whiter and more Republican. But it also mirrors the past maps with moves like preserving a Senate district in South Florida that winds practically from the Gulf Coast on one side to the Atlantic Coast on the other.

Assuming that the House largely goes along with the maps approved by the state Senate and vice versa, the only major differences to be resolved could come on the state’s congressional maps. However those differences are resolved, Senate Reapportionment Chairman Don Gaetz said recently he does not expect a House-Senate conference committee to be appointed to hammer out a compromise.

Gov. Rick Scott, whose signature is required on the congressional maps, said last week he had not yet reviewed the Senate’s proposal. Scott isn’t required to sign the legislative maps.

–Brandon Larrabee, News Service of Florida

The Senate's proposed State Senate districts. Click on the image for larger view.

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10 Responses for “Florida House Releases Redistricting Lines Tuesday, Mapping Out Flagler’s Political Future”

  1. Jamie Dale Abbott via Facebook says:

    This really bothers me because the continued focus on race as a determining factor in political lines perpetuates the idea that races are different and prolongs our egress from the past. What purpose is served by creating these bizarre boundaries base on race and economic factors except to perhaps contain the influence to a single polarized vote. I hate it because it keeps us hung to the Idea that one sect of people have a handicap in representation that needs to be amplified and that is just something that should not be fiddles with in an equal society. A man that lives in Bunnell should be on a level footing with one that lives in the Hammock regardless of whats in his bank account our the color of his skin Period.

  2. Kip Durocher says:

    It will probably take several more law suits to get the Dims and the Repugs to do what they were TOLD to do by the amendments. Right now governator baldo is suing to have the amendments thrown out as are Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart and Rep. Corrine Brown and a host of their cronies.,_Amendment_5_(2010)

    It does not mean a damn to the pols in Tallahassee what the Florida voters think. It is estimated that these criminals will spend 20 million of tax money to try and crush the will of the people. 62% in favor of amendment 5 ~ but the Tallahassee pols do not give a sh!t.

    These are the banksters and special interests aligned with the Repugs to tell you where to stick your vote,

    Republican Party of Florida-State Account $2,600,000
    Florida Association of Realtors-Advocacy Fund $278,000
    Miriam Adelson $200,000
    H. Wayne Huizenga $100,000
    Florida Crystals Corp. $100,000
    Florida Chamber of Commerce $100,000
    United States Sugar Corp. $100,000

    There is that good old Chamber of Commerce ~ buy from our members but we don’t give squat what your votes mean.

  3. Will says:

    To: Kip

    Regarding your “Chamber of Commerce” comment – please remember there’s a big difference between the Florida (state) chamber and the Flagler County Chamber.

    The local chamber, made up of local businesses and residents has concerns about our local issues and state representation and doesn’t dance to the state chamber’s tune.

    • Kip Durocher says:

      I am glad that you believe that.

      How much of that $100,000 came from Flagler County?

      Chamber of Commerce policy is formulated and sent downward from
      The US Chamber of Commerce in Washington.

  4. JR says:

    Forget South Florida, check out Corrine Brown’s 3rd Congressional district. It might be contiguous, but not by much. Maybe that is why she is suing about the “Fair Districts” amendments.

  5. NortonSmitty says:

    Kip, the Chamber has been bought and controlled by the Koch brothers and their radical corporatist agenda for years now. How any local chapter can defend this I don’t know.

    How is it that Flagler Beach is in an entirely different Congressional District than mainland Palm Coast? This process is and always has been a joke. The law needs to be changed that the districts must follow county lines or geographic boundaries, not the needs of the political class of leeches.

    • Kip Durocher says:

      I’m with you 100% on that Smitty. The amendment was suppose to be a beginning along the lines you suggest. The whole process is corrupted beyone fixing. I think many people who voted for baldo are sick, maybe we can make him a one term wonder.
      What happened to the Koch pack leader Herman? Looks like he just packed his viagra and went home.

  6. Will says:

    To Norton Smitty

    Look again at the two maps in the article. The first one is of the FL Senate’s proposed federal congressional districts. District 7 encompasses all of Flagler Co as it does now. Don’t be confused by the map’s shading along the coastline.

    The second map is the State Senate’s suggestion for proposed STATE senatorial districts, and that one does divide the county, which is something that local leaders have fought and are fighting.

  7. Will says:

    To Kip and Norton

    I think you both may have to rethink your positions on the Flagler County Chamber vs the state and national chamber organizations. Most of the issues the local chamber deals with are local, and the local board membership is just that – local – and quite diversified. Comments about directions from Washington or the Koch brothers here just aren’t accurate.

  8. Jack says:

    Local chambers don’t take their marching orders from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, some local chambers around the nation have spoken out against their toxic policies and even refused to renew their membership. this is a progressive website

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