Editorial: Consensus That Senate Maps Are Unconstitutional Must Be Met With Action

As we editorialized repeatedly before the Senate vote on the revised district maps, the Senate has abdicated its responsibility in a callous and arrogant manner.Strangely enough Pam Bondi’s Attorney General’s office has delayed in filing a brief in defense of the plan with the courts. This has occurred while a consensus is growing around the state the map that passed the Senate with the support of several Democrats is unconstitutional.

”Florida Republicans efforts to delay the court’s review of the maps is nothing more than a Hail Mary pass,” said Florida Democratic Party spokeswoman Brannon Jordan.What has become obvious is that the GOP probably realizes the courts are unwilling to wade into a decidedly political fight, and with qualifying week less than two months away, it is possible clock killing moves will work. This is precisely why it is important that the consensus that has developed regarding the Senate maps unconstitutional nature be expressed with a megaphone statewide until a decision is made. Otherwise it is entirely likely that the Republicans as they have done so many times in recent years will be able to manipulate both the court system and the political process to achieve their desired outcome. They will use any means to achieve their end goal which is to buck the strong wishes of 63% of Florida’s electorate who voted for the Fair Districts Amendment.

We profiled three of the problem areas last month, and with this lengthy interim period before filing the Supreme Court brief it is worth reviewing those three cases:

In southeast Florida, the Senate has maintained a long coastal district that takes as many Republican voters as possible in a heavily Democratic area in order to try and save Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff’s legislative career. In the process, the current district of Senator Maria Sachs which is fairly compact and maintains one community of interest has been split into four different districts which quite possibly will be represented by four senators from other areas. Sachs herself faces a decision on where to run or whether to run for re-election.

Continuing upstate, in the Greater Orlando Metropolitan area, the lines of two districts have been cleverly drawn to take in outlying areas and not so coincidentally improve the GOP performance of both districts. This will serve the purpose of keeping both Majority Leader Andy Gardiner and Senator David Simmons in office bucking the overwhelming Democratic trends in the area and openly conflicting with the partisan balance and compactness of the districts passed by the Florida House and approved by the Supreme Court in the same area.

Then there is Northwest Florida where the Senate has continued its practice begun under Democrats to use I-10 as a boundary between a coastal and an interior Senate district, robbing the Pensacola Metropolitan area (Escambia and Santa Rosa counties) of a resident senator and ensuring less populated Okaloosa County, the home of Chairman Gaetz maintains two resident senators.

These three problem areas affect ten different districts in different parts of the state meaning that if they are found unconstitutional as they should be, the entire state map save perhaps the Tampa Bay area will have to be redrawn. With qualifying dates looming, the Republicans have wisely stalled the process to try and prevent a fair redraw. It is critical that Democrats and other fair minded people throughout the state continue pressuring the process otherwise the Republican efforts at a power grab will succeed as they have so often in the past.

29 thoughts on “Editorial: Consensus That Senate Maps Are Unconstitutional Must Be Met With Action”

  1. I meant to comment here

    This is a highly slanted editorial. While it is understood that some Democrats are upset with the map, we actually should pick up seats. Your example of Maria Sachs is wrong and echoes as if you are being fed information by her directly.

    The facts are that the new district is a democratic performing seat and if Sachs runs there she will beat Bogdanoff. Their is also a seat to the west where Joe Abruzzo, one of the rising stars in the state party will run. Abruzzo mixes strong constituent work with a moderate to liberal voting record and already has key support. Congressman Ted Deutch and former Senate Dave Aronberg strongly back his candidacy.

    Sachs knows this and yet is putting out misinformation. This nonsense has been echoed by Nan Rich, this website in about ten different articles, the Palm Beach Post and others. The fact is Sachs has a Democratic district to run in and a new district will elected Joe Abruzzo who could be a statewide contender eventually.

  2. Maybe Bondi is stalling because they can’t mount a defense? Perhaps this is not a conspiracy but actually an admission they’ve failed?

  3. Maria should run against Abruzzo. Morning Star, you are wrong. There is nothing rising about Abruzzo minus his bank account. Deutch is not taken seriously independently and people know that Dave is well with Joe. Come on. Oh Mary says hi morning star

  4. I wonder what Dave Aronberg, has to say about Bondi’s delay? Endorsing candidates in a seat that does not exists currently is bad form for a member of the AG’s staff isn’t it?

  5. Isn’t Aronberg a staffer for Bondi…irony I think not.
    I hope that either Maria or some woman runs against the punk. Where is Wexler’s name on the endorsement? Or Deutch..same thing. I read that Vana CTA endorsed Abruzzo.
    Weird since he is for vouchers…..she has a race coming up too.

  6. Bondi is probably working with Aronberg for his boy’s seat.
    This is not fair and Nan Rich is 100% right. Who thought that Maria is who we want more in that seat. She is just a bit better than Abruzzo but she is like Deutch too…can’t think on her own. I hope she does run against Abruzoo.

    MARIA MARIA MARIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Abruzzo has made w name for himself in Tallahassee. He took on the hospital districts corruption locally. He is being endorsed by people and groups across the political spectrum. Sachs has a seat to run in. Bogdnaoff is the loser in this, so the map favors Dems.

  8. Vouchers are not the only issue the CTA worries about. Deutch is the leader locally and stepping out early to endorse Abruzzo means that Sachs willrun in her seat instead of jumping into someone else’s seat.

  9. The only reason why morning whatever is against this article is because it’s true.
    It’s clear she is a staffer for a PBC one who is trying to push more losers and vouchers lol
    You are dumb. Deutch came out early because he was told too…tall but a little boy who is led by no one but Bobby and Bertie

  10. This is a great piece and so true. Yeah Larry why is that Morning Star blogger so up Deutch and Abruzzo ass? The truth is no one likes Abruzzo that vote. In Tally they think he is just a rich kid. Stop blogging ..it is clear you are working for or you are Eric Johnson.

    Plain and simply…any woman that runs this year that is a D will kick the ass of the men down here. If its not Eric that is blogging and you are Deutch’s staff…give it up. They are using you too honey.

  11. The Gardiner and Simmons seats are 200% certainty to be tossed if the court does it’s job.

    By the way, Bondi did submit her brief this afternoon after the lengthy delay.

  12. Trey..I agree. These people of both parties are just playing games. I hope the courts do what is right with this.

  13. Deutch is very independent. Just because he was backed by Wexler and Aaronson does not mean he is a carbon copy of them.

  14. Vouchers are the major issue for the Union across the country and especially here in Fla. It matters. Vana is not the brightest bulb you know.

  15. Abruzzo is seen as a comer. A rising star. The thing is he is too conservative for most of us down here but we do see he will make a good statewide candidate someday if he secures his local base.

  16. Pingback: Fla. Progressive Political Post of the Day — Political Hurricane » Florida Progressive Coalition Blog -

  17. yeah right …

    Deutch does not get that seat on his own merits without serious Wexler/Aaronson intervention.

    He had been in public office 3 whole years at the time as compared with Gannon, Ritter, Frankel, Lieberman, Waldman, Slosberg, Jacobs, Kraft (no longer viable), Campbell, etc, etc all of whom served longer, were better known and had real political capitol. It was Wexler and Aaronson that cleared the field for him and used the capitol they had earned to benefit him.

  18. Maria Sachs is a psycho loser also. I will take Abruzzo who actually is sane and has a future despite a bad record over psycho.

  19. Deutch is as independent. What a joke. Very true Lori. My hope is that the woman runs against Deutch. Abruzzo looses to some smart lady and removes the golden spoon from his mouth. Lori…Abruzzo is seen as a comer…who did he come with? lol

  20. Lori,

    Joeys record is worse than crazy but you can thank puppet Deutch, Wexler, Aaronson and a few others that will be out of job soon. The maps are out the door. I hope Lois runs against Deutch..bye bud. Remember Abruzzo was working with Lynch that ran against Deutch. Deutch is more dumb than Sachs, Sax and Handler.

  21. I think a lot of ambitious Democrats are already running as if this map will stand.

    They will be unhappy if the map gets invalidated.

    These Ds are less interested in party building or policy but simply in self promotion.

  22. I agree. Some Ds are in a catch 22. If they do not begin running in these districts they risk losing, if they do they alienate partisan Dems.

  23. These maps will be tossed. Anybody have thoughts on the LWV alternative submitted to the court yesterday?

  24. Under the new Senate plan we should win 17 seats and the Republicans 23, I read. That means we would have 3-5 more seats than we had the entire last decade.

    Thus, this plan may not be as horrible as originally claimed.

  25. Lewis in Lauderdale

    Those 17 seats include those held by Latvala, Simmons and Bogdanoff currently if I am not mistaken.

    I would not count on winning any of those in 2012. So it will be 26-14 at best.