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News

Fraudulent email account tied to maps submitted during redistricting

State is paying approximately $2 million to defend the 2012 redrawing of Congressional districts

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JUST THE STATS

 

$2 million

Approximate cost to taxpayers for the legal defense of the Florida Legislature’s redrawing of Congressional districts in 2012; districts were redrawn despite the fact that voters overwhelmingly supported a constitutional amendment requiring “Fair Districts” in 2010

 

$240,000

Amount Republican operative Rich Heffley was paid in 2012 and 2013 by the Republican Party of Florida in order to oversee the redistricting process, allegedly in the GOP’s interest

 

538

Number of pages of “trade secrets” (emails and documents) another Republican operative, Pat Bainter – a contact of Heffley – was forced to submit as evidence in the case brought by the League of Women Voters of Florida (among others) after a year-long fight with the Florida Supreme Court. The court also ruled that the media be removed from the chambers for the revelation.

Outside the lines

Yeah, yeah, we know: “Stop trying to make this redistricting trial happen, because it’s a boring mess of grids and terrible words like ‘gerrymandering.’” Yes, dear reader, we – like the GOP – are aware that when anyone opens their mouth (or computer portals) to utter some gibberish about minority-drawn districts, the dinner party collapses. Your electeds want you to be bored and confused, because otherwise you might catch on to the fact that just last week, in a Leon County hearing, well-paid Republican operatives were alleged to have used (even made up an email account for) a Florida State University Young Republican to submit the redrawn districts that would mysteriously turn out to be strikingly similar to the ones that Republicans ended up approving. They worry that if you notice, you might cry “scandal” in a crowded boardroom. Even more so if an expert analyst concluded under oath that the resulting maps were the most unfairly drawn he had ever seen.

Wait, stop yawning!

What all of this boils down to is that GOP bias is sketched into congressional districting to the tune of 15.9 percent, as was reported by the Orlando Sentinel. “Intuitively, that means Republicans could expect to capture 58 percent of the congressional seats to Democrats’ 42 percent of the seats,” the Sentinel notes, “even if voter turnout was perfectly balanced at 50 percent GOP and 50 percent Democrat.”

As of April 2014, registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by 39 percent to 35 percent in Florida (or approximately 450,000 voters), so the fact that we’ve got historically the most biased Republican representation has never seemed fair, but you just go ahead and keep on letting your eyes glaze over.

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