Eric Giunta
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Nan Rich, Rod Smith tried to gerrymander; blamed GOP for doing same
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By Eric Giunta
March 20, 2013


Court documents obtained by Sunshine State News show that top Florida Democrats were involved in just the sort of activity they are accusing Republicans of: gerrymandering districts to increase their candidates' electoral prospects.

"The attached includes statistics for a congressional map that creates twelve 50%+ Democratic districts while limiting the number of times counties are split between multiple districts," reads one email (dated Jan. 5, 2012) by Eric Hawkins of NCEC Services, general consulting firm to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). "The plan is an attempt to strike a balance between a clean map and one that is far more favorable to Democrats. A more Democratic map is possible, but will require more splitting of counties and towns."

The collection of emails also shows that the maps produced by NCEC were shared with attorneys at Perkins Coie, general counsel for the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

The emails were obtained by the Florida House of Representatives in the course of the discovery process in the case Romo v. Scott, whose plaintiffs are challenging the constitutionality of the Florida Legislature's 2012 reapportionment of U.S. House seats based on new data from the 2010 U.S. Census. Their suit has been joined to one filed by a Democrat-leaning coalition of "voter rights" organizations – called "Fair Districts Now" and made up of the League of Women Voters of Florida, the National Council of La Raza, and Common Cause Florida.

Fair Districts Now is also challenging, in a separate suit, the constitutionality of the new Florida Senate maps. The suits, both of which are being heard by Judge Terry Lewis of the 2nd Judicial Circuit Court of Florida, allege that the 2012 maps reflect gerrymandering in favor of Republican candidates and incumbents, and unfairly disadvantage racial minorities.

In February, the Miami Herald published emails showing that state House and Senate staff discussed proposed GOP-friendly maps with RPOF officials and GOP consultants from Data Targeting Group. On March 5, the Herald reported that Democrats at the time were doing the exact same thing.

But court documents seem to show that the collusion of Democratic leadership in gerrymandering was a lot more direct and egregious. . . .

Catch the rest of the story at Sunshine State News!

© Eric Giunta

 

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