Thus once again proving that BLACK FOLKS DON'T OPPOSE GERRYMANDERING.......they just oppose when it doesn't benefit THEIR interests.
Ironically it is not a given that "Their Interests" are advanced when there is increased "Head Count" of "Black Faces In High Places". Our interests are represented when these folks or people of any race actually ADVANCE OUR INTERESTS per the measurable results among the people.
In either way it appears that the Democratic Party always wins because it continues to grow, regardless of how our schools, the crime on our streets or our economic condition is impacted after we experience a session of them "working with the INTENTION of advancing our cause". If they are helping, sometimes I wonder how it would be if they were seeking to hurt us?
Florida's legislative black caucus could be heading toward an internal feud over a ballot initiative aimed at stopping lawmakers from gerrymandering districts.
Most of the Legislature's black members voted in April to back FairDistrictsFlorida.org, a group that's trying to put on the 2010 ballot a constitutional amendment that would make it harder for legislators to slice and dice political boundaries to keep themselves in power. The vote was a turn from recent years when African-American lawmakers have rejected efforts to reform the redistricting process.
But there's one legislator who isn't keen on the idea: state Sen. Gary Siplin, D-Orlando. And he happens to be the new chairman of the black caucus. Siplin, elected chair in May, wants the 26-member caucus to take the issue up again this fall.
"This is a new administration, and Sen. Siplin is in charge," he said. "We're going to take another look at the amendment now."
Siplin wasn't present when the caucus voted last spring but said that vote is no longer binding: "What happened last time doesn't matter because that administration is gone."
There is potent political history behind the debate.
In 1992, African-American Democrats joined minority-party Republicans to draw congressional and legislative districts that concentrated black voters (a good example is U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown's district that extends from Jacksonville to Orlando). That resulted in the election of Florida's first black members of Congress since Reconstruction as well as more black legislators.
But this also "bleached" surrounding districts of reliably Democratic black voters, enabling Republicans subsequently to win control of the congressional delegation and the Legislature.
Siplin's position won an enthusiastic reception from future Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Indialantic, who heads Senate redistricting preparations for after the 2010 census. "There's no question [the anti-gerrymandering amendment] would impact the number of minority seats," Haridopolos said. "I think it's fair to say [black legislators] will be concerned ...."
But Siplin's attempt to revisit the caucus vote doesn't sit well with two of its members: immediate past chair Rep. Joe Gibbons, D- Hallandale Beach, and Rep. Geraldine Thompson, D-Orlando.
Even if Siplin does get a second vote, Thompson predicted the result would be much the same. "He was not present at the meeting, and those who were made a decision," she said. "It was not a close vote."
Gibbons said a majority of the caucus think they don't need huge minority voting blocs to win elections anymore and want to oppose packing minorities into a handful of districts.
"We don't need to be like that these days. Barack Obama won as president," he said.
Lawmakers PAC it in
Even in hard times, two legislators have managed to rake in big bucks through political committees. Haridopolos created the Freedom First Committee, which has raised $78,500 from U.S. Sugar Corp., the Florida Chamber of Commerce, doctors, Realtors and St. Petersburg HMO manager A.K. Desai since the lawmaking session ended in May. Sen. Carey Baker, R-Eustis, created Floridians for Sustainable Agriculture and has raised $50,000 since December. He is running for agriculture commissioner against U.S. Rep. Adam Putnam in a GOP primary.
Both committees share a mailing address with War Room Logistics, the consulting firm set up by Alachua Republican Chairman Stafford Jones.