|Minorities vs. Florida Democratic Party (FDP) as redistricting battle heats up|
Florida is in the middle of a huge battle over redistricting. With two new electoral votes and two new congressional districts to create, lawmakers must decide whether they care more about compact districts or minority representation. From both parties, representatives struggle over the definition over the word “fair”.
Democrats argue that the current system is far from fair. David Wasserman of the Cook Political Report told 538, “I think anyone would agree that a 19-to-6 edge in the House delegation in Florida is a very overstated advantage for Republicans in a state that voted for Barack Obama.” That assessment may seem fair on the surface, but both Republicans and minorities benefit from Florida’s districting process.
That process fundamentally changed following the 1990 census, when Democrats still controlled the Florida legislature and wished to secure better minority representation in Congress. According to Sunshine State News, “This deal ensured a GOP majority at the Legislature and gave African-Americans unprecedented levels of representation in Tallahassee. It was a win-win for blacks and Republicans.”
But the current system was designed to level the playing field for minorities. Indeed, Florida’s minority representatives from both parties have been unequivocally against the Fair Districts Florida amendment. Corrine Brown (D-Jacksonville) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Miami) have mounted legal defense funds to reverse the decision, which could decimate their ethnocentric constituencies. Is this fair?
SSN claims that in an effort to white-wash their Party, Florida Democrats have orchestrated the Fair Districts effort in order to squash notions that Democrats are exclusively the Party of minorities. And the interview with Nate Silver proclaims that there is a long history of division among Democrats between minority protection and Party majorities. Drawnlines hopes readers note this story the next time Republicans are accused of race baiting or being anti-minority.