You see, I know my state... the stupidity can fill a book. (And rest assured that when I finish it, I won't charge you $152,000 for one copy.)
Our state government is hopelessly broken, and has been for a long time. I can't believe a year ago I thought we hit rock bottom when our GOP overseers used our money to fight the "immorality" of gay adoption, (even trying to tear kids out of loving homes); while simultaneously refusing to pass a law banning animal bestiality.
(Goat sex? Cool. Gay adoption? Ewwww).
But here we are. Two months into 2011, and its getting bad to worse. But there is ONE thing we cannot let our state legislators destroy. It is the ONE thing that is the single worst thing that Rick Scott has done.
I'm not talking about last Friday, when high-speed rail officially died.
I'm also not talking about his jaw-dropping budget proposal, nor his fight for drug dealer privacy, nor his illegal firing of Florida's only protector against slimy nursing homes, nor any of the tons of other crap within his very short term in office.
I'm talking about the ONE thing we can't let rail or the budget or even our hot, sexy goats distract us from. It is the single chance we have to end the stupidity.
We must demand that Rick Scott stop illegally obstructing the implementation of the Fair Districts Amendments.
Floridians overwhelmingly passed these two Constitutional Amendments to end gerrymandering last November--our only bright spot last year. These amendments would stop our incumbent legislators from drawing their own districts.
I don't need to lecture anyone why gerrymandering is bad. But it is worse in Florida than anywhere else. It is why lawmakers feel they can get away with anything, even hot goat sex.
It is a big reason why in a state where there are approx. 100,000 more Democrats than GOP, NOT ONE state legislator lost his seat even in the blue wave election of 2008. In fact, of the hundreds of state legislative elections in the past decade--only 10 have lost. The incumbents don't even bother campaigning. Our Congressional districts aren't much better. They look like they were drawn by a meth addict. Corrine Brown lives in Jacksonville but somehow represents Orlando. My Congressman's office is in St. Augustine--100 miles away from my house in Winter Springs!
Wingnut lawmakers tried to stop it. They passed their own amendment proposal that was purposely written incoherently which, if passed, would have thrown out the Fair District Amendments. A judge saw through the scheme and threw it out. GOP PAC money poured in to defeat the amendments, but it failed as well. Even in this nutty state, the amendments passed with a whopping 63% of the vote, and in a red-wave election to boot.
Of course, a federal lawsuit was filed against it... and not one, but THREE very expensive law firms were hired by our GOP Speaker to help overturn the amendments. (Apparently, we can't afford teachers but we can afford to pay high-priced lawyers to overturn our own damn vote!)
However, all of that hard work and dirty tricks to keep the amendments off the ballot, fight them when they were on the ballot, and trying to sue to stop them now were all for naught. WHY?
Rick Scott is simply not going to implement them.
Just three days in office, Gov. Rick Scott blocked paperwork needed to make the Fair Districts laws take effect. He didn't tell his constituents. It was only discovered by an attorney who called to check on its progress at the Deptartment of Justice. (Voting Rights Act of 1965 requires Florida to submit any standards to be pre-cleared through DOJ.)
The Counsel to FairDistricts Now called the Secretary of State’s office and was told, “We cannot tell you why, only that we were directed to do so.” (Rick Scott's new Sec. of State actively campaigned against these amendments.)
Another official said that he did not know if the paperwork would be resubmitted.
Seriously. Our Governor, elected with under 50% of the vote, apparently has dictatorial powers and can alone choose not to implement Constitutional Amendments that passed with a super majority.
When called on it, a goober rep said it is part of Rick Scott's “effort to assess the rules, regulations and contracts of the previous administration.”
Except, these aren't "rules, regulations, or contracts of the previous administration"! THEY ARE GODDAMNED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS! There is nothing to "review" or fine print to examine. There is no cost-benefit analysis to conduct. These are not new state rules imposed by an underfunded state agency. THESE ARE AMENDMENTS APPROVED BY FLORIDIANS!
Another excuse from Scott's deputy communications director was that census data has not been transmitted to the state yet. What the hell this had to do with getting pre-approval from DOJ is anyone's guess.
But as of just last week, IT HOLDS NO WATER. THe data has arrived.
Yet there is no indication that Rick Scott will move forward with this. As I write this, he is working hand in hand with his allies in the state legislature, who hate these amendments more than he does.
These bastards will stop at nothing to defeat these amendments using any legal or illegal maneuver. But fair elections are the only chance our poor state has in ending all of the nonsense.
DON'T LET THEM GET AWAY WITH IT!
Let these bastards know you are watching:
Email Dean Cannon
Email Rick Scott
Email your FL State House Representative
Email your FL Senate Rep.
Fair Districts Florida has converted to Fair Districts Now for the definite upcoming legal battle. If you know a redistricting lawyer or just want to help, Email Ellen Freidin of FDN.
Contribute or volunteer to help the Florida DNC.
One more thing.. AwaketheState Rally March 8--click to find one near you.