January 25, 2011 Leave a comment
Very concerning that the arrogance of power has led the new Florida administration so quickly to face down the majority who approved the very important amendments. Is this the model of the private sector leadership that we need to lead us out of the recession. Do they think the voters are mere fools?
The Miami Herald and the Orlando Sentinel are both reporting that Gov. Rick Scott instructed the Department of State to ask the federal government to halt its approval of Amendments 5 and 6, the two popular so-called “Fair Districts” amendments that limit the legislature’s ability to gerrymander districts.
Now, via press release, Fair Districts Now — a nonprofit dedicated to overseeing the implementation of 5 and 6 — says that by doing so, Scott and other officials have been caught abusing their power:
Within its first days in power, the new administration of Governor Rick Scott, through its Department of State, took extraordinary steps to thwart the will of the overwhelming majority of Florida voters who voted for redistricting reform in Florida. #
On, November 2, 63% of Florida voters amended the Florida Constitution to include new non-partisan redistricting standards. When new laws affect voting as these do, the Voting Rights Act requires that the standards be reviewed and “pre-cleared” by the Justice Department (DOJ). It is the duty of the state to request DOJ pre-clearance. Governor Crist ordered that a formal request for pre-clearance be filed. The Florida Secretary of State’s office filed that request on December 10, 2010.
On January 7, 2011, as one of its first acts, the new administration of Governor Rick Scott, through its Department of State, in an apparent attempt to thwart the will of the voters, wrote to DOJ withdrawing the amendments from review. [Emphasis in original.]