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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Black Democrat blasts GOP redistrict plan to protect blacks as 'unacceptable'



Not every black Democrat likes the the counter-amendment being pushed by Republican legislative leaders.  Democratic Leader Pro Tempore Geraldine Thompson of Orlando calls it an attempt to weaken minority representation and offered this statement: 

“Many voters in my district and throughout the state have signed petitions to gain a chance to take politics out of the redistricting process. However, it seems that those in power will stop at nothing to unfairly protect their power. 

“The current proposal being pushed by legislative leaders, which purports to `clarify’ Amendments 5 & 6, is a sham. The proposal does not clarify or enhance anything. In fact, it substantially weakens the special protections for minority voters contained in the Fair Districts amendments. 

“In an obvious attempt to rig districts to favor themselves, some lawmakers are relying on racial- and ethnic-minority members of the Florida Legislature to do their dirty work, which is completely unacceptable. The protections in Fair Districts Amendments 5 and 6 strengthen the ability of minority voters to elect representatives of their choice. There is no need to enhance or clarify the protections contained in the Fair District amendments. Yet my fellow legislators continue to play games. 

“The Florida Legislature should not approve amendments that would render the Fair District rules meaningless. Voters should have a chance to approve the amendments, and Speaker Cretul should not allow any joint resolution weakening these amendments to be heard on the House floor."

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 12:30pm]


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