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A Times Editorial

Getting through to politicians on redistricting

Maybe now Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon will stop wasting taxpayer money and finally get the message that 63 percent of voters sent in November. On Friday, a federal judge in Miami quickly rejected a claim by two self-interested U.S. representatives who sought to invalidate a state constitutional amendment that prescribes how congressional districts are drawn. Cannon should stop supporting the lawsuit and pledge to actually embrace the voters' will.

U.S. Reps. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville, and Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Miami, quickly pledged to appeal the decision by U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro — ensuring their own continuing role in wasting Florida taxpayers' money, since the secretary of state is the defendant in the lawsuit. But Cannon furthered the insult when he used his office and state tax dollars to join their cause.

From these arrogant politicians' perspective, voters had the audacity in November to pass Amendment 6, which curbs state legislators' discretion in drawing congressional districts. The amendment, along with a companion Amendment 5 that applies to state legislative districts, requires that lawmakers draw compact districts and prohibits gerrymandering to benefit a political party or candidate.

Cannon swore to uphold the state Constitution after each of his elections to office. Now a federal judge — at taxpayers' expense — has had to remind him of that obligation again.

Getting through to politicians on redistricting 09/11/11 [Last modified: Sunday, September 11, 2011 5:30am]

    

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