When it comes to meeting on reapportionment, it seems that everybody wants to get into the act.
Even state Rep. John Cosgrove, the one-man caucus.
At a meeting with the House speaker Tuesday, Cosgrove joked that he probably represents the only caucus that House leaders haven't dined with recently to discuss reapportionment. Cosgrove, who lives in Miami, is a member of an increasingly rare species of legislator, the Dade County Anglo representative.
The idea of dining with the Cosgrove caucus cracked up House Speaker T.K. Wetherell and speaker-to-be Bo Johnson. They have met repeatedly with black members and Dade County Hispanic members to talk about reapportionment recently. Several of those meetings have occurred outside the Capitol, raising concerns about the possibility of back-room deal making in places where the public doesn't have access.
Before agreeing to meet, the two leaders wanted to know what kind of food Cosgrove's caucus would serve.
"The way it works in my caucus is, we get the leftovers," Cosgrove complained.
Real caucusing on reapportionment continued Tuesday, as black and Hispanic leaders met again for lunch outside the Capitol, at a teachers union headquarters. Over sandwiches and chips, Hispanics made another pitch to draw black members into an alliance to push for more minority congressional districts.
Both groups are expected to offer their maps for Florida's political future today, as the House takes its first floor votes on reapportionment. White Democratic House leaders hope they have prevented the coalition from solidifying by increasing minority representation in their own plan.
House leaders appeared confident at a morning meeting that their plan would pass. But even state Rep. Peter Rudy Wallace, D-St. Petersburg, the House reapportionment chairman, said the outcome still isn't a sure thing.