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  1. Opinion

Ruth: The Legislature that can't draw straight

There is a very simple reason why the Florida Legislature proved incapable of meeting a court-ordered mandate to redraw the state's congressional districts.

Completing such a complex task would have required due diligence, fairness, intellectual honesty and a commitment to fulfilling their oath of office, especially the silly part about, "I will well and faithfully perform the duties of (the office) on which I am about to enter, so help me God."

See? We were doomed from the get-go.

Having faith the poltroons within the Legislature in the twisted state of Flim-Flamorida will do their jobs on behalf of the citizenry is like expecting you'll get a fair deal from a Chicago "L" three-card monte hustler.

The court was ordering the Republican-dominated Legislature to create fairer congressional districts in which anybody might win. Democracy? How crazy, wacky, zany is that?

What we've learned here is that you can't take Fagin's pickpockets and expect to turn them into the Vienna Boys Choir, even at the urging of the Florida Supreme Court.

The Legislature did what it does best — nothing at all. Unable to agree on new congressional districts, everybody packed up their wadded Dr. Dentons and went home. These legislative grifters would rather face the prospect of a judge redrawing the maps than take on a task requiring fairness and objectivity.

Think of this as the legislative equivalent of Dracula exposed to a mirror. The walking dead of Tallahassee can't bring themselves to do the right thing in the light of day.

In a perverse way, you have to admire the chutzpah of Four-Flushorida Legislature, dedicated to tampering with the electoral books even after they got caught in the act. Who says there are no standards anymore?

Recently released court documents indicate Senate Republicans and their factotums worked tirelessly behind the scenes to gerrymander their own districts by submitting phony "public" maps, introducing fake public testimony to create the illusion of a more open process and engaged in secret meetings.

And behind the whole conspiracy of pandering political operatives was then-Senate President Don Gaetz, R-The Dr. No of Niceville, pulling the strings to ensure GOP control of the upper House of Sad Sacks.

Gaetz touted the redistricting process as the "most transparent" in Florida history. Stop laughing.

As it turned out there was more home cooking going on here than at a Borgia family reunion as Senate Republicans, aided by their paid henchman, served up a gumbo of gerrymandering the envy of the old Daley Machine.

In theory at least, the Legislature is scheduled to meet in an October special session to redraw the Senate districts. But since this is the same group of Tallahassee lobbyist bootlickers who could not draw congressional districts, what remote hope can anyone have that the Senate districts can be redrawn by the very people directly affected by the boundaries?

Let us not forget there is ample evidence — and a Supreme Court ruling — attesting to the corruption and lack of transparency linked to the redistricting process.

When Republican state senators stormed out of conference committee considering the new congressional districts, a miffed Rep. Neil Combee, R-Polk City, whined: "Pretty sure the Democrats on the (Florida) Supreme Court will be delighted to draw the map."

And why not, since the morally bankrupt Florida Legislature has proven it is incapable of doing the job unless it involves smoke-filled rooms, secret meetings, fabricated maps, phony testimony and shady cronyism?

By this point lawmakers have demonstrated they cannot be trusted to honor their oaths of office. They cannot be trusted to even show up to pretend to be doing their jobs. They cannot be trusted to respect the will of the people who voted for them.

That's not a legislature. That's a day care center for Tallahassee toadies.

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