posted on Sep, 20 2007 @ 08:39 PM
Gerrymandering? How Can You Tell?
I moved to Florida in ‘03. I had lived here previously, in Tampa in 1963-64, and in Jacksonville in 1966. My move here was prompted by personal
reasons rather than looking for mild winters and a sandy beach with lots of sunshine.
Florida is No. 4 in the US population-wise. CA, NY and TX ahead of it. I hear on the tv that 3,000 people move to Florida every day. Like CA, no one
ever says how many leave each day. It was a joke that half the people in CA would go back home if they had the money.
Background. We will recall the electoral fiasco that was Florida in 2000. Hanging chads in South Florida. A chad being the piece of the paper
ballot that was to be punched out by voters but which often stuck to the ballot making it uncertain what the voter’s intentions were. Absentee
ballots from around the state, many of them cast by servicemen and women overseas was another source of dispute.
In the case of voting by absentee ballot, two objectives dictate a set of strict procedures. To keep the voter’s choices secret, the voter is to
place the privately marked ballot inside an unmarked envelope and seal it in the presence of a person authorized to administer oaths - a notary public
for example - or in the case of the Armed Forces, in the presence of a commissioned officer. That envelope is in turn placed inside a mailing
envelope. The voter signs in the space provided which is half on the flap and half on the body of the envelope so any opening the envelope would
disrupt the signature. The witness then signs in the space provided for him or her, including the date the vote was cast.
The voter is obliged to put the properly prepared ballot in the US Mail no later than election day but regardless where it is mailed from, the ballot
must arrive at the office issuing it no later than the 10th day following the election. A lot of absentee ballots arrived more than 10 days AFTER the
election and others did not have the required 2 signatures on the outside envelope. The Dem poll workers did not want to count either LATE or
INCOMPLETE absentee ballots. Polls showed servicemen wee voting 60/40 in favor of the Republicans. The GOP urged counting ALL absentee ballots. As it
turned out, over 10,000 absentee ballots were not counted.
Foreground. The Democratic National Convention is to be held in Denver between Monday, August 25 and Thursday, August 28, 2008. There will be
3,515 pledged delegates and 852 unpledged delegates. The Republican National Convention is being held in St. Paul, MN, on Labor Day* Monday, September
1, 2008 through Thursday, September 4, 2008.
The Republicans will have 2,439 pledged delegates and 662 unpledged. A total of 3,101 making it 1,551 delegates to win the nomination.
Florida Dems gets 185 pledged and 25 unpledged delegates. In 2006, the DNC set forth the following schedule in the run-up to the Convention. The
opening gun is fired in the Iowa caucus January 14, 2008, followed by the Nevada caucus January 19, 2008. The FIRST of all primaries is in New
Hampshire on January 22, 2008. The South Carolina primary was set for January 29, 2008. All other states were to begin February 5, 2008 or later.
The DNC approved this rule August 19, 2006.
Florida is in a quandary. The Republicans control both the House and Senate as well as the governorship. At the instigation of outgoing Governor
James Earl Bush, known here as “Jeb” and the new governor, and Charlie Crist, the new governor, Florida Legislature voted to advance the
Democratic (and the Republican) primary election UP from March 11, 2008, to January 29, 2008. Crist signed this law on May 21, 2007. This was meant to
cause mischief for the Democrats. It has.
Both the DNC and RNC have indicated that Florida will be sanctioned should they hold their primary before 5 February 2008. The Dems say they will
refuse to seat any of the delegates. The GOP has not said how it will penalize “disobedient” states.
South Carolina has also objected, threatening to advance its primary to a date before Florida’s on the grounds it has been a tradition for SC to
have the first primary in the South. Should SC do this, it would likely cause New Hampshire to advance its primary date. Iowa’s caucus is connected
to the NH primary, by law 14 days PRIOR. NH says it will not share its primary date.
On August 5, 2008, the Florida Democratic Party's Executive Committee requested the Florida legislature move the state’s Presidential Primary from
29 January to 5 February 2008. However, the Legislature is not in session until March 4, 2008. Calling a special session is up to the governor. And,
Florida taxpayers will have to stand the $175,000 a day a special session costs, a minimum of 3 days.
This issue - scheduling elections and caucuses - is larger than Florida or South Carolina. Or NH and Iowa. Note that Nevada did jump in early but
because it is a no-tradition small state and is having a caucus, everyone is ignoring that. Q. Can the two national party ruling committees, the DNC
and the RNC, overrule a state law? Or penalize persons who follow the state law but violate the party rules?
So who do you sue? The Dems convention is being held in Denver, CO. When you have a case involving a conflict of laws, it is crucial to decide which
state is the proper state’s laws to apply. I believe the DNC and RNC are both incorporated in the District of Columbia. There are very few laws
either state or Federal regarding the political parties and their governing bodies.
In my old state of Ky political parties are considered private non-profit organizations. Almost all the laws in that field relate to acquiring,
handling and accounting for other people’s money. The most recent times when parties were in court was in the South, in the 1960s-1970s, when the
Dems refused to let blacks vote in the primary elections. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 ended that foul practice along with the XXIV Amendment to the
US Con adopted also in 1964. I am not aware of later suits against the 2 national party committees.
Time is fast running out. Some Florida Democrats have taken the State of Florida to Federal court to force the law to be changed back to what it was
before the Bush/Crist maneuvers. I don't see any help from this quarter.
On Gerrymandering. The Florida Legislature has 120 members in the House. The GOP has 77 of those members and the Dems have but 43. The Senate has 40
members, 26 are GOP and 14 Dems. In both cases, about 2 to 1 in favor of the GOP.
Florida has 15.9 million people.
2.9 million white people have registered as GOPs. 49,000 black people are registered as GOP. 301,000 Hispanic are registered as GOP. Total of 3.25
million Floridians registered as GOPs.
2.6 million white people have registered as Dems. 791,000 blacks are also Dems. 210,000 Hispanics are registered as Dems. 3.6 million Floridians are
registered as Dems. In 2000 when Bush worn by 541 votes out of nearly 6 million cast, Democrat Senator Bill Nelson won his race by 300,000 votes.
Floridians do know how to split a ticket.
Florida is entitled to 26 Members of the US House in Washington, DC. The GOP hold 18 of those seats, and the Dems hold 8. Florida is Texas made over
as per the plans of Tom DeLay. Observers say it would take a landslide in Florida - 55% Dems 45% GOP - for the Dems to get HALF of the 26 seats.
This very undemocratic condition has been made possible by several recent US Supreme Court rulings. That is why the GOP want such judicial midgets as
CJ Roberts, AJ Alito, AJ Scalia and AJ Thomas. This is why the GOP and Dems fight so energetically over Supreme Court seats. This is what it’s all
about. And not finding pubic hair on your coke can. Say Thanks, Tom DeLay. Karl Rove.