Father of state rep. who fought ‘Fair Districts’ amendments placed in charge of Senate reapportionment committee
Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, today issued more information about who will fill some key roles in the state Senate — including the name of the senator who will oversee the redrawing of Florida’s district lines after the conclusion of the 2010 census: state Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Destin.
If the name Gaetz sounds familiar to those who followed the debate over Amendments 5 and 6, the so-called “Fair Districts” amendments limiting the legislature’s ability to gerrymander districts that passed a statewide vote on Nov. 2, that’s because Gaetz’s son, state Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Shalimar, was a vocal opponent of 5 and 6.
In the week before the vote on Amendments 5 and 6, Matt penned an op-ed in the Northwest Florida Daily News, urging readers to vote no on 5 and 6 because they would blunt “the conservative comeback” in Florida. The remarks were unusual, because anti-Fair Districts activists generally preferred to voice their opposition in less explicitly partisan terms. (Even if the Republican Party of Florida did largely fund the organized opposition to 5 and 6.) Matt’s argument was picked up by at least one tea party group, which included his op-ed in an email newsletter.