Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville, has taken a lot of heat for her decision to fight against Amendments 5 and 6, the so-called “Fair Districts” amendments that, if passed, would mean a drastic change in the demographic of her constituents.
Though the Florida Democratic Party and the NAACP have both has announced their its support of the amendments, Brown has allied herself with the Republican Party of Florida. In fact, she has become the face of Protect Your Vote, a conservative group campaigning hard against the amendments with mostly Republican Party dollars.
Daniel Conston, communications director for the Republican Party of Florida, had this to say when questioned about Brown’s involvement with Protect Your Vote:
The “Fair Districts” scheme is simply unworkable and would be a huge threat to our democracy. It should have bipartisan opposition, but it’s unfortunate that outside liberal groups are putting millions into actively hurting our democracy. However, Chairman Thrasher and the Party are happy to welcome any Democrats that recognize Fair Districts would be bad for Florida and don’t want to see our state hurt by it.
Many might think that Brown’s close ties with Protect Your Vote means tensions with her fellow Democrats, but Duval Democratic Party Chairman Travis Bridges says this isn’t the case:
The Florida Democratic party has of course come out in favor of Amendments 5 and 6 … and we also recommended a “yes” vote on those amendments. Congresswoman Brown has recommended a “no” vote … and has distributed literature on it in her district, which is perfectly her right, but as far as the Florida Democratic Party and the county party goes, we disagree.
I don’t see it as an obstacle, just the right to an opinion. I see nothing wrong with it whatsoever, actually. I was with Congresswoman Brown all day yesterday, and there’s absolutely no issue with our difference of opinion. Remember, we’re Democrats. We can still disagree and love each other. If we were Republicans, we’d probably be fighting over it.
The Florida Democratic Party has not officially come out in support of Amendments 5 and 6. According to Eric Jotkoff, communications director for the Florida Democrats, “The Florida Democratic Party as a policy does not take sides on Constitutional Amendments campaigns.”