Perhaps the two most well-known politicos involved in campaigning against Amendments 5 and 6 (which would effectively disallow representatives from redrawing their own district lines to ensure their reelection) are Reps. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville, and Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Miami. Brown and Diaz-Balart both represent strangely drawn districts that consist overwhelmingly of minority voters belonging to each representative’s own political party. Both have been staunch in their opposition to the amendments that, if passed, might lead to the end of their political reigns.
With the election nearing, the hotly-contested battle over the amendments has also grown to include politicians from states well outside of Florida.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has made his support for Amendments 5 and 6 known in the past few days. Last week, Bloomberg joined former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz for a press conference detailing the pros of the two amendments. Today, in an email sent out by Fair Districts Florida, Bloomberg reiterated his decision to support the amendments that he say will “will answer the call of voters frustrated with incumbents who seem more interested in protecting their own jobs than in creating jobs for everyone else.”
Read the email in full:
Last week, I traveled down to Florida and spoke in front of a large crowd and many news cameras about why Amendments 5 & 6 have my full support.
I support Amendments 5 & 6 because I believe they will answer the call of voters frustrated with incumbents who seem more interested in protecting their own jobs than in creating jobs for everyone else.
The single best job-protection program for incumbent legislators happens every ten years, when they re-draw their district lines. They zig-zag up and down streets and across whole regions to find the people who will be most likely to vote for them. Elections are determined before the first voter goes to the polls.
Instead of voters choosing legislators, we have legislators choosing voters! Amendments 5 & 6 will stop that because they create rules against drawing districts to favor incumbents of political parties.
I urge Florida voters to strike a blow for democracy and bi-partisanship by voting YES on Amendments 5 & 6.
In California, voters have passed similar districting reforms, and it is time to make this happen in Florida too!
If ever there was an issue that should bring together voters from across the political spectrum, putting an end to incumbents’ current political protection plan is it.
And remember, early voting starts today!
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg