The Miami Herald today published an “open letter” from Broward County GOP chairman Richard DeNapoli to the Florida Legislature’s redistricting committees. In it, DeNapoli sharply criticizes state lawmakers’ proposals for how Rep. Allen West’s district should be redrawn, saying they doesn’t live up to the Fair Districts standards approved by Florida voters in November 2010.
“My intention here is to express my concern as a citizen and registered voter of Florida that the proposed maps for Congressional District 22 do not meet Florida’s constitutional requirements,” DeNapoli writes. “In my opinion, none of the proposed Florida Senate or Florida House maps for Congressional District 22 conform to Florida’s constitutional requirements contained within Amendments 5 and 6 that districts be compact and, where feasible, ‘utilize existing political and geographical boundaries.’ Florida’s redistricting is very important and the maps eventually decided upon will control our districts for the next 10 years.”
DeNapoli also links to a new website, saveallenwest.com, set up by Broward GOP vice chair Colleen Stolberg to protest the redistricting proposals. “Congressional District 22 is in danger under the proposed redistricting maps and the Democrats are cheering!” Stolberg writes on the site’s homepage, adding:
We must Save Congressman West’s district! Call, email and contact everyone listed. Make your voice heard! By removing the western portions of Broward County and replacing them with northeastern portions of Palm Beach County up to the Jupiter Inlet or Palm Beach county line that are in the existing Congressional District 22, the newly proposed District 22 will meet Florida’s constitutional requirements because it would be a compact coastal district that respects political and geographical boundaries.
The Herald has DeNapoli’s entire letter posted, and it’s worth reading in full.
Broward Republicans aren’t the only members of the GOP saying the new redistricting proposals don’t meet the Fair Districts standards. Mike Yost — who is challenging Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville, in 2012 — has blasted the Legislature for not significantly changing Brown’s in-no-way-compact district, saying he is prepared to file suit if the proposals are eventually approved as is.