Florida Democrats are sharply criticizing Republican state House leaders after a report by The Florida Independent this morning revealed that the House is moving to assist in a lawsuit seeking the removal of one of the state’s two popular anti-gerrymandering amendments.

“Today, Speaker Dean Cannon and House Republicans went on the record opposing fairness as they seek to overturn the will of the people, who enshrined in Florida’s Constitution standards of fairness for the redistricting process,” said Florida Democratic Party chairman Rod Smith via a press release, adding:

With over one million Floridians unable to find jobs during these tough economic times, it is especially disappointing that the Republicans are more interested in protecting their backroom dealings rather than focusing on putting Floridians back to work. Clearly the Republicans are more concerned about saving their jobs rather than creating jobs for Floridians.

By using taxpayer money to intervene in the lawsuits against the Fair Districts constitutional amendments, Cannon and the House GOP are not only reminding Floridians that they are simply self-interested politicians who will do anything to hold onto power, but their action represent exactly what the people of Florida rejected when nearly 63% of voters supported the Fair District amendments last fall.

“If the Republicans are afraid to run in fair districts, then shame on them,” Smith said.

State Rep. Perry E. Thurston, Jr., D-Plantation, was also outspoken on the issue, saying via press release:

With the passage of the Fair Districts amendments last November, Florida voters sent a clear message that they will no longer tolerate excessive partisan politics in the redistricting process. Florida voters want fair and competitive elections, which can only be drawn if the Legislature adheres to the merits of voter-approved Fair Districts’ Amendments 5 and 6.

I am deeply concerned that leaders of the Florida House of Representatives have decided to waste taxpayers’ dollars attempting to thwart the will of the people through an ill-intended legal challenge that would only delay opportunities to end the era of gerrymandering that has left many Floridians without a sufficient voice in their government.

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