Calling her a “failure” that has “done nothing” during her 20 years in office, Mike Yost is again blasting Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville, his once (and future) political opponent.
In a newly released YouTube video, Yost uses the controversy surrounding Brown’s district to his advantage — showing footage from Brown’s defense of her district, alongside claims that her constituency has the highest unemployment rate in the entire state of Florida.
Brown’s district is perhaps the most controversial in the state of Florida, if not the entire country. Stretching for over 120 miles, it encompasses portions of Jacksonville, Gainseville, and even Orlando. Brown’s constituency (which includes a majority of minority voters) has proved faithful to her — reelecting her year after year.
With district lines being redrawn next year, as ordered by law, she may lose a large portion of her constituents and, possibly, the election. She, along with Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, is suing to block the implementation of Amendment 6, one of the “Fair Districts” measures that aim to stop gerrymandering in the state.
Yost was the first to comment during a redistricting hearing held in Jacksonville last week. Speaking to concerns that gerrymandering districts ensure proper representation of race in politics, Yost said that, in previous cases, minorities have become better represented as a result of redrawing district lines.
“Sometimes we wish to put blinders on when it comes to race and politics,” Yost said. “Let’s face some realities. The most effective way to prevent discrimination is to stop propagating laws that discriminate based on race.”
Yost’s video shows a clip of Brown at that same hearing, during which she argued that the African-American community needs leadership now more than ever: “When America has a cold, the African-American community has pneumonia.” The video then alleges that Brown’s district has: “1. The Highest Unemployment Rate 2. The Highest Poverty Level 3. The Lowest Graduation Rate… In the Entire State of Florida.”
In an email sent out to supporters, Yost says that Brown’s testimony at the Jacksonville hearing was “nothing short of another attempt to preserve her ‘political career’ of failure and re-election only because of her heavily gerrymandered District.”
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