Suwannee Democrat

Opinion

October 22, 2010

OUR VIEW: The truth about Amendments 5 & 6

Live Oak — We’ve backed the the Fair Districts amendments, Nos. 5 and 6 on the Nov. 2 ballot, from the start. And from the start we’ve made clear this never was and never will be a partisan issue.

All we want is to be heard in Tallahassee, by way of a state senator who can claim at least a passing acquaintance with folks in Suwannee and neighboring counties.

Hardly what we have now. No offense to our current senator, former Citrus County Sheriff Charlie Dean, but his ties to these parts are tenuous at best.

Nonetheless, some folks have gotten the idea that this is about party dominance -- a mere attempt to wrest control of the legislature from Republicans.

For some it probably is.* Since there are more registered Democrats (4,630,000) in Florida than Republicans (4,040,000), they figure that Republican control of the state Senate and House must be the result of gerrymandering.

They’re wrong, and a new study proves it.

Political scientists at the University of Michigan and Stanford have shown that gerrymandering has little or nothing to do with Republican dominance in Florida politics. In fact, the July 2010 study concludes that “Republicans can expect to win around 59 percent of the seats [even] without any ‘intentional’ gerrymandering.”

That’s because Florida Democrats are often concentrated in urban districts, note authors Jowei Chen and Jonathan Rodden, while Republicans tend to be more evenly distributed throughout the state. 

(Never mind what we already knew -- that plenty of Democrats vote Republican in general elections, as is often the case in Suwannee. Some folks, Republicans at heart, stay registered as Democrats so they can vote in local primaries, which tend to be dominated by Democratic candidates.)

So the advent of compact, contiguous and “fair” districts -- as opposed to monstrosities like our own Senate District 3 -- won’t likely alter the balance of power in Tallahassee.

Fine. That’s not what we were after to begin with.

All we want is our own voice in the Florida Senate.

It’s that simple, folks.

If you feel you’d be better served in Tallahassee by a senator who hails from, say, Suwannee, Hamilton or Lafayette than one from Citrus or Marion counties -- the seats of money and power in District 3 -- you’ll vote yes on Amendments 5 & 6.

Hopefully folks in other underrepresented regions across the state will do the same and soon we’ll have our own voice in Tallahassee.

Text Only
Opinion
Business Marquee
AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
House Ads
Twitter Updates
Suwannee Democrat on Facebook
Poll

Do you think the city of Live Oak should have a city-manager form of government or leave it as a city-administrator form of government?

Change to a city-manager.
Keep it as city-administrator.
Don’t care either way.
What are you talking about?
     View Results
Facebook