Monday Musings: Redistricting, Darren Soto and the Democrats, Anti-Crist Robocall, Rick Scott and Education Funding, Media Failure on ISIS Bombings (UPDATED)

The Democrats are failing on reapportionment unless things change dramatically in the next 18 hours. With the opportunity of the decade in front of legislators, no coordinated House/Senate strategy has been implemented. Instead the GOP is likely to get away with another partisan gerrymander that breaks up communities of interest and once again strategically splits Central Florida in order to maximize a Republican advantage and protect incumbents.  Senator Darren Soto submitted a map he submitted to the Redistricting Committee which was the fairest map we have seen in this process. It was not a Democratic or Republican advantage map not incumbent-protection map, but an objective one in the spirit of the Fair Districts Amendment. It did not give the Democrats the numbers advantage in Central Florida that the map submitted by the Plaintiffs in the redistricting case would have (although it should be noted that the Plaintiff’s proposed map would likely cost the Democrats any shot at CD-2 whereas the Soto map and GOP map do not). That the Republicans so quickly dismissed Soto’s map and the Democrats only gave it lukewarm support was troubling. I believe the Democrats should have rallied aggressively and publicly around Senator Soto’s non-partisan approach as good policy for the state and its citizens. Should the current plan or something similar pass, all citizens of Florida regardless of party affiliation should hope Judge Lewis strikes it down once again and finds a non-legislative solution to redrawing the lines. –  KK @kkfla737

There are reports from all over the state that a massive robocall went out to all registered Democrats around the state against Charlie Crist. It appears to be a call from his 2006 primary against Tom Gallagher and it has Crist himself talking about his conservative credentials, including pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, and against illegal immigrants. While tactics like these were expected, the state-wide effort is impressive for the primary. A robocall to a third of the voters in Florida (from all accounts, Dems all over the state got it with few demographic similarities) is not a cheap endeavor. It merely says: “paid for by Conservative, (773) 350-9348,” so it is unlikely that this expense will be traceable in any campaign finance reporting. These seem like very similar tactics to Progressive Choice: suppress the vote on the progressive side while pumping up get-out-the-vote efforts on the right and from the recent close polls, it seems to be working beautifully. While the polls will jump up and down a few times between now and November, it will be interesting to see if the strategy of painting Crist as “uncertain on issues” will pay off. However, let us just say the obvious: uncertainty is probably better than Rick Scott. Crist is going to have to keep reminding voters how awful Scott really is in order to combat this. –   KB@BurnettKaty 

Twitter was abuzz this week about the huge billion dollar surplus that is expected for next year in the Legislature – many Republican representatives were praising the cost cutting efforts of Rick Scott. However, excuse me if I am wrong, but doesn’t that mean that many of his huge cost cutting efforts were heavy handed and excessive? While I have not looked at the exact numbers or verified the projected outcomes, the goal of public administration (which the Governor is in charge of) is stability. Stable budgets make for stable policy. Education funding still is not restored to the level that it was and with the passage of the new voucher bill, public school funding is going to be a huge issue for years to come. Yo-yo budgets are headaches for local school officials, not to mention the added task of firing, then rehiring staff (as Marion County knows especially well). Heavy handed and reactionary policy is for naïve politicians and the children of Florida cannot afford another mistake like that one. So while many praise the projected surplus, I say it is proof that Republican cost-cutting was mostly for the Tea Party’s benefit and not the people of Florida. –   KB@BurnettKaty 

 

Much of the American television coverage of the US bombing of ISIS has failed to ask the critical questions required when a nation essentially goes to war. Most of the reporting has been to cheer on the military operation while not properly explaining why it is happening. Some question that need to be asked are as follows: Firstly, what exactly is the US National Security interest in Kurdistan? Simply saying something impacts our “national security interest,” does not mean it does. Secondly, why did the President wait so long to sure up our Kurdish allies when in early June it was obvious ISIS was targeting Erbil? Thirdly, what is the end game for the US here, after having trusted a failed Maliki Government  to arm the region and not built up the Kurdistan (Autonomous) Region’s defenses strongly enough to resist ISIS and forcing the Kurdish leadership to depend on Maliki for much of its defense*. Fourthly, what threat does an Islamic Caliphate real or perceived pose to American interests? Did the Ottoman Empire in the 1800s threaten the West? That question should be asked, because the answer is no, in fact the imposition of any sort of religious litmus test frayed Islamic unity and made the region weak. For the record, I believe bombing ISIS targets in Kurdistan is a bad idea, but now that we are engaged in military activity I fully support our troops and our President. But I believe strongly that these sideshows in the Middle East take away from the real foreign policy threats to our nation which are not small cell terrorist groups in the desert but large nation-states like Russia and China that are using economic clout and anti-American rhetoric to turn much of the world against us. That is the threat we must confront and this administration has time and again been later to recognizing the dangers coming from Moscow and Beijing. –  KK @kkfla737

*UPDATE: IT HAS BEEN REPORTED THIS MORNING THAT THE US WILL DIRECTLY ARM THE KURDISH FORCES BYPASSING THE IRAQI GOVERNMENT. 

 

 

10 comments

  1. The democrats won’t unite on reapportionment because of the black caucus. You know that yet avoid the subject!!!

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  2. Steve Ellman · ·

    Your foreign policy ideas are a mix of confusion and delusion..
    Obama’s weak, you say, but wrong to prevent the religious fanatics from exterminating the Yazidi.
    You worry about China and Russia but want to see us waste resources confronting them in their own backyards. The best response to “economic clout and anti-American rhetoric: is getting our own economy in order. Their rhetoric? Engage the world in an economically mutually beneficial way and rhetoric falls on deaf ears.
    Stick with FL politics.

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    1. I’m a democrat and don’t agree with keushnaiyer’s hostility towards Russia. But the confusion and delusion in foreign policy is Obama nobody else. Weak, indecisive, red lines that get violated etc, etc.

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      1. Steve Ellman · ·

        Obama’s been thoughful, careful and flexible.
        It’s high time we recognize and accept the limits of American power.

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  3. You are on a reapportionment roll! Great stuff!!!

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  4. So your solution would be to throw one of our members Corrine Brown overboard?

    What is your agenda? More democrats is great but being disloyal to our African-American base is not.

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    1. Brown wins under any scenario.

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    2. For every “safe” Democratic district the Dems in the Legislature allow the Repubs to draw, THREE “safe” Republican Incumbent districts are created! That is a raw deal–3 for 1–any way you look at it. The Repubs don’t have and ethical bone in their bodies when it comes to abiding by the amendment for fair districts PASSED by Florida voters. Judge Lewis should reject their latest offering and go with Darren Soto’s version!

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  5. We got the robo call. It was obvious what it was and no one will be fooled. But it was a reminder of Crist’s stand on immigration at that time. People need to realize that voters remember being beat up pretty badly by CC’s earlier words and actions. We do not have collective memory loss. This is why Crist should debate Nan Rich and get his stand on issues today in front of the public.

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  6. The Dems have filed ZERO amendments today in the House. I joke not. They are just playing dead. Speeches and rhetoric is nice but they are not trying very hard.

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