Can Florida Democrats REALLY take advantage of the GOP redistricting debacle?

old capitolThe Florida Democratic Party sent out a press release this morning following the breakdown of the Legislature’s Special Session. It was sharply worded and would make perfect sense if history wasn’t so contradictory to what was said. Since 1999, the Republicans running the legislature have made a mockery of the process and have governed with a sense of entitlement. Yet far more often than not they have been not been made to pay. Democrats have lost 17 of the last 18 elections for state office and have lost close to 70% of truly competitive legislative seats since 1998 (the number is closer to 80% if you take out the successful 2006 and 2008 cycles).

FDP Chairwoman Allis0n Tant said:


“If Florida Republican leaders were capable of feeling shame, they would be feeling it now. After spending millions of dollars to fight the Fair District amendments over three sessions in three years, the GOP has given up on their efforts to produce a constitutional Congressional map. There are no excuses for this obscene and unprecedented waste of taxpayer resources, and for the illegal actions that got us here.
Floridians will not forget that when Republicans were asked to govern constitutionally in the sunshine, they simply refused.”

Most Floridians have ZERO clue about what goes on in the legislature. They don’t pay attention during session let alone during the dog days of summer to an issue like reapportionment which the vast majority of voters have no idea about. If Floridians are even going to be made aware of what transpired regarding reapportionment, violations to the sunshine law and any number of legislative excesses it is incumbent on the FDP and Democratic candidates to educate them. But all too often Democrats who are active throughout Florida live in an echo chamber consisting of Tallahassee cocktail parties, political gatherings, DEC events on the weekends in large counties and conference calls with consultants.

Most Democrats in Florida have no confidence that the FDP will come through this time because after all they have failed time and again when presented opportunities of note in the past. In fairness, we have a different chair and different staff now, but the pattern and culture around the party appears crystal clear. The names and face might change, but the circumstances, reactions and results stay the same. The outcome here sadly is all too predictable.

Let us hope something has changed on Bronough Street and in the leadership of the DEC’s in the most critical counties in the state. But excuse myself and many others for being skeptical. We just have too many data points that tell us otherwise to be optimistic.


  1. In a word, NO.


  2. it’s not important that the Republicans practice chicanery and slight-of-the-hand to perpetuate their partisan politics – the shame is OURS – where the hell was Allison Tant and her other cohorts while this was going on? no court cases? no large press blast? c’mon our FDP leadership hasn’t shown any desire or a fight – all we rank-and-file seem to get (besides requests for money)
    ) are notices about the wonderful things they plan to do and changes they plan to make – most of which turns out to be b.s. – our leaders? change ’em, change ’em I say –


  3. If the question is “Will our party and DECs inform the membership about the failure of the reapportionment process,” the answer is “hopefully.” It’s a good opportunity (on the DEC level) invite legislators to speak on their impressions of the session. It’s a good opportunity for roundtable discussions with media, town halls, as well as educational calls, emails and door knocking. It’s my understanding that now it goes to the courts to decide. So, again we deserve answers as to how much time this will take and what we can expect in terms of when candidates can know for sure where their districts are.


  4. If, on the other hand, the question is “Can the Democrats take advantage of this,” the answer is going to be ‘meh.’ We have a terrible record of playing hardball, and that has nothing to do with gerrymandering, and everything to do with our ability to communicate our message to the community at-large.


  5. Naoya6161 · ·

    Depends on the new map and how many opportunities it will create. And of the right candidates get interested…


  6. No chance the FDP does anything more than win the online Twitter battle with the RPOF.

    That’s this comms teams m/o.


  7. Weston Dad · ·

    Maybe you did not notice the person making the allegation had to apologize within an hour because they found out the NASL didn’t seal the documents until after Kartik somehow had them. A question can be asked how he found them and even knew this lawsuit had been filed? How he was able to download the documents in the 48 hours or so before the docs were sealed? Those are legit questions. Ethical ones. But not legal ones. For those not aware, these documents were highly incriminating toward NASL in the ongoing FIFA scandal. He knew where to look as a former NASL employee and found the docs but he didn’t steal them. That has now been clarified. Still I would love his explanation for how he knew about the lawsuit to begin with. That he needs to answer. The ethics of someone going from one side of the desk to the other need to be answered. If you worked for a company you shouldn’t be assigned to cover it after you leave. Your coverage was flattering of NASL almost as if you still worked for them. Then you flipped to critic suddenly when the scandal broke and has been driving that train since. Kartik, you have over 4,000 twitter followers and what you say matters. You have been reckless in the last few months since this scandal broke to try and hang things on Traffic and NASL. Your tweets then get retweeted by important media figures and YOUR ACTIONS HAVE PROBABLY COST THE NASL MONEY AND AN EXPANSION FEE OR TWO. At the same time you have written less and less here which is too bad. Go back to doing what you are doing instead of collecting twitter followers with sensational attempts at fawning scandal with your former employer and Sepp Blatter. You are not going to jail but aren’t smelling like a rose either.


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