Tallahassee’s New Sheriff

Guest Columnist

If you believe the media, the most profound change in Florida politics relates to Marco Rubio, Allen West, Rick Scott and the rest of the Republican tidal wave. 
 My vote goes to Ellen Freiden.
Long after Rubio, West and Scott are off the political stage,  the work of Ellen Freiden will continue to impact Florida.
Ellen Freidan, a Miami lawyer, led the successful charge to add Amendments 5 and 6 to the Florida Constitution.

Stopping Gerrymandering

The amendments take away the unfettered gerrymandering power from the Legislature. 

They require that the  Florida House and Senate legislative districts, along with Florida  Congressional districts, “not be drawn to favor or disfavor an incumbent or political party[they must be]contiguousand where feasible must make use of existing city, county and geographical boundaries.
It is the end of pro-incumbent districts that in some cases are the width of a railroad track and fifty miles long. 
It means an end to the unholy alliance between Black Democrats and Republicans. That deal carved districts’ in such a fashion that the Democratic Party, notwithstanding that it is the largest political party in the state, had no chance to win most of the House, Senate or the Congressional districts.
Following the 1990 Census, Black Legislators made a pact with the Devilthe GOP.

In exchange for securing a handful of solid Black seats in the Florida House and Senate, they sold the future of Florida to the GOP Rightwing.  That 1990 reapportionment plan compacted black Democrats into a few districts with upwards of 80% Democrats. 

That resulted in numerous districts with 50-60% Republicans, 30-35% Democrats and the rest Independents.
The GOP assured Blacks they would be insiders.  It worked out as well as the last great Republican promise to Blacks.  That one involved “forty acres and a mule.
As a result of that deal, and its renewal in 2000, the GOP has controlled the Legislature far beyond its numbers.
What has emerged is a legislature where the Democrats are rarely important unless they agree to be a DINO (Democrat In Name Only). 

Black Democrats are even less significant.  At the end of any session the newspapers rank the 40 Senators and 120 legislators for clout. Black legislators are regularly at the bottom of the bottom.

While billon$ go elsewhere, many black lawmakers appear content to sell their souls to bring home $50,000 to build a Martin Luther King statue in some local park. 
Not one of them has ever emerged as a Willie Brown or anything like him.  [Prior to being mayor of San Francisco, Willie Brown, who is Black, was the Speaker of the House in a California Legislature that was his personal playground.  It took changing the California Constitution–term limits–to remove him.]
What has the emerged in Florida are Black pols like Larcenia Bullard.  She is the wife of former House member who has served 16 years in the House and Senate.  Every survey showed her to be the least effective legislator in Tallahassee.
As Buddy has previously reported, GOP operatives like Ed Pozzouli opposed this measure.  They claim their opposition is based on avoiding expensive litigation. 

The truth is that they rightfully fear a threat to the 20-year stranglehold their party has had on Tallahassee.
Well Ed, there is a new sheriff in town and her name is Ellen Freiden. 
Get used to it.

7 Responses to “Tallahassee’s New Sheriff”

  1. disenchanted says:

    good so now the left can let bullard run the state. think about it…..

  2. GOPapa says:

    Mr. Fields is smart enough to know that this amendment was a Democratic Party plot to win through the amendment process what their candidates can’t win. This will only benefit the Democrats. I hope Mr. Pozzuoli wins his law suit.

  3. Elroy_John says:

    I completely agree with you Buddy. Regardless of the other results on election night, the passage of 5 & 6 gives us a great shot at fair elections and hopefully a more effective Legislature. Anyone who’s taken a look at our state’s mangled district maps knows these changes are long overdue.

    FROM BUDDY: The post was written by Sam Fields, not me. I will thank you for him.

  4. sam fields says:

    Dear Papa

    Correct.. And let me go one step further and applaud the defeat of the Republican effort in California to take away reapportionment from the Dems.

    Starting with the Atwaters, Ginriches and Delays the GOP made politics a blood sport..

    Don’t be a sore looser

  5. Laundry says:

    Sam Fields,
    This is the laundry. Your white sheet and hood is ready.
    The Laundry

  6. Ana Gomez-Mallada says:

    If blacks made any deal with anyone in the reapportionment that took place after the 1990 Census, then they dealt with the Democrats. The Florida Legislature was Democrat-controlled unitl 1996.

    Maybe you mean the lawsuit filed by then-Senator Carrie Meek jointly with then-State Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart against the Democrat-controlled Legislature’s reapportionment plan which effectively would have diluted the voting power of Blacks and Hispanics.

  7. SAM FIELDS says:

    A Black member of the legislature called a bout this piece and reminded me of two things.

    First, in 1990 the Republicans offered them a better deal than the Democrats. Which I knew

    Second, 23 of the 26 Black members of the legislature supported Propositions 5 and 6. Which I did not know.