Judge orders Florida to redraw congressional map by August 15
GOP asks where does Charlie Crist live

Florida begins redrawing congressional maps on Thursday as taxpayers foot the bill

After a Leon County Judge tossed out Florida's congressional map and ordered a new one by August 15, Florida legislators will trudge back to Tallahassee Thursday to do it over again. Florida taxpayers should feel a tad cranky about this.

So far, taxpayers have footed the bill for the original map - found to be a gerrymandered mess that violates Florida's constitution. Republican leaders decided to fight challenges to the map and that trial also is being paid for by the taxpayers.

Now, taxpayers will pay again to fix a map that Republican leaders - with the acquiesence of most Democratic legislators - created with little interest in what was best and fair for Florida voters.

On Sunday, House Speaker Will Weatherford sent an email to House members letting them know they may have to adjust their vacation plans.

Here's the email:

Dear Members:

In response to the rulings issued by Judge Lewis on July 10, 2014 and August 1, 2014, the Florida Legislature has decided to produce a Congressional map to address the Court’s limited concerns.  Accordingly, the House and Senate have agreed to call ourselves into special session on Thursday, August 7 for the sole and exclusive purpose of reapportioning Florida’s Congressional Districts.

We continue to maintain our strong objection to any attempt to disrupt the current election process. Florida’s Supervisors of Elections have raised serious concerns over changing the elections process at this late date. The NAACP also pointed out in their response to Judge Lewis that, “In a special election, get-out-the-vote infrastructure simply does not exist. Voters who face challenges to political participation – be it financial, job scheduling, transportation, or other impediments – will be irreparably harmed by conducting the election at a time where that infrastructure does not exist.”

Tens of thousands of our service men and women overseas have received their ballots, and over one million absentee ballots have been mailed to Floridians. Members, we intend to vigorously defend the integrity and validity of Floridians’ votes that have already been and will be cast in the upcoming election.

I understand that calling a special session at this late date will require you to rearrange your schedules. I have directed staff to provide you with detailed information tomorrow to assist you with your travel arrangements.


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