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Florida Congressional Redistricting Goes Awry?

By Javier Manjarres

With the Florida Legislature preparing to tackle redistricting during the 2012 Legislative session, the preliminary maps that have been offered up for review are making quite a stink amongst Republicans, as the preliminary maps drawn appear to favor Democrats. One may have believed that the so-called “most conservative legislature” in Florida’s history would see to it that the redistricting process, at least overall would strengthen Republicans’ chances in a plurality of legislative and congressional districts across the state.

Unfortunately for the GOP faithful, this does not seem to be the case.   Due in part to the influence of Amendments 5 & 6 and the two new congressional districts that Florida has gained, Republicans are on the verge of fumbling away their advantage.   And while Republican congressional incumbents will have to concede district-wide favorability to Democrats,  Congressman Allen West’s 22nd congressional district may very be drawn to include substantially more Democrats within it-potentially far many more than other Republican incumbents.

It is hard to comprehend that Congressman West, who is arguably one of the most popular Republicans in the state is being put in such a position.  Keep in mind that the Democrat National Committee (DNC) and its Chairwoman/Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz have identified West as being ‘Public Enemy #1.’  West is one of the most visible and outspoken members of Congress, and he has been holding both Republicans and the Obama Administration accountable for their actions.

Florida GOP vs. Congressman Allen West

So why would the “most conservative legislature” in Florida’s history look the other way as West’s congressional district lines are re-drawn?  Is the fix really in to knock Allen West out of Congress?  About five months ago, a very high ranking member of the Florida legislature gave me a very disturbing prediction regarding redistricting- “Allen West is screwed.”  Take note that comment was made five months ago, long before the proposed maps were made public.

So are the poobahs in the Florida legislature really gunning to oust Allen West?  Was a backroom deal made with the Democrat members of the legislature to put West’s seat into play in order to protect the other congressional seats that would favor any future runs for Congress by existing members of the Florida Legislature? The deals were struck, and the maps drawn behind closed doors.

It wouldn’t surprise us if this were the case.  There is no love lost between the Florida legislature and Congressman Allen West, who has proven to be the anti-Republican establishment congressman. Back in the 2008 election cycle when West unsuccessfully ran for Congress, Republicans in the legislature did not support West.  Former indicted Republican Party of Florida Boss Jim Greer and Governor Charlie Crist stayed out of the race until the very end, even after West’s Republican primary race was over.

Crist endorsed West four days prior to the general election, and Greer showed his support by writing West a personal check of $500 several weeks before the general election. This was also the case during the 2010 election cycle as state legislators sat on their hands, much like they did with Senator Marco Rubio. The Rubio saga is well documented, as the backdoor dirty deals and threats weighed heavy on the Rubio for Senate campaign against Crist.

In 2010, Will Weatherford, who is the current State House Redistricting Chairman, also supported Crist over Rubio before Crist left the GOP and ran as an Independent.

You may ask yourself why would the Florida GOP legislature not protect one of the most respected and beloved congressman in Washington D.C.?  Could the reasons be as simple as sheer arrogance and self-political preservation by the Tallahassee elites?

Senate President Mike Haridopolos

Let’s consider the possibility that perhaps Senate President Mike Haridopolos has decided to preserve a possible run for Congress in his congressional district.  Haridopolos’ congressional representative is currently Republican Bill Posey.  Posey may decide not seek another run for Congress in 2014, opening the door for the popular and well-funded Senate President to instantly become the frontrunner for the potentially vacant seat were he decide to make a run for Posey’s seat.

According to the newly released maps, Posey’s seat stays fairly safe, as does Congressman Tom Rooney’s, whose district share boundaries with Allen West’s congressional district.  Recently, Palm Beach Republican Executive Committee  Chairman Sid Dinerstein caught significant flak after he stated that he would not want to see any changes made to West’s seat if the changes affected Congressman Rooney’s district.  Why not show impartiality, Chairman Dinerstein, and not side with either Rooney or West?

Just to repeat, this Haridopolos scenario is speculation on our part, but it’s not out of the reach of possibility.

Then there is also the possibility that the ‘powers that be’ in Florida favored a West U.S. Senate run, and when West decided not to run for Senate, he fell out of favor with them because his decision did not fit their political agenda. 

One final point- the redistricting maps that have been released are preliminary and are ‘not’ the final maps.  The legislature would do itself a favor by reconsidering all requests to review the maps while making a good faith effort to ensure that the final maps conform to all controlling legal authorities.




About author

Javier Manjarres

As the managing editor of The Shark Tank, Javier was awarded the 2011 CPAC Blogger of the Year. Countless videos and articles from the Shark Tank have been featured on Fox News, The Hill, Wall Street Journal, and other national news publications. Javier has also appeared on Univision’s “Al Punto” and numerous radio shows, including being the weekly 92.5 Fox News' DayBreak with Drew Steele political contributor

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  • Sandman

    The Florida legislature is infiltrated with closet liberals calling themselves Republicans. Time and again they prove this over and over. The redistricting to continue the ridiculous gerrymander in Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s district and now to all but ensure congressman West, an American hero and true conservative would likely not be reelected because his district now includes even more liberal bastions as if that were even possible, is further proof that the legislature is full of RINOs.

    • http://7w88 Rich

      Hey, folks!!

      Whatever happened to fairness? I always thought that “gerrymandering” is wrong and also technically illegal.
      What’s wrong with re-districting to nice square districts and letting the candidates ideas and record do the work for them?
      The size and shape of the district is not supposed to favor either party or ideology, isn’t it?
      If your conservative ideas and thoughts and dreams are so popular and deep rooted none of you should fear anything, now should you?
      Or, are you afraid that your conservative ideals won’t stand up?

      • Charles Martel

        Rich, I have come to believe that you are the resident progressive troll who has been assigned to monitor the Shark Tank and put forth either progressive spin or your liberal ideology. A few points-

        First, when Democrats drew the districts in the state of Florida for decades, no one cried or said boo about “fair” districts, and the Districts as they now exist aren’t really that different from the Districts that Democrats drew. It’s just a fact of politics that the Party in power gets to draw the districts- Dems were comfy with that arrangement when they were in power and the Party wasn’t going off the deep end with their dead end progressive politics.

        Second, there is no possible way in Florida to draw “nice square districts” that are proportionally representative in terms of population. Nor can you neatly draw proportionally representative districts that follow county lines, highways, waterways, or other landmarks. Congressional and Legislative Districts are always going to have an odd shape to them. In fact, academic researchers published a paper (which you should read) which concluded the following:

        “Earlier this month, researchers from Stanford University and the University of Michigan presented a yearlong study of where Florida voters live that ran thousands of complex simulations of elections in computer-drawn contiguous and compact districts.

        Their models found that even using maps drawn by nonpolitical algorithms, Republicans would still win 59 percent of all the districts.

        That’s basically because more Democratic voters live in concentrated clusters in urban cores, while Republican voters are spread out along the suburban and exurban landscape, they concluded.”

        So no, Rich, were are not afraid in the least that our conservative ideology- which when you boil it down is adherence to some key principles– rather than your ideology, which is a morass of grievance politics and onerous rules and regulations- won’t be able to win out amongst the common-sense majority in the state, but we’re not stupid either. See, we realize that when your cronies get power, they aren’t in the least concerned about “fairness” or competing on an even playing field. Furthermore, if many of your cherished liberal politicos in the state that presently represent gerrymandered districts had to compete in 50-50 districts across the state, they would all lose. So be careful what you wish for, Rich- your Party is hemorrhaging credibility and support by the day, and it’s increasingly becoming a refuge for power control freaks and the ignorant.

        • http://7w88 Rich

          I don’t think so.

          Troll, screw you buddy.
          I am socially liberal and fiscally conservative and marvel at how narrow minded you people are.
          Some of you are downright bigots and make yourselves seem extraordinarily foolish if not downright crazy.

          • Charles Martel

            As the saying goes- when you are losing the argument, scream “RAAAAACIST” as loud as you can- that’s the M.O. of a progressive. I’m more worried about people like you who support statists like Obama that are rapidly expanding power over every facet of our lives. And you expect us to lie down and just accept all this government overreach without question? Just who is the one that is “extraordinarily foolish”, my friend?

  • Mary

    So what can we do to help Rep West? Its about time we stand up and fight for whats right!

  • Mike

    I think Mr West could win no matter what the political demographics are for his district. He has struck a cord with all voters.

    Besides, if he is VP he won’t have to worry about the district lines :)

    • http://captelaine.blogspot.com Elaine Magliacane

      He doesn’t have to worry about them, he can run for any seat he wants in Florida… pick one Col. West… teach the idiots in Florida to READ the US Constitution.

  • http://www.PatriotComeLately.US Patriot Come Lately

    It is because of the lack of integrity on the RPOF at all levels that, after this month’s primary, I will change my voter affiliation from GOP to NPA. I also refuse to donate any money to the GOP at any level, only supporting candidates’ campaigns directly

  • Barrie C Fitz-Gerald, Ph.D.

    Unbelievable…”and in my backyard”! How did the Democrats get so much influence.

    This is outrageous!!!!

  • David

    It would be a real shame if this happens! Perhaps it is time to elevate his profile on the national level.

  • Ken

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, Haridopolis is a RINO pussy.

  • Alan

    When West is screwed – the liberal screwing of Floridians continue.
    Looking at the mess we are in – one must wonder about the brain capacity of the RINO’s we have elected, which says little for the brain capacity of those who elect them.

  • Bill_B

    IF the repub’s on BOTH the state and national level don’t get their act(s) together we are ALL doomed. Unless of course a third party can arise. Way too late for upcoming election, but mark my words, We The People ARE wide awake and paying full attention. If obama and his henchpeople taught us anything, it was those two things, wake up & pay attention !

  • ken

    Makes you wonder who’s running thing in Tallahassee. I’m currently in District 3 which stretches from Jacksonville to Orlando, a shining example of gerrymandering. In 2000, we were in District 8, but after the redistricting in 2000 we were shoved in to District 3, across the street is still District 8. I was hoping maybe this time we could get back with our neighbors. But it appears gerrymandering will continue. I’m surprised the Republicans are protecting the seat of a Democrat.

    I just wish we could have a Representative that reflects our community.

  • Perseids

    We have seen the enemy and they are us.

    This scenario is also playing out on the national stage with the old line Country Club gop squishy slugs knifing Conservatives in the back at every opportunity. The Ruling Class does not suffer upstarts and/or nonbelievers well.

    They no doubt feel somewhat energized by the ebb of the Tea Party’s visible presence post the 2010 election. They think we have gone back to being fat lazy and stupid, our intended state in their realm. They believe it is back to politics as usual in Florida.

    There is only one way to put the fear of God, and the angry voter, back into their evil sleazy souls. They must, once again, be taught who decides elections. If memory serves, there is one this year. They need reminding of just who needs who. Time to nut up.

    Alan West should not be allowed to serve as a sacrificial lamb for these worthless slugs.

  • http://8D8M Lou

    He may have to relocate to a favorable district, and there are many. Allen West could get elected in many areas of the USA. As everyone knows, South Florida is packed with liberals. Allen West knows the “battlefield” changes daily, and he has just begun.

    • http://captelaine.blogspot.com Elaine Magliacane

      PAGE 1 of your pocket Constitution… READ Clause 2: No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

      Please NOTE he is NOT required to live in the district… anybody in the STATE can run for ANY seat.

  • Tom Sullivan

    No gerrymandering, except for approved ethnic groups.

    West should run for US Senate.

  • Roz Golkdstein

    A travestry is underfoot…our fellow republicans need to be aware of the above and congrats on stating it so truthfully and perfectly.

  • Richard B

    Mike, I agree with you. I would love to see Mr West as VP on the Republican ticket. We need to divide the black vote. Obumma sure would be upset. We need more like him.

  • Sandi Trusso

    Cong. West needs to either relocate to a fair District, or run for US Senate, or President! Sandy Adams is another wonderful Congressperson whose District is mostly Democrat.

    • http://captelaine.blogspot.com Elaine Magliacane

      No need to move, as long as he lives in the state he can run for any seat he wants… READ the Constitution.

  • Oldtimer

    Congressman West said on radio 610 that he would answer the call if asked. The question was that Newt Gingrich has said he would ask Lt. Col. West to be his VP running mate. Cong. West did a 180 for Newt ingrich and changed from saying he was not ready to ready. If Newt would make an anouncement that he was considering Cong. West for VP and Cog West again said he would answer the call Newt could get FL. and possibly SC if done in time.

    • Jacqueline L

      Newt was not my candidate of choice BUT if he can get Alan West on his ticket I will volunteer to work for them!
      West would make a great leader, a great AMERICAN leader.

    • http://8D8M Lou

      Gingrich and West would be a great combination.

  • Kristina

    No more support will be going to the RPOF from this household until they support their fellow Republicans. The travesty is compounded because the targeted candidate is the one who exemplifies leadership and integrity best. Congressman West deserves better from his own party.

    • Sapphire

      I agree. Republicans, Rhinos, still want the power and don’t give a hoot about no one but themselves. They want the power to control the $ and their constituents.

  • Lowie

    Conservative Floridians need Congressman West. We must all help in his
    re-election campaign by sending our support checks. Elections are decided by the power of the ballot box and not behind the scenes dealing. Florida’s politicians must stop this same old game of deciding elections behind closed doors. Republicans must redraw the districts fairly that protect those who believe in the conservative platform.

  • Elizabeth Craine

    I have not contributed to the RPOF for quite some time. I find them too liberal. They support the more liberal candidates over conservatives. They will not get anymore of my money. I will be sending a contribution to Col West. He is a true conservative. If everyone on this site would send just $10.00, Col West would have the money to fight this travesty.

  • Jacqueline L

    If redistricting is going to be along such biased lines as to “screw” someone like Allen West we should return the favor and vote out every single member of this states legislature!
    I would work and vote for West for any office he campaigned for. A man of intelligence and integrity appears to be a threat to too many mediocre politicians.As for the B..ch Clown Wasserman Shultz I would not spill my drink on her if she were burning in front of me
    I am an Independent in every sense, my loyalties here lie with Congressman West and both parties can go “screw” themselves if this travesty is enacted!

  • PBERguy

    This is terrible, but are we really surprised given the failure of members of both parties to defend liberty and instead push big government to buy votes or careers or to feel good about themselves. This failure has finally brought us to the terrible 2012 endgame with progressive socialism that can effectively end the Republic of the Founders. Here is what we must consider: enemy infiltration. A dear and longtime friend has revealed to me that he considers himself to be a socialist (and claims to love the constitution…go figure…leftists are endlessly deluded). Politics never came up between us for many, many years. He voted for oblahblah in 2008 and will do so again in 2012. He is also a Republican committeeman. It seems painfully easy to infiltrate Republican ranks and claim to be a “moderate”…is anyone minding the store? Is this what comes with the Big Tent?

  • mike michaels(mikeymike143)

    mike and richard, i agree with both of you that allen west would make a great VP choice. and there is talk of west being considered as a possible VP choice by both newt and santorum. i know that there is an ongoing poll on the team santorum site(a page that is open only to actual campaign members and volunteers for rick) on who they would prefer as their VP if santorum wins. and so far allen is in 1st place.

  • JIM MC CORMACK

    I will stop contributions to the RPOF until this is resolved..

  • http://captelaine.blogspot.com Elaine Magliacane

    He should PICK a district… say Debbie Wasserman’s for example and run for that seat instead… Congressmen ARE NOT required to LIVE in their district… the Constitution only requires them to be a resident of the STATE… so pick a district Congressman West.. and SCREW the Democrats..

    • Dallas

      Amen Elaine. Hopefully Col. West will act on that and not let the RINO’s & Dems get him. What poetic justice if he were to win Blabbermouth-Shultz’s seat!

    • honyegetoverit

      Great idea, Elaine! =D

  • http://forummaximus.proboards.com/index.cgi? Splinter

    If they re-district Lt.Col.West out of a job, he should run for either Bill Posey’s (Mike Haridopolos) or Tom Rooney’s seat….

    • weneedjobs

      Awesome idea!

  • Sapphire

    People, dont you know by now that we need to establish term limits for the politicians, whether local, state and federal? Already in New York, the mayor Bloombomb, changed his limit. Money is power. America’s political crooks have become the rulers. Why? Because money has bought the power. At least America is blessed that a U.S. president can only serve 2 terms (8yrs.), which a lot of harm can be done, if the current president gets re-elected again, and win. The Washington croanies, crooks, elites, are working in changing the term limits of a U.S. president behind closed doors along with the politicians in this country. They promie one thing, and once they get elected, they become elites, because they are given the power of trading stocks,bonds, whatever, while they are in power. Haven’t you noticed that most of the elected officials become super rich after they decide to resign from their political career or retire? It’s a fact that most of them are Demoracts, and Republicans too. Has anyone heard about the book “Throw Them All Out”? by Peter Schweizer? A law needs to be created about stopping politicians from doing inside trading. Didn’t Martha Stewart go to jail for inside trading? Why are these D.C. crooks getting away with it? Probably Debbie Whats her name has profited from inside trading, and she can buy other influences. She has been in power for over 6 years.

  • honyegetoverit

    Time for Col. West to run for V.P.!! NEWT/WEST 2012! =D

  • Valerie Sawyer

    This is exactly why we campaigned long and hard AGAINST the redistricting amendments back in November! If you looked at the amendments, the people and groups backing them were all hard leftists. THAT in itself should have told people something. I had many conservative friends who voted FOR the amendments because they thought it was going to get rid of Corrine Brown, when instead it is designed to do just the opposite – it will keep Corrine and create several other districts just like hers. THIS is a perfect example of why people need to do some stinking research BEFORE they vote!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • weneedjobs

      You are right on the money here Valerie!

  • Valerie Sawyer

    It would be such poetic justice if Congressman West ended up being Vice President West at the end of this year!

  • OklaWildcat

    Allen West is a hero & a star of the future. Write your state representatives & tell them to back off inside deals that would screw West

  • Soljerblue

    The political whores in the FL legislature are perfectly capable of throwing a true grassroots conservative to the wolves in order to preserve their power and perks. The people be damned.

  • harry houdini

    The RPOF is morally corrupt. They consider their actions to be totally justified for the preservation and success of the Party as they know it or want it. Candidates don’t matter. Money, power and influence are the only things that count. It really is that SIMPLE. Its a totally top down system. At the top of the heap are the money givers who select the Chairman who does their bidding. The local Republican county parties don’t stand a chance at influencing the party actions or deeds, they are too busy worrying about defeating Democrats. The cigars may be gone, the prostitutes may have fled, but the backroom “power brokers” are still there……………………..and as influential as ever.

    And I continue to say, “Give me a FUC – IN BREAK already.

  • Paul In Orlando

    You all can say or complain about it all day long. It will not make any difference. I’ve accepted the fact that corruption and government works hand in hand and is more powerfull then our voices (regardless of who is in office). Until such a time that we reduce the size of government and return the power back to our state and communities, this nation is doomed.

    If you don’t believe me, look back in the history of mankind. There has been more deaths and destruction due to government and religion than any other cause. Yep, here we are again! The entire world is at the edge of total destruction, not to mention financial collapse, and all we do is give government more power over us. What a truly foolish nation; we deserve what we get if we don’t wake up.

  • http://www.andjustice4all.rg Marian

    If they’re going to redistrict Florida, Allen West has nothing to lose and everything to gain by running for president , Now !

    Florida would be better off and the entire country would extremely grateful , If he jump in the race and save the whole country…

  • Carlos

    Don’t believe we have a FL legislature full of RINOs? Just look at how deficits have skyrocketed since Jeb Bush and all the GOP Gov.s
    and legislatures. FL is a solid red state on paper but, in practice, they’re spineless. The current spkr. is a lightweight frat boy and
    Sen. Mikey, what can I say. We do have term limits in FL but it does little good if we just go through RINO after RINO and it perpetuates.
    That’s why they plotted to remove West. But let us not forget, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory and bending over is the tragic flaw of the GOP at all levels. That’s why I doubt I’m the only one who sends them no $ and tells them to f*** off every time they send one of those BS surveys, trying to push our conservative buttons and pretend they’ll act like real men.

  • Douglas Anderson

    The conservative movement has failed.Name one thing they are good at.Allen West is scum.Uncle toms father.The tea party has gotten smaller.Where are the rethug jobs bill.In 2010 all they said was where are the jobs.Well we are still waiting.When Obama put out a jobs bill the rethugs voted it down.We will remember this in Nov.The people don’t like what the rethug are saying.We need to tell fox news to stop race baiting.

  • alex ravetti

    i am just now trying to found out what in hell you talking about as a floridian i am sick and tired of all the fricking ohone call i WILL VOTE AGAINST OBAMA but…..WARNING YOU FU%K UP Alen WEST AND YOU CAN ALL GO TO HELL IS IT CLEAR>? A NAC ALEX

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  • http://e28f Patrick Castronovo.

    Typical RPOF ESTABLISHMENT! Allen was too LOUD & Conservative for them! As always… They want you to listen to what they say. Go Allen!!!

  • http://takemycountryback.com Tmcbpatriot

    “The Democrat National Committee (DNC)”

    There is no such entity. It is called “The Democratic National Committee (DNC)” dumbass.