¶ Swell maps: Last week, the results of the most 2020 U.S. Census were revealed, and Florida learned it would gain a Congressional seat. Thus beginneth the season of redistricting, in which the Legislature redraws the district maps to apportion even numbers of citizens according to population. Based on the protracted legal battles that followed the 2010 reapportionment, which did things like split Winter Park between four different congressional districts and delineate districts that looked more like spaghetti than cities, we have low expectations of how fair the redrawn maps will be this time around.
Dear Editor: In 2012, the Florida redistricting process was anything but transparent. Politicians in Tallahassee collaborated with partisan political operatives to introduce district maps that overtly favored Republicans while publicly claiming they were including input from Floridians. Years later, those unconstitutional maps were overturned in court, but not before damaging our political system and the reputation of the elected officials that held a sham public process.
Florida now has benchmark congressional and State Senate maps, recently drawn and approved by the Florida Supreme Court that voters know are fair. Rather than starting these maps from scratch, the Legislature should use these fair maps to guide its drawing process.
We also need to make sure the redistricting process and resulting congressional, State Senate, and State House maps live up to the promise of the Fair Districts Amendments that were overwhelmingly passed by 63 percent of voters.
With the announcement that Florida is gaining one congressional seat, along with the incoming census data in the fall, now is the time to begin a transparent map-drawing process. Map drawing must be open and accessible to the public and provide citizens ample time to provide input. If the Florida Legislature can commit to this, Floridians will be able to have their trust restored in the process again. — Richard Waldor, Hunters Creek
¶ Stranglehold: Last week, Motor City loudmouth Ted Nugent, after denying the pandemic was real, admitted that he was fighting a bad case of COVID-19. Even more karmically, he caught the dose while playing at a Naples grocery store whose owner gained attention after stating on Facebook Live, "No one's getting infected here, no one's dying. ... It's a fraud, it's a sham, and people have got to wake up." Apparently Nugent agreed until the day he tested positive, saying: "I have had flu symptoms for the last 10 days. I thought I was dying." Our readers wished him a speedy recovery, both from his respiratory ailment and his general ass-headedness.
@Mike Hunter This is a great story. However, it is quite sad that all these COVID deniers will only admit it's real once they get the virus. If they all just listened in the first place, we wouldn't still be in this situation.
@Jeff Nolan Maybe his convalescence will allow him to reflect on the fact that he hasn't made an album anyone gives a shit about in 41 years.
@Craig Mazer If only COVID always targeted those most deserving of suffering the consequences.
@Ken Wolf The virus does not care if you believe in it.
@Mike Guthrie Thoughts and prayers for the virus as nobody should have to be subjected to being inside Ted Nugent.