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Dean Cannon deserves some credit, too, for House’s redistricting success

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

There’s little doubt that if there is any “winner” emerging from our long state nightmare, the case of the redistricting that just wouldn’t end, it is the Florida House.

After all, as the Florida Supreme Court said back in 2012 — and as the memo announcing a third special session forcefully reaffirmed — the maps the House drew contained the only boundaries that got out of the dysfunctional 2011 process intact.

House Speaker Will Weatherford even got the coveted plaudit of “shining white knight” from Marc Caputo the other day for his role in the map-making process.

But Chairman Weatherford didn’t sit down at a drafting table and draw up those puppies himself.

How about a little love for Speaker Dean Cannon?

After all, he appointed Weatherford to the redistricting committee and, more importantly, set the tone for the House process.

Yes, Cannon opposed Amendments 5 and 6 on the basis that the courts shouldn’t dicker around with the districts as amateur cartographers. But so did a lot of people. And they had a point.

Now, Cannon is a big boy. Since leaving office he started the successful Adams Street firm Capitol Insights, where he represents huge municipal and industry clients with some of the best influencers in the business. He doesn’t need praise from the press corps or bloggers.

But let’s keep things in perspective. Just as there’s plenty of blame to go around for the fiasco that has seen three of the four maps produced by the Legislature rejected since 2011, when Cannon was in charge, there’s plenty of credit deserved by the House leadership who bit the bullet politically in order to draw compliant maps.

Here’s to you, Speaker Cannon. Shine on.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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