How many more times will The Shark Tank’s Javier Manjarres screw up a story before people stop reading his blog?
That’s the question I have after following the aftermath caused by Manjarres’ post ‘Weatherford Confirms Redistricting Will Leave Allen West’s Congressional Seat Vulnerable.’ I’ll spare you the back-and-forth, after all it involves Manjarres and West, but I can tell you that, somehow, the conservative bloggers, including those at Legal Insurrection, PJ Tatler, The Right Scoop and Urban Grounds all have it in their head that Allen West is being screwed over by Mitt Romney via House Redistricting Chair Will Weatherford.
As Sarah Rumpf writes, “the issue is that Manjarres identifies Weatherford as “one of Governor Mitt Romney’s spokesmen” and then discusses the impact of this year’s redistricting on Congressman Allen West’s district, suggesting that “the fix was in,” stating that some anonymous legislator told him that “Allen West is screwed” about five months before the proposed redistricting maps were made public.”
Before I continue, you should continue reading Rumpf’s take on this whole matter. She’s coming at this issue as a conservative disappointed to see Republican-on-Republican crime.
I take a different route than Rumpf but arrive at the same destination: the notion of suggesting there is some sort of conspiracy to screw Allen West in redistricting — and somehow this is all connected to Mitt Romney — is ridiculous.
Again, as Rumpf points out, Weatherford is not a spokesman or surrogate for Mitt Romney. The Speaker-designate has endorsed Romney, but remember, Weatherford was an early endorser of Tim Pawlenty. Meaning Will Weatherford is hardly a full-throated Romney supporter.
But all of that is besides the point. The real issue here is that Republicans can’t have it both ways on whether the redistricting process is free of partisanship and conspiracy.
The reality is Saint Will Weatherford has completed the herculean task of drawing congressional and legislative maps which passed with Democrats in the Legislature supporting them.
The legislative maps pit as many as 38 incumbent members against each other. Does that scenario appear as if there was some grand conspiracy at work?
“A lot of people predicted there would be a January surprise within this House,’’ Weatherford said, referring to the presumption that many legislators wouldn’t stand to have so many incumbents pitted against each other.
The surprise is that Will Weatherford did exactly what he promised: to conduct a fair, non-partisan redistricting process that respected Amendments 5 & 6 and citizen input.
As for the congressional maps, specifically West’s, Rumpf sums it all up neatly: Due to population gains, Florida has two new Congressional seats. So that means that all of the seats are geographically smaller. Plus, the area of southeast Florida in which West’s district is stacked with Democrats. It is completely impossible to draw a compact district down there without including a lot of Democrats, especially with the smaller area that the newer districts encompass. Add in the majority Hispanic district that must be drawn in that district, and there unfortunately just are not a lot of places for West’s district to pick up Republicans.
Reading all of these ridiculous conspiracy theories about West, I must paraphrase the Congressman himself. Just as he told President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid on Saturday that ‘Florida ain’t on the table and to get the hell out of America’, to those conservative voices who wish to muck around in Florida’s redistricting process, besmirching the reputation of Will Weatherford along the way, I say, “Florida ain’t on the table.”