A reader’s reaction to Frank Terraferma’s testimony at redistricting trial

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As the trial to determine whether state legislators broke the law when drawing up new political maps enters its second week, a loyal reader who is following the proceedings emailed this morning with their assessment of GOP consultant Frank Terraferma’s performance on the stand.

“If this guy is one of the ‘brightest political minds in Florida,’ I’m a bathing suit model,” quips the reader.

Last week, this blog named Terraferma to its list of the smartest people working in state campaigns.

“Having worked next to Frank for most of my professional life, I don’t think there is anyone more universally respected/feared for his technical, statistical and demographic knowledge,” said Brecht Heuchan, founder of Contribution Link. “He is a human database. Much of the Republican dominance in House campaigns can be directly attributable to Frank.” 

Terraferma’s testimony during the redistricting trial, however, “is straining his credibility,” writes political reporter Aaron Deslatte of the Orlando Sentinel.

A coalition of groups contends state legislators ignored a 2010 constitutional amendment that required them to draw up congressional districts that do not protect incumbents or members of a certain party.

Attorneys for the Legislature have denied any wrongdoing. If the court finds the current districts unconstitutional, it could force legislators to redraw them.

Florida’s legislative leaders already have testified that they did not do anything wrong.

But the trial also has included testimony that showed a top House aide shared maps with a GOP consultant before the maps were made public.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this post.

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.