Sen. Don Gaetz session has gone from mediocre to bad now that the Florida Supreme Court sharply rebuked the state Senate for the way it drew its maps. The man in charge of drawing those maps: Gaetz.
"We conclude that the Senate plan is rife with objective indicators of improper intent which, when considered in isolation do not amount to improper intent, but when viewed cumulatively demonstrate a clear pattern," Justice Barbara Pariente wrote in an opinion, concurred by four other justices, that upheld the House maps. The two rock-ribbed conservatives, dissented in part. (More here on the ruling)
Justice E.C. Perry piled on. He didn't mention Gaetz by name. But he had little good to say about the Republican's handywork: "By refusing any attempt to draw more compact districts while maintaining the required racial proportions, there is at least the appearance that the Senate thumbed its nose at the will of the people."
Gaetz was already having a tough session after he made the ill-advised decision to get involved in an attempted coup against Sen. Andy Gardiner, who was battling Sen. Jack Latvala to succeed him. Gaetz acknowledged his error.
"I think the mistake I made was that I asked to be in the meeting where these guys discussed relative strengths and weaknesses," Gaetz said. "And the reason I did was because all of these individuals are members of the team that we’ve put together. They’ve all been out working shoulder to shoulder, helping to recruit good candidates, find good candidates, work on policy options. And if I made a mistake at all it was asking to be in the room when the discussions were held.”