A liberal group involved in a lawsuit to make Florida’s congressional districts less partisan engaged in its own partisan efforts by drawing Democratic-heavy Hispanic seats or trying to "scoop" Jewish voters into a district for U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic National Committee chair, emails show.
The emails between the leaders and consultants of what’s known as the Fair Districts Coalition became a central piece of evidence Wednesday in the Republican-led Legislature’s legal defense of the congressional districts it drew in 2012.
Some coalition members sued the Legislature to have the congressional maps cancelled, saying they violate a new state constitutional amendment forbidding lawmakers from drawing districts that favor or disfavor political parties or incumbents.
To show how unfair the Legislature’s maps were, the plaintiffs submitted their own plan as an alternative.
But Republicans note that the emails involving Fair Districts leader Ellen Freidin and the consultants show that the plaintiffs’ proposals were drawn to strengthen Democrats, in general, and Wasserman Schultz in particular.
“I just got off the phone with Ellen,” consultant Brad Wieneke wrote in a Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2011, email to members of the team in discussing Wasserman Schultz’s district.
“They want to scoop as many Jews out of Tamarac and Sunrise as they can,” Wienke said.