St. Petersburg Times Online: News of Florida
TampaBay.com
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather
  • Budget threatens inspections
  • Farkas' plan: Davis gets I-4 district
  • Once again, Bush's pick is put on hold
  • Florida is rejected as lead Enron plaintiff
  • Fewer shark attacks counted
  • Bush peppered on school spending
  • Bush says many suffer because of drug abuse

  • From the state wire

  • Hurricane Jeanne appears on track to hit Florida's east coast
  • Rumor mill working overtime after Florida hurricanes
  • Developments associated with Hurricanes Ivan and Jeanne
  • Four killed in Panhandle plane crash were on Ivan charity mission
  • Hurricane Frances caused estimated $4.4 billion in insured damage
  • Disabled want more handicapped-accessible voting machines
  • USF forces administrators to resign over test score changes
  • Man's death at Universal Studios ruled accidental
  • State child welfare workers in Miami fail to do background checks
  • Hurricane Jeanne heads toward southeast U.S. coast
  • Hurricane Jeanne spurs more anxiety for storm-weary Floridians
  • Mistrial declared in case where teen was target of racial "joke"
  • Panhandle utility wants sewer plant moved to higher ground
  • State employee arrested on theft, bribery charges
  • Homestead house fire kills four children, one adult
  • Pierson leader tries to cut off relief to local fern cutters
  • Florida's high court rules Terri's law unconstitutional
  • Jacksonville students punished for putting stripper pole in dorm
  • FEMA handling nearly 600,000 applications for help
  • Man who killed wife, niece, self also killed mother in 1971
  • Producer sues city over lead ball fired by Miami police
  • Tourism suffers across Florida after pummeling by hurricanes
  • Key dates in the life of Terri Schiavo
  • An excerpt from the unanimous ruling in the Schiavo case
  • Four confirmed dead after small plane crash in Panhandle
  • Correction: Disney-Cruise Line story
  • tampabay.com

    printer version

    Farkas' plan: Davis gets I-4 district

    One of three redistricting plans keeps Rep. C.W. Bill Young's district at the expense of Rep. Jim Davis of Tampa.

    By LUCY MORGAN, Times Tallahassee Bureau Chief

    © St. Petersburg Times
    published February 19, 2002


    TALLAHASSEE -- U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young would keep St. Petersburg under one of three congressional redistricting plans adopted Monday by a House committee.

    But helping St. Petersburg would hurt Rep. Jim Davis, D-Tampa, whose district would be carved up and sent east along Intestate 4 all the way to Orlando.

    The changes, proposed by Rep. Frank Farkas, R-St. Petersburg, keeps Young's district entirely in south and central Pinellas County but divides Hillsborough County among four congressional districts.

    It's hard to say what ultimately will come out of the Legislature when redistricting is completed because the House Redistricting Council sent three different plans to the House floor for a vote, which could take place within two weeks.

    Under the Farkas amendment, Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Bilirakis' district would take in Hillsborough County's Town 'N Country neighborhood and the western edge of South Tampa.

    The district now represented by U.S. Rep. Karen Thurman, D-Dunnellon, would start in northern Citrus County and drop down across Hernando and Pasco Counties and into east Hillsborough County.

    A new congressional district would take up east Citrus, Pasco, and Hernando counties and stretch to suburban Orlando, where House Speaker Tom Feeney lives. Feeney is raising money to run for Congress and hopes the Legislature will draw him a suitable district.

    Another House plan would extend Young's district across Tampa Bay into South Tampa, extend Davis' district along the Interstate 4 corridor and have the district currently represented by U.S. Rep. Dan Miller run up into South St. Petersburg from Manatee and Sarasota Counties.

    The third plan would extend Young's district to Manatee County, leave Davis in central and South Tampa and extend Bilirakis' district into South Tampa.

    All of the House plans would make it easier for Feeney to run but the Senate's plan doesn't. Instead, it creates a new Central Florida district likely to help Sen. Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Brooksville.

    That creates another point of contention between the House and Senate, which already are battling over Senate President John McKay's controversial plan to overhaul the sales tax.

    The Senate has adopted a single Congressional redistricting plan.

    The House decision to send three congressional plans to the floor is unusual and leaves the ultimate boundaries very much up in the air.

    It's not a trick designed to keep anyone from seeing the real plan, insisted Council Chairman Johnnie Byrd and Congressional Committee Chairman Mario Diaz-Balart.

    "There are really good aspects to all three plans," Diaz-Balart said after the meeting. "It means the best parts of three plans will win approval."

    Sending three plans to the floor means "a lot of great ideas" will get to the members, Byrd said.

    Byrd, a Plant City resident, said he isn't sure how Hillsborough County would react to being part of four congressional districts.

    "At first blush people think they just want one, but think about it," Byrd told reporters after the meeting. "I'd rather have three members of Congress than one."

    His Republican-dominated committee repeatedly rejected Democratic amendments and even rejected one plan submitted by Republican Dudley Goodlette, R-Naples.

    Goodlette, co-chairman of the council, was trying to create a district that would keep the Naples and Fort Myers area together but other committee members said it would damage efforts to create minority districts in other parts of the state.

    The committee also approved House and Senate redistricting plans over the objections of Democrats who say the plans would force at least 17 incumbents to run against each other and seriously fragment several South Florida counties, including Broward.

    Rep. Doug Wiles, D-St. Augustine, said the plan unnecessarily packs Democrats and minorities into some districts and increases the likelihood that Republicans will win.

    House Majority Leader Lois Frankel accused GOP lawmakers of drawing lines that benefit Republicans at the expense of the public. "It appears the main motivating factor for House Republicans redrawing lines has been self-interest," Frankel said.

    Byrd said he is optimistic the Legislature will finish redistricting by March 22, when the session is scheduled to end. But the entire matter could wind up in court.

    Back to State news
    Back to Top

    © 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
    490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
     
    Special Links
    Lucy Morgan


    From the Times state desk