Florida state Rep. Randy Fine (R) called the Democrats’ boisterous protest of the redistricting legislation that, among other things, saw Disney stripped of its special self-governing status, “far worse than what happened in Washington on January 6.”
Fine, who carried HB 3C, the bill that did away with Walt Disney World’s tax privileges and autonomous governing rights, told WPLG, “What happened on the floor of the Florida House was far worse than what happened in Washington on January 6. Constitutional officers that took an oath to protect the Constitution attempted to prohibit the Florida legislature from getting its business done, from actually creating the ability for Florida to send Congresspeople to Washington D.C., to the point where we had to pass this Disney bill without a single member getting the opportunity to debate.”
As BizPac Review reported, House Democrats, led by black caucus members, protested new redistricting maps that would create four Republican-leaning districts by shutting down the House floor, singing, shouting, and staging a sit-in.
Florida House Democrats are singing on the House floor to protest the vote on new congressional maps that create four GOP leaning districts
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) April 21, 2022
Online, the disruptive caucus was praised as “incredible” for grinding the process to a halt.
Thank you to these incredible Democrats that just stood in protest on the Florida House floor. pic.twitter.com/gWpeRRHbzO
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) April 21, 2022
In response, Republicans reportedly cut the Wi-Fi to the legislature and kicked out the press.
So I’m sitting on the floor of the Florida House (not actually on the floor) and apparently in response to my colleagues’ protest of the Congressional maps the Wifi has been disabled and the gallery has been cleared.
— Michael Grieco (@Mike_Grieco) April 21, 2022
As the legislation went to a vote, angry howls and screams were heard, in what has been described by many as a “temper tantrum.”
Listen to the Democrat’s temper tantrum. Just incredible. Go Florida Republicans! https://t.co/W0RFZ0bJ7A
— Tim Swain (@SwainForSenate) April 21, 2022
“Twenty-one million Floridians were disenfranchised because of sedition on the part of these Democrats,” Fine stated. “They absolutely broke the law. It’s a second-degree felony, what happened, and I do hope there’s accountability for it.”
Despite the disruptions, the legislation passed, and now Dems are attempting to paint the redistricting as a racial issue and Fine as delusional.
In an opinion piece written Sunday for Mediaite, Never-Trumper Sarah Rumpf called Fine’s assertions “a giant pile of steaming hot bullsh*t,” and decried Fine’s claim that they “had to pass” the Disney bill without debate.
“They most certainly did not ‘have to pass’ that Disney bill — there was absolutely no pressing need except our governor’s desire for vengeful fodder for his 2024 presidential campaign, ha, I mean gubernatorial re-election campaign,” Rumpf wrote. “If Fine actually cared about debate he could have set the bill aside for next year’s regular session and then he would have had the time to pick up a phone and learn something about the multimillion dollar infrastructure system he’s willing to Thanos snap out of existence.”
Naturally, Rumpf makes no reference to Fine’s reasoning behind the legislation.
“Look, Disney has four theme parks and had the right to not follow our safety codes, our road-building codes, our environmental codes, our zoning codes,” Fine said. “Universal Orlando that’s building its third theme park, they don’t get these special privileges. Sea World doesn’t get them. Busch Gardens doesn’t get them. Legoland doesn’t get them.”
“If you want to talk about free markets,” Fine continued, “I think you should probably treat everyone the same.”
Rather than address Fine’s points, Rumpf preferred to pull the race card, claiming Democrats “objected to DeSantis’ map because it dismantled a district currently held by a Black Democrat (coincidentally, my former district when I lived in Tallahassee). The legislature’s original map favored Republicans, but DeSantis’ map was even more Republican-heavy, and chopped up Rep. Al Lawson’s (D-FL) district into pieces, diluting the Democratic vote in that North Florida area.”
Rumpf then attempted to paint the protestors as peaceful, quiet, righteous protectors of liberty, rather than the loud, rude, disruptive group the videos of the event show that they were.
Showing a photo of Florida state Democrat Reps. Travaris McCurdy, Angie Nixon, and Felicia Robinson sitting quietly on the floor, rather than shouting at the top of their lungs, Rumpf wrote: “[McCurdy] is not attacking a police officer with his own tazer. Nixon is wearing a blazer and a t-shirt with a slogan objecting to the reduction of Black districts; her t-shirt does not say Camp Auschwitz. Robinson is … not marching around with a spear and leaving threatening notes for the Vice President of the United States.”
It’s a disingenuous comparison that leaves out from both the House protests and the events of Jan. 6 what everyone saw with their own eyes.
Reps. Travaris McCurdy, Angie Nixon and Felicia Robinson on floor of House chamber protesting redisitricting bill pic.twitter.com/qk8FwRTbQj
— Jeffrey Schweers🐊🐈 (@jeffschweers) April 21, 2022
And, predictably, the attacks on Fine just keep coming in a state entangled in a culture war that has captured the nation.
Good Morning to everyone except @VoteRandyFine. While @repmccurdy and I were fighting to protect democracy he was following the orders of FL’s racist, authoritarian governor to help slash Black congressional representation by 50%, as well as take $ from kids w/disabilities.
— Rep. Angie Nixon (@AngieNixon) April 25, 2022
You can watch the entire interview with Rep. Randy Fine here.
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