September 2, 2008
AIF is pleased to report to our members that a Federal Judge has ruled against supporters of Hometown Democracy (HTD), who filed suit in federal court in Miami a few months ago, in which they sought to have their amendment placed on the 2008 November ballot by judicial fiat. Their suit was based on a number of federal constitutional grounds and a successful result would have essentially allowed them (and future initiatives) to ignore aspects of Florida's signature-validation process, as well as our February 1 filing deadline. After hearing, but without ruling, the court transferred the case to Florida's Northern District since that is where the defendants (Secretary of State Browning, etc.) are located. Late last week, Judge Mickle of the Northern District Court dismissed the HTD suit for failure to state a cause of action (i.e. "You can't get there from here") and thus removed any possible threat of HTD appearing on this year's ballot.
AIF President and CEO Barney Bishop reacted to the ruling by stating that: “This is the fourth time that the proponents of HTD have attempted to foist this reactionary and unwarranted idea on Florida. This concept is flawed and all of their desperate attempts to get this on the ballot have consistently failed. This is because they do not understand the process. It's not so much the overall number of signatures, as it is the minimum number of Congressional districts. This critical distinction seems to escape them. For a group that claims that growth management managers fail to follow the law, the proponents are guilty of the same charge.”