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Break out the popcorn for the sideshow aka a great political fight going on among Democrats in Jacksonville.

It is over nothing, which makes it even better.

Turns out that Council Member Rory Diamond was having a dialogue with a Democrat – something Democrats always say they are hankering for but really aren’t.

As William Buckley famously said, “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”

Anyway, Diamond, a Republican, met with Daniel Henry, chairman of the Duval County Democratic Party.

Eye on Jacksonville sources say they were going to visit a local charter school to see how school choice is working.

For some unknown reason, they took along Council Member Garrett Dennis, a staunch Democrat.

Dennis the Democrat later accused Henry the Democrat of meeting with Diamond the Republican to fashion a “backroom deal” to rig the council redistricting plan now being formulated.

Dennis wants Henry fired.

Henry went along with the story line, saying he was “blindsided.”

Council President Tommy Hazouri — a Democrat who has colluded with a Republican mayor — chimed in, also saying Henry should go, and accusing Republican Diamond of “violating the public trust,” suggesting that the Republican Party admonish Diamond.

For his part, Diamond took a pass. Or, “rose above the fray,” some might say.

“I deny all this silliness,” he said. “I refuse to comment on the Democratic Party squabbles.”

If he did try to play a game of Let’s Make A Deal, Diamond would have to be pretty ignorant of the redistricting process.

Such a deal could never work. Each council member has a vote and none is going to allow the district he represents to be manipulated by another.

The district lines are subject to the census numbers and are drawn by computers that attempt to make each district approximately equal in population. Council members have input throughout the process so there is little opportunity for subterfuge.

It was all great political theater, but there’s a funny twist on the party battle. The city’s Web site lists all council members and gives their district number, email and phone numbers and other pertinent information, along with a short bio.

Nowhere does it tell you what political party the member belongs to, as if it didn’t matter.

Obviously, it does.

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Lloyd was born in Jacksonville. Graduated from the University of North Florida. He spent nearly 50 years of his life in the newspaper business …beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor for Florida Times Union. He has also been published in a number of national newspapers and magazines, as well as Internet sites. Married with children. Military Vet. Retired. Man of few words but the words are researched well, deeply considered and thoughtfully written.

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