FLORIDA POLITICS
Since 2002, daily Florida political news and commentary

 

UPDATE: Every morning we review and individually digest Florida political news articles, editorials and punditry. Our sister site, FLA Politics was selected by Campaigns & Elections as one of only ten state blogs in the nation
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Welcome To Florida Politics

Thanks for visiting. On a daily basis we scan Florida's major daily newspapers for significant Florida political news and punditry. We also review the editorial pages and political columnists/pundits for Florida political commentary. The papers we review include: the Miami Herald, Sun-Sentinel, Palm Beach Post, Naples News, Sarasota Herald Tribune, St Pete Times, Tampa Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Tallahassee Democrat, and, occasionally, the Florida Times Union; we also review the political news blogs associated with these newspapers.

For each story, column, article or editorial we deem significant, we post at least the headline and link to the piece; the linked headline always appears in quotes. We quote the headline for two reasons: first, to allow researchers looking for the cited piece to find it (if the link has expired) by searching for the original title/headline via a commercial research service. Second, quotation of the original headline permits readers to appreciate the spin from the original piece, as opposed to our spin.

Not that we don't provide spin; we do, and plenty of it. Our perspective appears in post headlines, the subtitles within the post (in bold), and the excerpts from the linked stories we select to quote; we also occasionally provide other links and commentary about certain stories. While our bias should be immediately apparent to any reader, we nevertheless attempt to link to every article, column or editorial about Florida politics in every major online Florida newspaper.

 

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The Blog for Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Expert: "virtually impossible" to have drawn districts without intentional political bias

    Scott Maxwell writes that the ongoing Tallahassee trial over Florida's political districts exposes Florida legislators as "a bunch of low-down, scheming, email-deleting, secret-meeting-holding, money-wasting, constitution-violating, voter's-will-ignoring, snake-in-the-grass phonies."
    Instead of sensible districts that follow geographic boundaries and keep communities intact, legislators drew snake-like districts that slither through as many as eight counties.

    But now we have gobs of witnesses, evidence and testimony to prove it.

    "Among the courtroom revelations:"
    •Former Speaker Dean Cannon's office deleted emails related to redistricting.

    •Lawmakers routinely staged secret meetings — while proclaiming the process "transparent."

    •Lawmakers' offices shared internal data and drafted maps with political consultants before finalizing them.

    •Some of the districts — which legislators had claimed were drawn and submitted by an average citizen — appear to have actually been created by a GOP operative and submitted under a phony name.

    •One political scientist testified that it would have been "virtually impossible" for legislators to have drawn the warped districts they did without intentional political bias.

    •Another expert — one who has studied gerrymandered districts all over America — called Florida's districts the most biased he had ever seen.

    "It went on and on. And keep in mind: Some of the most damning evidence came from people who worked for and with the legislators."
    Afterward, House Speaker Will Weatherford still tried to claim the redistricting process was "extremely open and transparent." His pants immediately burst into flames.
    "Florida redistricting trial reveals secrets and schemes." See also "Fla. redistricting trial coming to an end" (closing statements on Wednesday).


    Brown attends redistricting trial

    "With her district essentially on trial in a Tallahassee courtroom, Democratic U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown ripped into a lawsuit brought by a coalition of voting-rights groups challenging the state's congressional districts."

    Brown, whose sprawling district has emerged as the central focus of arguments against the map drawn by the Legislature in 2012, appeared in a Leon County courtroom as the trial in the lawsuit continued for a 10th day.

    "If they called your names as many times as they've called mine, you would show up," Brown told a reporter who asked why she had decided to attend Monday's court session.

    "Rep. Corrine Brown attends trial, blasts redistricting lawsuit". See also "U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown blasts challenge to her…" and "".


    Bondi responds

    "Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi responds to editorial on same-sex marriage." See also "Pam Bondi Defends Traditional Marriage Law, Opponents Plan to Ignore It."


    Miami-Dade Democrats singing out of different hymn book

    Jeff Henderson writes: "Annette Taddeo-Goldstein, the chairwoman of the Miami-Dade Democrats, is singing out of a different hymn book than most of her party’s leaders across Florida."

    Right now, there’s only one major Democratic challenger running against a sitting Florida senator. Few Republicans in the Florida House are facing credible Democrats.

    But Taddeo-Goldstein is trying to put up a fight in South Florida. On Tuesday, she announced every Miami-Dade Republican in the Florida House would face competition this year. Seven Democrats filed to run for seats currently held by Republicans on Tuesday -- with some of them offering somewhat credible threats to sitting House members.

    Here's an overview of the contested races: "Miami Dems Want to Take the Fight to GOP House Members."


    Conservative coalition booted from gay marriage case

    "Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel ruled that a conservative coalition can’t become co-defendant in the county’s gay marriage case. . . . Florida Democratic League, Florida Family Action and People United to Lead the Struggle for Equality (PULSE) asked [Judge] Zabel to let them join the case. Tuesday, she said no." "Judge: Conservative coalition can’t legally defend gay marriage law".


    "FSU Committee Pauses Again"

    "FSU search opens, Thrasher no longer exclusive." See also "FSU Committee Pauses Again, This Time on John Thrasher Interview."


    Scott appointee to plead guilty to sunshine violations

    Rick Scott appointee to the Orlando expressway authority board, "Marco Peña will plead guilty Wednesday to breaking state open-records laws as a grand jury considers more charges in its probe of the agency, State Attorney Jeff Ashton said Tuesday." "Former Orlando Expressway Authority board member Marco Peña to plead guilty to violating open-records laws."


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