Friday, July 10, 2015

Our digest of, and commentary on today's Florida political news and punditry follows.

Florida Supreme Court's "political bombshell"

"The court’s 5-2 decision landed as a political bombshell 16 months before an election in the country’s largest swing state. Two of the districts directly affected already have nationally watched competitive races. Yet it’s too early to know exactly how everything will play out, especially considering how the state Democratic Party has struggled to seize past opportunities."

Much will depend on the Republican-controlled Florida House and Senate, which are responsible for creating the new boundaries. The court wants eight of the state’s 27 congressional districts redrawn in 100 days, though more districts will almost certainly be affected.

"Defying Democratic Party leaders, Orlando's U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson on Thursday vowed to run a U.S. Senate campaign based on his liberal ideas and brash rhetoric that will be managed, funded and supported by people who embrace them." "Florida Supreme Court Orders Redrawing of Congressional Districts." More "Florida Supreme Court strikes down congressional district map."

What gives Democrats hope is that the eight targeted districts are in the state’s most populated — read: most liberal — areas: Three are based in Miami-Dade County and two in Broward and Palm Beach; two lie in the Tampa Bay area, and one stretches from Jacksonville to Orlando.

"The political fallout of Florida's redistricting decision."

Background: "The Florida Supreme Court took a wrecking ball to Florida's political landscape Thursday,"

throwing out the state's carefully crafted congressional districts drawn by the GOP-led Legislature and ordering a new map within 100 days.
"Florida Supreme Court orders new congressional map with eight districts to be redrawn." See also "Florida Court Finds Politics Determined District Lines" and "Florida Supreme Court Throws Out Congressional Map, Orders Battleground Districts Redrawn."

Grayson to run for U.S. Senate

"Defying Democratic Party leaders, Orlando's U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson on Thursday vowed to run a U.S. Senate campaign based on his liberal ideas and brash rhetoric that will be managed, funded and supported by people who embrace them." "Grayson vows unabashed liberal Senate campaign."

"State Sen. Darren Soto will run for the U.S. Congress intending to replace Alan Grayson in District 9 now that Congressman Grayson has announced he is running for the U.S. Senate. . . . He is likely to draw competition from Grayson's camp. Grayson's district director, Susannah Randolph, a former progressive cause activist and wife of Orange County Tax Collector Scott Randolph, also intends to file to run in Congressional District 9, sources have told Political Pulse." "Soto set to file for Grayson's seat; Randolph expected too."

See also "Ron DeSantis Jabs New Senate Candidate Alan Grayson" and "Race to Replace Alan Grayson in CD 9 Takes Shape."

What's wrong with Hillsborough?

"Hillsborough commissioners vie over yanking county's Confederate flag."

"Bush Outstrips Rivals in Fund-Raising"

"“Bush Outstrips Rivals in Fund-Raising as ‘Super PACs’ Swell Candidates’ Coffers”." More: "Jeb Bush team has raised $114 million for presidential run."

"Barrage of epithets"

The dissenters in yesterday's Florida Supreme Court's redistricting decision threw quite a tantrum - this from the majority's opinion:

A reader of Justice Canady’s dissent in isolation could be forgiven for believing that this Court’s decision here amounts to a creative maneuver designed to overstep its proper bounds, done in order to usurp the Legislature’s role in the redistricting process. The dissent’s attacks on this Court’s analysis are extravagant, even when measured against prior dissenting opinions in our recent redistricting cases that have accused this Court of devising “a radical alteration in the operation of the separation of powers.” Apportionment IV, 132 So. 3d at 160 (Canady, J., dissenting). The barrage of epithets employed by the dissent includes the following colorful array: “fallacious”; “fabricated”; “extreme distortion”; “revolutionary deformation”; “teeming with judicial overreaching”; “creatively cobbled”; “aggressive invasion”; “aberrant decision”; and “unprecedented incursions.”20 Dissenting op. at 110, 111, 112, 117, 127.

20. Perhaps we should take solace in not being accused of “jiggery-pokery.” See King v. Burwell, No. 14-114, 2015 WL 2473448, at *19 (U.S. June 25, 2015) (Scalia, J., dissenting).

"“Jiggery-Pokery” in Today’s Florida Supreme Court Redistricting Opinion."

Ruling increases Dem chances against Jolly

"For years, largely Democratic parts of St. Petersburg have been a missing jigsaw piece from the 13th Congressional District, cited by Democrats as one a prime example of Florida’s gerrymandering. Now, a ruling Thursday by the Florida Supreme Court that districts should not cross Tampa Bay could move tens of thousands of the city’s Democratic voters into District 13 — a development that has some local elected Democrats already weighing a 2016 run for the seat held by Republican David Jolly." "Pure-Pinellas House district may draw candidates from both parties."

"Cabinet should admit fault"

The Sun Sentinel editors: "The Florida First Amendment Foundation issued a scorecard that stamps a red frowny face on bad bills the Legislature approved during its regular session." "Cabinet should admit fault in secrecy case."