Thursday, August 13, 2015

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

Redistricting Update

"Changes to a proposed map of Florida’s 27 congressional districts emerged Wednesday, a day before key hearings in the House and Senate about how to comply with a court order finding the current map violates the anti-gerrymandering “Fair Districts” requirements."

At least three amendments were filed to the proposed map Wednesday — two of them in the House and one in the Senate — as lawmakers prepared for meetings Thursday of the House Select Committee on Redistricting and the Senate Reapportionment Committee.

Both panels will take up the same “base map” developed by staff to start discussions about the districts. Senate leaders have indicated that more than one hearing could be held if necessary.

"District mapping changes revealed." See also "First draft of congressional map shakes up some districts" and "Don’t split Leon in congressional maps, leaders plead."

Here's the Florida Senate's Redistricting web page, and the Committee on Reapportionment's web page.

"Dems Go Left"

"The two congressional Democrats running to replace U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., are trying to rally the party’s base behind them as they ready for what should be a competitive primary. Rubio is running for the Republican presidential nomination and has said he will not run for a second Senate term." "Democrats Go Left in the Race to Replace Marco Rubio in the Senate."

Floridians "living from paycheck to paycheck

It is no surprise that "the South had a much higher percentage of adults living from paycheck to paycheck, with 38 percent saying they lived that way."

[O]nly two Southern states (Alabama and Florida) had their own minimum-wage laws, which means people in those states have to rely on the federal minimum wage.

But an even greater percentage of Floridians were living paycheck to paycheck -- nearly 10 percent higher than the average for the entire South. The survey polled 139 Floridians with a margin of of error of 8 percent.

Nearly half of Floridians from the ages of 25 to 34 said they’re living paycheck to paycheck. Now, according to Sperling’s Best Places, Florida doesn’t have an average cost of living higher than the national average, but Floridians do make less money than the national median income.

"Got Student Debt? Don't Live in Florida."

Debtors prisons persist in Florida

The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "Free poor from 'debtors prison'."

Favored son follies

"Rubio's plight that should be considered more carefully: the dork factor. Rubio's latest dork-out is not rap-related, nor does it involve a water bottle, but it's still pretty hard to take." "Marco Rubio Wants You to Know that a Fertilized Human Egg Cannot Become a Cat (or a Donkey)."

See also "Walker and Rubio would be GOP's most extreme nominee on abortion ever" and "Jeb Bush Is Even Nuttier Than Trump Now."

Grayson doubles down on his attacks against primary rival U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy

"U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., doubled down on his attacks against primary rival U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla., as the battle to replace U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., in the Senate heats up." "Alan Grayson Recommends 'Schoolhouse Rock' for 'Ineffective' Patrick Murphy."

A "voucher" by any other name

Scott Maxwell: "Ever since Florida implemented school vouchers under Jeb Bush, many of Bush’s “reform” disciples have been on a crusade to try to stop people from calling them vouchers."

Instead, they have insisted they were “scholarships.”

Now, I’ve always been of the opinion that you can call a pile of dog poop a tricycle. It’s still a pile of dog poop.

"School-voucher backers get one of their silliest arguments destroyed - by Jeb Bush."

Bondi continues to establish her right-wing bona fides at taxpayer expense

"Bondi, who chairs the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), and 16 other state attorneys general filed a petition on Tuesday at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to review a federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) act focusing on emissions from power plants. . . . While Bondi has closed the door to running for the open U.S. Senate seat in 2016, she has garnered some buzz as a potential candidate in 2018. Bondi has been active at the national level, leading the coalition of states that unsuccessfully challenged Obama's federal health-care law." "Pam Bondi Leading States Against Obama Administration Again, This Time on EPA."