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Florida Democratic Party News Clips — April 20

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WHAT TO READ ON CONGRESSIONAL REDISTRICTING: Drawing the lines — again [Miami Herald editorial] "As it is, the Senate’s second attempt to do right by voters still managed to protect virtually all incumbents (of both parties), creating 16 safe Republican seats, 14 safe Democratic seats and 10 toss-up battles that — surprise, surprise — lean to the GOP even though there are more registered Democratic voters than Republicans in the Sunshine State…For the first time the Florida courts can act as a true check and balance on the Legislature’s attempts to draw lines that result in representation that’s not an Incumbent Protection Act."

HAPPENING TODAY: Fla. justices again hearing redistricting argument [AP] "The Florida Supreme Court again is hearing oral argument over legislative redistricting. Friday's hearing focuses on the state Senate map that was revised after the justices kicked back the Republican-led Legislature's first attempt…Democrats and groups that backed the Fair Districts standards say the revised map still is in violation."

ON THE CONGRESSIONAL FRONT — DOUBTS LINGER & RIVERA SHOULD RESIGN, WEST DOUBLES DOWN, BUCHANAN SHOULD RELEASE TAX RETURNS

Watchdog group: House leaders should ask Miami Rep. David Rivera to resign [Miami Herald] "A Washington government watchdog group is urging U.S. House leaders to ask for Rep. David Rivera to step down, following the end of a state investigation into Rivera's personal and campaign finances."

Doubts linger for Rivera [AP] "'The individual who has been there has been distracted and has not been focused on the situation of middle class,' said Gloria Romero Roses, his Democratic opponent. 'What has Congressman Rivera been doing but defending himself?'"

Allen West won’t name names on `communists’ in Congress [Sun Sentinel] "Pressed to name names, South Florida Congressman Allen West on Thursday reaffirmed his assertion that as many as 81 Democrats in the House are members of the Communist Party, but he wouldn’t say who they are."

Keith Fitzgerald challenges Vern Buchanan to release his tax returns [Bradenton Herald] "Fitzgerald cited a New York Times report that Buchanan, R-Sarasota, is under investigation by the Internal Revenue Service for failing to report more than $14,000 in income over four years."

Democrats plan big Florida TV buy [Orlando Sentinel] "National Democrats are planning an airwave assault in Florida this year with one arm of the party reserving $8.3 million in Florida broadcast time after Labor Day."

TWITTER ALERT: @JEFFATWATER2012 APPEARS, from the bio: "2002 to 2009: I worked at a Florida bank. It was one of the weakest in the nation. I quit, US taxpayers bailed it out, and it was sold to the Canadians."


RUBIO'S DREAM WITHOUT A DREAM A NIGHTMARE FOR MITT  Rubio’s DREAM puts Mitt in a bind [Politico] "It’s a risky move for a potential vice presidential candidate, and it puts presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney in a pickle as he may have to decide whether to back an immigration plan rolled out by one of the party’s rising Hispanic stars, or stick to the strident anti-illegal immigrant positions he staked out during the Republican primary."

Marco Rubio's Dream Act: A nightmare for immigrants [Los Angeles Times editorial] "The original Dream Act enjoyed bipartisan support because it was the right thing to do. Dream 2.0 should be seen for what it is: a divisive ploy to pander to Latinos. It is a faulty compromise at best -- and a nightmare at worst."

MORE BAD INK FOR THE "EDUCATION" GOVERNOR Funding for Florida's education still lags [The Florida Times Union editorial] Yet education is shortchanged from years of cuts, leaving Florida with a dismal record in K-12 and higher education. In a calculated use of spin, Scott chose an A school in affluent St. Johns County as the backdrop for signing the budget bill. St. Johns County has one of the most well-funded districts in the state, No. 8 in the state (see accompanying chart). 'Over $1 Billion in New Education Funding' proclaimed the classroom chalkboard behind Scott. Left unsaid is that this year's per-pupil funding of $6,357, while $150 more than last year, is $800 less than five years ago and is below the level when Scott took office. It is a cynical stretch to call that "'New Education Funding.'"

OTHER NEWS WE THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Connie Mack's Dad Chastises Reporters for Pointing Out His Son Is Way, Way Behind [Broward Palm Beach New Times] "Republican Rep. Connie Mack IV's Senate campaign has hit a bump in the road -- a bump shaped like an electorate that doesn't want to vote for him. He's come up short in poll after poll, and papers in Florida and elsewhere have pointed it out. Well, one person is not having it -- Mack's dad."

Biden coming to Florida [Sarasota Herald Tribune] "The White House continues its intensive focus on all things Florida. The White House just annouced Vice president Joe Biden is scheduled to fly to the Everglades on Monday."

Florida Democrats looking for convention delegates [Bay News 9] "Florida's Democratic Party is looking for people who want to be delegates to the national convention in Charlotte, NC in September…The Florida Democratic Party website has an overview of how delegates are selected, and applicants can apply to become a delegate there as well."