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Florida Democratic Party News Clips — March 14

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FDP CHAIR ROD SMITH: COURT'S DECISION A "HISTORIC REJECTION" OF MAPS, "ENTIRE REDRAWING OF MAPS NECESSARY"

Question of the day: Can the legislature stop themselves from protecting…themselves.  Democrats call for full rewrite of Senate maps [Times/Herald] "Contrary to what Sen. Gaetz suggests, the score is not 32 to 8,'' Smith told reporters on a call Tuesday. "The score is zero to one. If the Senate doesn't get it right this time, the score will be zero and two. Frankly, the Senate will not get a third shot in writing a map."

Fla Dem chief hails “historic rejection” of Senate redistricting plan [Palm Beach Post] "Because the boundaries cited by the court are contiguous to other districts, it’s impossible to just make a few fixes, as Smith said Republicans are trying to cast the approach to a special session which begins Wednesday."
Dems: Just tweaking Senate plan not enough [Tampa Tribune] "The state Senate redistricting plan passed by the Florida Legislature must be completely rewritten, not just tweaked, in the aftermath of a Supreme Court decision throwing it out, said state Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith."
Fla. lawmakers ready for redistricting session [AP] "The Florida Democratic Party will oppose the delay, said its chairman, Rod Smith. He said on Tuesday it's a stalling tactic because the congressional map has some of the same problems the Supreme Court found in the Senate plan. "
Democrats: Senate map can’t just be tweaked [St.PetersBlog] "Gaetz did not return a call seeking a response."
FDP Chair Smith blasts GOP on redistricting [News4Jax] "Speaking on a conference call the day before a special redistricting session begins, Smith blasted Senate Reapportionment Chairman Don Gaetz's contention that the upper chamber can simply tweak its maps to answer the complaints of the Florida Supreme Court."
Lawmakers back to try again with district maps [Tallahassee Democrat] "'The Supreme Court held that the Senate plan was invalid, rife with evidence of incumbent protection,' Smith said. 'That plan was rejected. Not by 20 percent, not by 40 percent. That plan was rejected in its entirety. An entire redrawing is required in order to comply with the court's ruling.'"
Democrats May Challenge House Redistricting Maps [Sunshine State News] "'An entire redrawing of the Senate map is necessary in order to comply with the court’s unprecedented order,'' Smith said. 'There is no such thing as tweaking the map.'"
Florida Democratic Party chair suggests redistricting plan for Congressional seats also in jeopardy  [WMNF] "Florida Democratic Party Chair Rod Smith said the court found fault with the entire Senate map, not with just a few districts as some Republicans have claimed."
Senate defied state's voters [Palm Beach Post editorial] "Last week, the Florida Supreme Court correctly slapped down the Florida Senate's new political map, and much of the slapping concerned Palm Beach County."

FLA DEMS LAUNCH BAGGAGE BRACKET — HAVE YOU MADE YOUR WEEK ONE PICK YET? [TAMPA BAY TIMES]

MITT'S NOT GOING TO LIKE THIS: REPUBLICAN SENATE CANDIDATE CONNIE MACK'S CAMPAIGN SAYS OBAMA WILL PROBABLY WIN RE-ELECTION [National Journal]

And speaking of Mack:  Florida Sen. Candidate Connie Mack IV Totally ‘Sober’ When He Struck Pro Ball Player in the Gants [Wonkette] "When Florida Republican Congressman and Senate hopeful Connie Mack IV was young and irresponsible, he had a terribly unlucky tendency to just be moseying along, minding his own business, when people out of nowhere would just plumb knock him over and try to beat the everlovin’ Jesus out of him! Now, this happened many, many times — all while Young Connie Mack IV was totally sober, by the way — but for some unknown reason, other people never seemed to remember it the same way he did."

OBAMA MAKING CASE TO WOMEN ON HEALTHCARE, AFFORDABLE CARE ACT 'Nurses for Obama' among campaign appeals to female Florida voters [Tampa Bay Times] "President Barack Obama's campaign is launching a Florida effort to highlight popular aspects of the Affordable Care Act, the sweeping, and still controversial, health care law enacted two years ago this month.  Starting this week, the Democratic National Committee will send nearly 200,000 mail pieces to female voters as outreach events are held across the state. Today, "Nurses for Obama" will kick off, using nurses to spread the word in their community. The week of March 26 will be dedicated as "Women's Week of Action."

Obama re-election campaign begins health care push in Florida [Orlando Sentinel] "Democrats are mailing out two fliers this week entitled “Better Health Care For You,” (this one DNC ACA brochure1,) (and this one DNC ACA brochure2,) targeting women and touting benefits of the health care package such as preventing insurance discrimination against women, banning insurance caps on preventative care, and covering kids through the age of 26."

BREAKING ON THE CONGRESSIONAL FRONT: NAVY VETERAN HEATHER BEAVEN ANNOUNCES CAMPAIGN FOR CD 6 “Heather Beaven has honorably served our country and will be a strong fighter for the middle class families of northeast Florida,” said Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith. “Floridians are tired of the failed leadership and Tea party extremism from the Republican congress, and they’re ready for a fresh voice with common sense solutions to grow our economy and help businesses create jobs. Heather is a proven leader with a record of service — and she’ll bring that same commitment to service to Washington. We’re confident she’ll have the resources she needs to win, and Heather’s announcement puts the 6th district squarely in play.

Money, Problems: U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan Under Investigation [Sunshine Slate] "It does not look good for Florida’s own U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-13/Sarasota). The rising star of the Republican Party is facing multiple investigations for ethical violations as well as campaign financing irregularities. And this is the guy the GOP tapped to help the whole party raise money? Yes, it is."

Ehrlich makes EMILY's List in bid to beat Young [Tampa Bay Times] “'I am extremely honored to be placed “On the List” by EMILY’s List - one of the premier women’s organizations in our country,' Ehrlich said in a statement. "

More Bad News for FBI Embattled Rep. Cliff Stearns a Birther VIDEO [Tampa Bay Times] "From a Feb. 25 town hall meeting (video captured by a tracker and highlighted by the liberal Think Progress). "The question is, is it legitimate?" Stearns tells a man who apparently asks about the birth certificate Obama produced last year amid lingering questions."

OTHER NEWS WE THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Democrats win YET ANOTHER Mayoral Race, this time in Wellington [CBS12] "Margolis won with 58-percent of the vote, beating the incumbent mayor Darell Bowen who received 42 percent of the vote"

Politifact: "Job numbers look bad for Rick Scott" [Politifact] "The news isn't so great for Gov. Rick Scott, who made creating 700,000 jobs in seven years his top campaign promise…Either measure is far short of the deal Scott made with voters who elected him in 2010, when he said he would create 700,000 jobs in seven years. PolitiFact Florida continues to rate his promise Stalled."

2012 Election: Republican voters down [Politico] "The turnout decline is real: A study released last week by the Bipartisan Policy Center found that turnout in the GOP presidential primaries (not including caucuses) has fallen to 11.5 percent, down from 13.2 percent in 2008 and 12.2 percent in 2000…Republican turnout in Florida, for example, dropped from about 1.9 million in 2008 to just under 1.7 million this year"