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Florida Democratic Party News Clips — March 23

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REDISTRICTING: SEE YOU IN COURT — No Incumbents To Run Against Each Other Under New Map

New map worse than the old one [Times/Herald] "Democratic Party of Florida Chairman Rod Smith said the map will be show to violate the Fair Districts anti-gerrymandering amendments because it not only protects a political party but again protects incumbents. 'Throughout this process the GOP in the Senate have wasted thousands of tax dollars and shown a shocking disregard for Florida’s Constitution and the courts,’' Smith said in a statement. 'It has become abundantly clear that the GOP-controlled legislature lacks the leadership to draw maps that comply with Fair Districts. As expected, we now turn to the courts to enforce the people’s will.'”

A 2nd failure [AP] "Florida Democratic Chairman Rod Smith said the party will again 'turn to the courts to enforce the people's will.' Democrats and three nonpartisan groups that backed the Fair Districts standards challenged the original House and Senate maps during the first Supreme Court review."

Florida Senate approves redistricting map, challenges ahead [News-Service of Florida] "Democrats still slammed the map, saying it ignored the Supreme Court's 5-2 opinion striking down the first map and still appeared aimed at securing a GOP majority and shielding incumbents. That was particularly galling, Senate Minority Leader Nan Rich said, given that the court spelled out in the first ruling exactly how lawmakers should interpret the new standards…'It has become abundantly clear that the GOP-controlled Legislature lacks the leadership to draw maps that comply with Fair Districts,' Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith said."

Senate revamps redistricting map; critics say it remains flawed [Times/Herald] "The design of the Gardiner seat drew a sharp rebuke from Sen. Arthenia Joyner, who warned that “it includes the same appendage that our court held unconstitutional” and “grabs an incumbent’s residence for no apparent reason other than to draw that incumbent into a safe Republican seat.”

See you in court [Orlando Sentinel] "It didn’t take Florida Democratic Chair Rod Smith long to respond to Senate passage of new maps for the chamber’s 40 districts."

Senate redraws districts map [Tallahassee Democrat] "Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith, a former state senator from Alachua County, issued a statement saying the Republican-run Legislature wasted taxpayer money and disregarded the Florida Constitution throughout the redistricting process. He said he hopes the Supreme Court will reject the new plan."


MUST READ EDITORIAL GOP says, 'Vote Democratic' [Palm Beach Post Editorial] "If House Republicans were trying to hand their political foes the same budget club with which Democrats so effectively bashed the GOP last year, they have succeeded brilliantly. The 2013 budget blueprint by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., again details trillions in cuts in spending for low-income people, the elderly and students without specifically and equally spreading the pain to the wealthy."

ON THE ATTACK, FLORIDA DEMOCRATS STAY ON OFFENSE

As Vice President Joe Biden's South Florida visit nears, Democrats attack GOP health-care plan [Palm Beach Post] "Ratcheting up the rhetoric on the eve of Vice President Joe Biden's visit to a South Florida senior community, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz today likened Republican Medicare proposals to 'a tornado through America's nursing homes.'"

Florida Democrats to GOP: Hands off Medicare [McClatchy] "The so-called Ryan budget is fresh off the presses, giving Democrats in Florida fresh ammunition when it comes to seniors and Medicare."

Joe Biden to bash Mitt Romney, GOP over Medicare, Social Security in Coconut Creek [Miami Herald] "The event is the second in a series of remarks that the Vice President will deliver in the coming weeks about the economy and the middle class that will frame the issues that will be at the core of the general election and the choice America will make in November about the future we want for this country."

Affordable Care Act already helping millions in Florida [Orlando Sentinel Guest Column by HHS Secretary Sebelius] "Today marks the two-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. Around the country, the law is already making a difference for millions of Americans. Here are five key ways it is helping Floridians get the care they need."

Caroline Kennedy campaigns for Obama in S Fla [Tampa Bay Times] "'Marking this week’s two year anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act, Kennedy will remind Floridians of the President’s leadership on health care reform to protect Americans who work hard and pay their premiums so they will have the security that comes with good health care, and ensure we never return to when insurance companies could deny coverage or cancel a policy.'"

ON THE CONGRESSIONAL FRONT: DEMINGS ZINGS WEBSTER, MORE TROUBLE FOR BUCHANAN

Val Demings zings Webster in “Webster has gone fishin’” video  [Orlando Sentinel] "U.S. congressional candidate Val Demings has rolled out a new Internet video zinging U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Winter Garden, for his uncomfortable town hall meeting last year and a recent CBS News report on a fundraising junket to Key Largo."

Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) funding anti-gay lies with your tax dollars [DailyKos] "Congressman Vern Buchanan (R-FL) is wasting your tax dollars to distribute inaccurate and incorrect information to his district. Among the complaints of Planned Parenthood funding, a recent district mailer made this inaccurate claim"

OTHER NEWS WE THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Alex Sink sharp, passionate at Tiger Bay in St. Petersburg [Times/Herald] "Known for caution and always measuring her words on the campaign trail, Sink instead blasted the Legislature for slashing $300 million from the higher education system while creating 'an incredibly expensive and duplicative' 12th university. She called for far more focus on promoting existing Florida businesses than recruiting companies from out of state. She nearly choked up when talking about the killing of unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford."

Scott should reject bill that punishes counties on Medicaid [Tampa Bay Times Editorial] "Gov. Rick Scott talks a lot about running a state that accounts for every tax dollar it spends. That same ethos should apply to how Florida treats its county governments and their taxpayers. Scott needs to reject the Legislature's unfair scheme to withhold counties' share of state revenue if they don't blindly pay disputed Medicaid bills. The governor should veto HB 5301 and tell lawmakers to try again."