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Florida Democratic Party News Clips — March 27

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WHAT A CONSTITUTIONALLY VALID MAP LOOKS LIKE: FLA DEMS FILE MAP, LEGAL CHALLENGE TO GOP'S GERRYMANDERED CONGRESSIONAL MAP

Florida Democrats file congressional map [Times/Herald] "'Our map complies with the law and the will of the people,’' Smith said in his statement. 'After watching this session it was clear the Republican-led Legislature would never produce a map that complied with Fair Districts -- so we did it ourselves.'”

Democrats file alternative congressional plan [News-Service of Florida] "'This is what a constitutionally valid map looks like,' Chairman Rod Smith said in a statement issued by the party…in a brief filed with the court, lawyers for the plaintiffs hammered the seat held by U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown as a "hideously non-compact" district drawn for no other reason than to extract black voters from other seats and further GOP majorities elsewhere in the map."

Dems submit Fla. congressional redistricting map [AP] "Democrats contend lawmakers drew their congressional map to maintain an overwhelming GOP advantage although Democrats have a slight edge in party registration statewide."

Florida Democrats file lawsuit on Congress maps [Florida Times Union] "The district 'as enacted by the Florida Legislature stands out among all of the districts as presenting both the most numerous and most flagrant constitutional violations,' the party’s attorneys wrote as part of their proposed maps filed Monday in Leon County Circuit Court."

ALSO ON THE MAPS FRONT, HAPPENING TODAY: Florida House to vote on GOP gerrymandered Senate maps today [News-Service of Florida] "Democrats were less impressed, saying that the Senate map still seemed to be aimed at protecting incumbents while pretending to comply with the new standards. They pointed out that only two incumbents appeared to be headed for a primary challenge under the Senate plan."

ON THE CONGRESSIONAL FRONT: LAWSUITS AND INVESTIGATIONS FOR BUCHANAN, MORE MUD SLINGING IN STEARNS PRIMARY

Former Buchanan business partner files suit [Florida Independent] "Sam Kazran, a former business partner of Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, is filing suit against the lawmaker, alleging the congressman defrauded him and abused the offices of the court to silence Kazran 'regarding numerous election laws which were knowingly violated by Buchanan during his run for public office.'”

House Ethics Committee Launches Another Investigation Of Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) [ThinkProgress] "In a joint statement, House Committee on Ethics Chairman Jo Bonner (R-AL) and Ranking Member Linda Sanchez (D-CA), announced Friday that their committee will probe the actions of Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL). The decision comes after a referral by the Office of Congressional Ethics last month."

Buchanan's ethics tar LeMieux [Florida Independent] "GOP Senate candidate George LeMieux will raise money at the Sarasota home of Jesse Biter on Wednesday. Biter is a business partner of Buchanan’s son, Matt Buchanan. Last year, the two launched a business called Dealers United, telling the Gulf Coast Business Review that they planned to spend at least $1 million in startup costs on the business. Buchanan is currently the subject of several ongoing investigations into contributions made to his 2006 and 2008 congressional campaigns."

More mud slinging in "under investigation by the FBI for bribery" Stearns primary  [Florida Times Union] "The Cliff Stearns camp just sent an email blasting an "outrageous claim" GOP opponent James Jett made regarding homestead exemptions."


WHISPERING AGAINST RUBIO Someone’s Got It in for Marco Rubio [New York Magazine] "Marc Thiessen argues that there is some underground whispering campaign at work designed to deny Rubio his rightful place. The thing is, Thiessen is actually persuasive"

EARLY VOTING UNDERWAY IN ORLANDO MAYORAL

Orlando Sentinel endorses Buddy Dyer for Mayor [Orlando Sentinel] "As mayor when the Great Recession struck four years ago, Dyer has steered Orlando through a historically tough time for local governments in Florida. By some key measures, the city has held up well. It has healthier retirement funds and a lower property tax rate than the state's other big cities; its taxes haven't been raised since 2008. It has beefed up its budget reserves."

Buddy Dyer campaigns for Hispanic votes in mayor’s race [Orlando Sentinel] "Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer is campaigning for Hispanic votes, and he has enlisted Puerto Rican salsa star Tito Nieves for help."


OTHER NEWS WE THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Scott can't hide anymore [The Fine Print] "But last August it was first reported by The St. Petersburg Times that some emails were apparently missing. Scott's transition team members had tried to find the emails in the wake of public records requests, but they were unable to guarantee that all of them were available."

Florida shuns funds tied to health care reform, Nonprofits, health organizations eagerly accept [Florida Today] "Florida may be waging a high-profile fight against the federal health reform law, but its governmental and health care institutions are on different pages when it comes to accepting funding connected to it."