TICK TOCK TICK TOCK — REPUBLICANS TRY TO STALL REDISTRICTING…AND IT'S COSTING THE TAXPAYERS
Florida Democrats question Bondi's delay in sending Senate redistricting plan to justices [Palm Beach Post] "A week after the Florida House approved the Legislature's second attempt to draw new Senate districts, the plan Tuesday still had not been forwarded by Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi to the state Supreme Court…'Florida Republicans' efforts to delay the court's review of the maps is nothing more than a Hail Mary pass,' said Florida Democratic Party spokeswoman Brannon Jordan. "After the Florida Supreme Court's historic rejection of the first state Senate map, Republicans are not confident their second gerrymandered map can withstand court muster so they are stalling'…Democrats say the clock-eating approach fits a pattern. They say attorneys for the Republican-led Legislature have already sought - unsuccessfully - to have a trial delayed until after the November elections on the lawsuit filed by Democrats and allied organizations challengingproposed congressional district boundaries."
Florida Senate hires former justice to defend new maps, at $695 an hour [Times/Herald] "Cantero, who was appointed by former Gov. Jeb Bush to serve on the Supreme Court, was a member of the bench from 2002 to '08 and is now with the White & Case law firm. He will be paid $695 an hour plus expenses. Last summer, the House and Senate had spent close to $1.2 million on legal fees on redistricting, and that was before the public hearings were held and the maps were drawn."
DEMS WIN MAYORAL IN ORLANDO [AP] "Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer has won a third term, easily defeating three challengers. … Dyer became Orlando's mayor after a 2003 special election. He was subsequently re-elected in 2004 and 2008.”
By the way…this makes the 5th mayoral election won by the Democrats — Tampa, Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale and Altamonte Springs
LEMIEUX BLASTS MACK FOR ATTENDANCE George LeMieux Blasts Connie Mack's Lost Week in House [Sunshine State News] "Rep. Connie Mack's voting record is becoming a campaign issue in the U.S. Senate primary campaign -- not necessarily for his votes, but for his lack of them…But a review of last week's House action showed that Mack was not present for votes on the Paul Ryan budget, the bipartisan JOBS Act, the highway reauthorization bill or 22 other measures."
MEANWHILE…Nelson wants federal regulators to crack down on speculators driving up gas prices [Orlando Sentinel] "3.S. Sen. Bill Nelson blames speculators for driving up gas prices, and he blasted federal regulators on Tuesday for failing to rein in speculation."
RUBIO STILL DRAWING HEAT FOR DREAM WITHOUT A DREAM ACT
Rubio draws criticism for DREAM alternative [Florida Independent] "Sen. Marco Rubio’s recent proposal to offer a “conservative-Republican alternative” to the DREAM Act continues to draw criticism from media outlets that say it could result in “a half-measure that produces only a different sort of legal limbo” for immigrants."
Senator Harry Reid blasts Senator Marco Rubio’s “DREAM Act” to keep youth to permanent underclass [Tucson Citizen] "Rubio becomes 'Hispanic' when Tea Party extremists need him to be one. He was an effective tool for them when they needed him to side with the harsh Arizona anti-immigrant law. And he has flip-flopped on the DREAM Act the same way Mitt Romney flip flopped on his RomneyCare."
Does Marco Rubio Want To Create Second-Class Citizens? [TIME] "Many people lament that we’re becoming two Americas – haves and have-nots, separate and unequal. But it’s rare to see a public leader actually propose it. So I suppose you have to credit Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, for his candor. In recent days this son of Cuban immigrants has been floating an immigration proposal that would unabashedly create a two-tiered system of Americans: real and not real."
ALSO: Marco Rubio Hates Disco Music, Says Civil Rights Movement Was Part of "A Scary Time" [Miami News Times] "Rubio was running down all the things Americans have ever had to fear decade by decade, because that's what we really want out of politicians isn't it? Someone who reminds us what we should be afraid of."
ON THE CONGRESSIONAL FRONT…GRAYSON PRINTS MONEY, REPUBLICAN NEPOTISM
Grayson raises $550K to start 2012 [Orlando Sentinel] " Former U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson continues to pad his campaign warchest, raising at least $550,000 in the first three months of the year, according to his campaign."
Republican congressional nepotism in Florida [The SharkTank] "It seems as if Republican Congressmen John Mica and C.W. Young have some explaining to do to Floridians"
OTHER NEWS WE THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW
Graham lambasts 'political assault on higher education' [Gainesville Sun] "Former Florida Gov. and U.S. Sen. Bob Graham called Tuesday for a veto of $300 million in cuts to the state university system…He called for a cascade of email from UF students, employees and alumni to urge Gov. Rick Scott to veto the cuts. Graham said after the speech that there is precedent for such a move, as he vetoed the 1980 state higher education budget while he was governor."
SEE ALSO: FDP'S FACTS ABOUT THE GOP'S WAR ON EDUCATION
Counties mulling lawsuit about Medicaid payments [SaintPetersBlog] "The Florida Association of Counties’ board could decide April 12 whether to file a lawsuit challenging a legislative move to collect tens of millions of dollars in Medicaid payments from counties."
Registering to vote isn't as easy as it used to be for high school seniors [Sun Sentinel] "The new rules, passed last year by the Legislature, make it more complicated for teachers to sign students up to vote. Teachers face hefty fines for improper registrations, so many are surrendering what they used to see as their civic duty and are inviting county elections officials to supervise the process at their schools."