Sunday, April 13, 2014

Florida Democrats Should Not Court Independent Voters, Period

If Democrats Want to Win In Florida, Do Not Court Independants, Just pull out every Democratic Voter, who voted in 2012 and we win Governor and the entire cabinet. Want Proof, Scroll to the bottom of the below poll, and see, 58 percent of, Independents are far far right wing  

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Congressman Ted Deutch Demands Investigation Into GOP Voter Fraud


Blistering letter slams Republican Guv's 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action after 'supposed search for voter fraud'...
In a scathing letter to Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R), Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL19) is demanding the Governor "immediately appoint a bipartisan task force" to investigate and take action on the "the large and apparently growing voter fraud scandal engulfing the Republican Party of Florida."
"Given the explicitly partisan nature of this scandal, assurances must be provided to all Floridians that the investigation into these allegations is thorough and fair," Deutch writes in his letter (posted in full below), before criticizing Scott for his silence, to date, on the matter.
"So far, your inaction in the face of this scandal suggests that you are putting partisanship ahead of the integrity of Florida’s elections," charges the Congressman…
FULL STORY, COMPLETE LETTER: http://www.bradblog.com/?p=9599

Patrick Murphy is Destroying Allen West 52-43

FL-18: Over the weekend, (the Daily Kos Elections staff) were debating amongst themselves whether Allen West's new TV spot attacking Patrick Murphy over a teenage arrest for drunkenness was a desperation move or a coffin-nailer. After all, West had just released a poll showing him up 11 points on his Democratic opponent. But that internal had some issues (namely, a huge Romney lead in a district where he shouldn't have one), and that ad isn't typically the kind you put out if you have a double-digit lead in the polls.
Well, now we have a clearer picture of the race thanks to two new surveys, and West's move looks a lot more like it came from weakness rather than strength. First up is a poll from the Murphy-supporting House Majority PAC, courtesy of Garin-Hart-Yang, that features Murphy legging out to a 52-43 lead over West. Obama's beating Romney as well, 52-45, which is a notably wider edge than his three-point win in 2008, but makes sense in the context of the president's recent surge in the state of Florida.
Perhaps more remarkable is a poll from Kimball Political Consulting, which is a Republican firm that mostly works on Massachusetts races. They also see Murphy in front, albeit by a smaller 49-45 edge, though their presidential toplines match GHY's exactly (52-45). One odd thing about this survey, though—which includes full crosstabs, unlike HMP's—is that young voters strongly favor both Romney and West. That seems unlikely, to say the least. But no matter what, these new sets of numbers are very good news for Murphy.
P.S. The award for How Do You Like Them Apples (3Q fundraising edition) goes to none other than... Patrick Murphy, who just announced raising an eye-popping $1.05 million in the quarter. Murphy didn't provide cash-on-hand numbers, but this takes him to a monster $3.3 million raised for the cycle to date. Running against Allen West has its advantages!

NO on Amendment 5


Arthenia Joyner: NO on Amendment 5, a Political Ploy to Weaken the Courts
Like all of the 11 proposed amendments to the Florida Constitution, Amendment 5 was put on the ballot by the Legislature -- not the voters.
 

Monday, August 20, 2012

New Radio Ad That Details Impact of Romney-Ryan Budget on Floridians


Obama for America-Florida released a new radio advertisement, “Already Talking,” detailing the impact of the extreme Romney-Ryan budget on Medicare and health care services for Floridian seniors. Under the Romney-Ryan budget, Medicare would transform to a voucher program that would increase health costs for seniors by $6,350.

America can’t afford to go back to the same policies that crashed our economy and punished the middle-class – we need to continue moving forward toward an economy built to last that strengthens the middle-class by paying down our deficit in a balanced way while making the investments critical to a growing economy.  

Please click HERE to listen to the ad.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

lorida's First Elected Out Gay Representative

Openly gay Miami Beach resident David Richardson won today's Democratic primary for the state legislature. As Richardson will run unopposed in the general election, in November he will become the first* openly gay state legislator in Florida history. SAVE Dade celebrates via press release:
David Richardson was elected to the State Legislature to represent District 113. This marks a tremendous victory for the LGBT community not only in Miami-Dade County but also throughout the State of Florida. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all that you did to help make David’s victory possible. Whether you donated to our PAC or David’s campaign, worked on one of our phone banks, worked at the polls, or voted for David, SAVE Dade’s unwavering support was a major factor in making his victory possible. Florida’s journey to total equality, including marriage equality, is far from over. But David’s victory is a big step forward for our community.
*Davidson may have some gay company come November as Brevard County John Alvarez won His Primary to run against his opponent in Florida House 53 , and Orange County candidate Joe Saunders also won his Democratic primary. Saunders faces stiff GOP opposition in the general, however. In Key West, openly gay Democrat Ian Whitney also advanced to the general as he ran unopposed today. Gay Miami Herald reporter Steve Rothaus exults: "Florida has not only broken the lavender ceiling, we could shatter it entirely." 

--

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Florida News

Judge strikes down law barring docs from gun talk (WINK-TV Fort Myers)
A federal judge struck down a Florida law that restricted doctors from talking about gun ownership with their patients.
Fla. election law draws new legal challenge (News 4 Jax)
The American Civil Liberties Union along with a Tampa state senator and other groups are challenging a Florida election law.
In Florida fight, Obama and Romney scrap along I-4 (The Kansas City Star)
In the presidential battleground with the biggest prize, Democrat Barack Obama is focused on ratcheting up voter turnout in Florida's university towns, its Hispanic enclaves around Orlando and its Jewish communities in the south.
In Florida fight, Obama and Romney scrap along I-4 (The Wichita Eagle)
In this June 26, 2012 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks in Atlanta. The presidential race enters the sultry summer _ a final lull before a sprint to Election Day _ with President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney neck and neck and no sign that either can break away.
In Florida fight, Obama and Romney scrap along I-4 (The Papillion Times)
In this June 21, 2012 file photo, Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov.
Americans' use of hospice doubles in a decade (Polk County Democrat)
Forget that image of a hospice worker sitting next to a hospital bed in a dimly lit room.

Fla. man arrested after tantrum at airport
Fla. man arrested after tantrum at airport (WSVN-TV Miami Beach)
Authorities arrested a man they saw was throwing a tantrum at a South Florida airport, cursing and yelling at a ticket agent.
Couple accused of making child porn with 4-year-old (WNEM-TV Saginaw)
A convicted sex offender in Florida and his girlfriend are accused of raping a four-year-old girl in their care and recording it.
Scott: Florida Won't Comply with ObamaCare (Patch)
Despite a 5-4 ruling by the Supreme Court that President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act is constitutional, Florida Gov.
Florida Food Stamp Program Tops, Wins $9 Million Fed Bonus (CBS Local)
The Department of Children and Families gets a bad rap for the way it manages everything from foster care to adoptions, so its only fair they get credit for a good thing, and the feds say Florida is tops in managing Food Stamps.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Looks Like Exxon Mobil Is Out to Crush Florida's Energy Bill, Corleone-Style



                   
It's like that scene from "The Godfather," when Don Corleone tells the undertaker Bonasera, "Some day, and that day may never come, I will call upon you to do a service for me."

Read More 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

New proposed Florida Senate map released

The chairman of the Senate Reapportionment Committee unveiled a new proposal for his chamber's legislative districts Saturday in an effort to answer criticisms from the Florida Supreme Court, which rejected the original plan last week.

Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, said the new maps would meet the rules laid out in the anti-gerrymandering Fair Districts Amendments approved by voters in a 2010 referendum.

"The districts were redrawn, along with any affected districts, in accordance with constitutional standards as defined by the Supreme Court," Gaetz wrote in a memo accompanying the release.

The Supreme Court threw out the plan because of problems in eight districts, though Gaetz's plan would also shift other lines to offset population changes in districts struck down by the ruling. All Senate districts are supposed to have relatively equal populations under both the Fair Districts standards and the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.

In Southwest Florida, the new map would create a more compact district for Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples. It would remove part of Cape Coral from his constituency, and add snippets of southwest Immokalee and all of south Lee County, including Bonita Springs. It also would relabel his current District 37 as District 30.

“My district no longer looks like an upside-down alligator,” Richter joked Saturday of the new map, which he had read about but not yet seen.

The 2002 lines, while concentrated in western Collier County, have appendages that extend into Fort Myers Beach, Cape Coral, Golden Gate Estates, and Marco Island, creating a jagged district.

“I’ve stayed out of the discussions, and it was intentional,” Richter said of the redistricting debate. “I believe it’s my duty to represent Southwest Florida. I don’t pay tremendous attention to where a line is drawn.”


Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples
Quotable
“My district no longer looks like an upside-down alligator,” Sen. Garrett Richter joked Saturday of the new map, which he had read about but not yet seen.

The plan announced Saturday wouldn’t change his demographics, he said.

Richter gave the example of Immokalee, which he said he still feels like he represents, although it hasn’t been in his district since he was elected.

The new map would dismantle much of District 27, which runs from Bonita Springs across the state to Palm Beach County. The portion of Lee County currently in that district would either go to Richter — like the southern part — or be integrated into a greatly altered District 23, which now covers the area around North Port.

District 21, now part of Lee County, would no longer exist in Southwest Florida and instead become the new label of a Tampa-area district.

The map would shift the partisan balance of the initial plan slightly, appears to throw at least two incumbents together and unites the city of Lakeland -- something the court had asked but not ordered lawmakers to do. It also compacts two minority-friendly districts thrown out by the Supreme Court, watering down their percentages of black voters, and substantially shifts the lines in Southeast Florida.

Under the plan unveiled by Gaetz on Saturday, 25 of the Senate districts would have been won by Gov. Rick Scott in the 2010 election; Alex Sink, his Democratic opponent, would have carried 15. The original map had a 26-14 edge for Republicans, who currently hold a 28-12 advantage in the upper chamber.

Discarded by the new plan is "an odd-shaped appendage," in the words of the Supreme Court, in one Central Florida district that opponents said was meant to prevent Senate Majority Leader Andy Gardiner, an Orlando Republican slated to become Senate president in 2014, from facing Sen. David Simmons, R-Maitland. The new map appears to draw the two incumbents together, meaning that one of them would have to move in order to avoid a faceoff.

The Panhandle districts of Gaetz and Sen. Greg Evers, R-Baker, were struck down for being drawn horizontally instead of vertically. The new map would align the two districts more vertically, but would keep Gaetz, the Senate president-designate, and Evers from a faceoff by splitting Okaloosa County in half horizontally.

A minority-influence district in Northeast Florida, criticized by the Supreme Court for sprawling across several counties, would instead be contained within Duval County. That district, currently represented by Sen. Audrey Gibson, D-Jacksonville, would see its black voting-age population drop from 47.7 percent to 42.9 percent. District 34, a majority-black seat in Southeast Florida, would see it's black voting-age population fall from 55.8 percent to a bare majority of slightly less than 50.1 percent.

And Lakeland would be combined into one district, forcing the Senate to reconfigure a large inland district south of the city and pushing a district that had surrounded Bradenton and then run northeast to Lakeland to instead run more toward the southeast.

Gaetz also said that the numbering system for Florida districts -- thrown out because it would have given many of the chamber's members up to 10 years in office instead of the constitutionally-mandated eight -- would be determined by a pair of public, random drawings.

The Florida Democratic Party, which argued against the maps at the Supreme Court, blasted the new plan.

"The map Sen. Don Gaetz has proposed brings us no closer to complying with the court's ruling and is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt by the GOP Senate leadership to stall the implementation of Fair Districts and cling to their gerrymandered power," said Chairman Rod Smith in a statement issued by the party. "Not only have they thwarted the will of 63-percent of Florida voters, they are now thumbing their nose at Florida's Supreme Court."

Gaetz said lawmakers should offer any amendments to the plan by noon Monday; the Senate Reapportionment Committee is set to meet Tuesday.

Friday, March 16, 2012

State Integrity Investigation - Live Webcast

State Integrity Investigation - Live Webcast
Thursday, March 22 at 2:00 p.m. ET

Register Today - Space Limited 

Join us for an interactive discussion about the State Integrity Investigation, our latest partnership with Public Radio International and Global Integrity. The project is the culmination of more than a year of unprecedented investigative work in which our reporters were deployed in every state capitol, digging in and uncovering the answers to 330 questions about how their state handles transparency and accountability. 

What did we find?
  • The risk of corruption remains high at state capitols across the country.
  • Not a single state received an “A” on our report card.
  • Some states have few accountability mechanisms, while others have laws on the books that are implemented poorly, if at all.
Don't miss this exclusive opportunity to hear from our reporters and get your questions answered. 

Register Now

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Florida Supreme Court Shoots Down Senate Redistricting Plan

Florida Supreme Court Shoots Down Senate Redistricting Plan, Setting Up Special Session  
On Friday, last day of the legislative session, the Florida Supreme Court offered a split decision to the state Legislature's redistricting plan, ruling unanimously that the plan for the House seats passed constitutional muster but the plan for the Senate lines failed to do so.    
               

'Anti-Sharia' Bill Dies in Senate

'Anti-Sharia' Bill Dies in Senate  
Assailed by Muslim groups and quashed by Senate President Mike Haridopolos, an "anti-Sharia" law bill died in the Florida Legislature on Friday.      

Rick Scott to Sign PIP Reform Law 'Very Soon'

Rick Scott to Sign PIP Reform Law 'Very Soon'  
Gov. Rick  Scott made a quick visit to the Senate floor late Friday after a bill to revamp personal injury protection auto insurance was sent to his desk.

Read More 

Friday, March 09, 2012

The Florida House of Representatives began voting on the proposed budget for the 2012-13

 The Florida House of Representatives began voting on the proposed budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year. As a reference to Members, staff and the general public, please find attached an updated summary of all House proposed conforming bills related to the budget. The summary may also be viewed on the Florida House of Representatives website or by selecting the link below:


You may also find this refresher on Florida's budget process helpful.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Rep. Allen West (R-FL) For Vice President



Allen West On VP Speculation: 'I Am Always Willing And Ready To Serve My Country'

In an interview Tuesday morning on CNN, Rep. Allen West (R-FL) was asked about the prospects for fellow Floridian Marco Rubio to become the Republican nominee for Vice President this fall. West spoke favorably of Rubio — and then, the hosts asked West about himself as the potential running mate.
West jokingly cited his military experience to refer to the question as an "ambush."
"As far as the vice president thing, you know, who knows what the future lies — because it wasn't too long ago, you know, I was sitting in the desert of Kandahar, Afghanistan, and now I'm here talking with you. But, you know, I am always willing and ready to serve my country in whatever capacity that the American people would desire."

Friday, March 02, 2012

We need you to take action right now.


We need you to take action right now.

 
In a surprise move, the so-called "Parent Empowerment Act”/SB 1718 did not get enough votes today to move to the floor for a full vote.  Now there's a full-court press to pass this bill at all costs.  It's up to us to say no.

Click here to visit our sister site at FundEducationNow.org to quickly send an email to the Florida Senate or click here for a list of phone numbers for each Senator.  Urge them to vote No on SB 1718. 
 
Some politicians are questioning their choice to listen to the Parent Revolution lobbyists from California instead of us. 
 
In an effort to move the bill to the floor, Senate leadership called for a  Budget Committee meeting tomorrow morning at 8a.m. with the plan to quietly vote and move this bill to the floor.   
 
FundEducationNow.org, 50th No More, Citizens for Strong Schools, Florida PTA, Marions United for Public Education, Save Duval Schools and Support Dade Schools issued a widely-published joint statement clearly stating that we do not support the so-called “Parent Empowerment Act."
 
Instead of empowering parents, this infamous “parent trigger” scheme does the following:
 
Uses parents’ concern for their children as a tool to pull the “trigger” and give their neighborhood school to a private for-profit charter management corporation
·         Strips power from parents and voters
·         Removes all local control from taxpayers
·         Destroys democratic process by taking neighborhood schools away from the jurisdiction of duly elected district officials
·         Allows a small group of people to make a major fiscal and education decision for everyone else’s child
·         Robs Florida taxpayers of a significant capital investment
For-profit charters answer to no elected official, profit off our children and do not “empower parents.”
 
Click here and send an email to the Florida Senate. Tell them that Florida parents oppose the "Parent Empowerment" bill.

Our children cannot afford profit-driven reforms that do not work.  Speak up today.  Give our children a voice at the table.









Thursday, March 01, 2012

Controversial school prayer bill heads to governor's desk

A bill that would allow “inspirational messages,” including prayers, to be given during any school event, was passed on the House floor today with an 88-27 vote. The bill is now headed to the governor’s desk.
    The bill has raised countless concerns from critics, including legal experts, who warn that it is unconstitutional and would throw school districts into “costly litigation.”
In an effort to make this point, state Rep. Mark Pafford, D-West Palm Beach, and state Rep. Dwight Bullard, D-Cutler Bay, introduced amendments that would stipulate whether the state or school boards would shoulder the costs of the litigation the law would likely spur. Both amendments failed.
As it is written, the bill does not restrict what kind of messages can be delivered during school events. School faculty in K-12 schools would be prohibited from monitoring the messages, leading many lawmakers to raise concerns that the measure, if adopted, could end up giving students the ability to deliver hateful or racist messages at school events.



Senate panel passes anti-sharia bill during ‘Muslim Day’ at Capitol


A Senate panel ended emotionally today after a group of people attending “Muslim Day” at the Capitol were shut out of speaking against a bill aimed at outlawing “foreign law” in family court cases. The measure, and past incarnations of it, have been touted by right-wing activists as an attempt to “stop the spread of Sharia in Florida.”
The bill, which is sponsored by state Sen. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, would regulate the “application of foreign law in certain cases.” It has been called “unnecessary” by critics.
A representative of the Family Law section of the Florida Bar argued that the bill is a “solution for a problem that does not exist” during a House committee’s consideration of the bill. She said there are already laws in place that safeguard against the intervention of laws that do not apply.
Groups including the Council on Islamic-American Relations and the Anti-Defamation League have said the bill would restrict religious freedom. Some have denounced the bill, a piece of model legislation written by anti-Islam leader David Yerushalmi, for its ties to extremism.
The bill was brought up during the last few minutes of a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting today. A motion to vote on the bill was requested as the committee chair, state Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, listed the many Muslim speakers hoping to testify against it.
Many hoping to testify against the bill told Bogdanoff that the motion was a “pre-planned” effort to “shut down” those who were against the bill.
Bogdanoff told the bill’s detractors that she would be willing to hear them out once the committee had already voted the bill forward. She also told the upset speakers that, if they wanted another committee hearing for the bill, they could take their concerns to Senate President Mike Haridopolos.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Texting And Driving In Florida

I am a Florida registered voter and resident of Boca Raton.  I am also an expert in driver education and have been a professional race driver for many years.

I was stunned to read recently, that certain Florida Legislators believe a law against Texting While Driving would be an unreasonable infringement of personal liberties to the texting drivers.  I am wondering if those legislators drive on the same roads as the rest of us.

Every day in this country; texting drivers crash into other vehicles and grossly infringe on those innocent drivers personal liberties; by not allowing them to drive in safety.

Texting while driving has been fully researched and is known to be the leading cause of innumerable collisions and crashes on America’s roads.  Texting drivers continuously run red lights they didn’t see, or rear end vehicles they didn't notice were slowing down, etc.

The main reason texting drivers crash into other vehicles and pedestrians is because their eyes are completely off the road ahead as they text and drive.  Eyes off the road, for sometimes up to 5 or 6 seconds, is exactly what makes texting while driving stand out as the monster of distracted driving habits.

If any Florida Legislator thinks that it is ok for texting drivers to seriously injure and take away the lives of others, unchecked by sensible and reasoned laws, then they need to be out of public office.

Legislators; there are laws to stop a gun owner pointing their gun out of the window of a house, closing their eyes and pulling the trigger and I am sure you are ok with that particular infringement of personal liberties, because it makes perfect, reasonable sense.  Are you seriously going to tell me that driving a 3,000 to 5,000lb vehicle at any speed on our roads with your eyes effectively closed (eyes down to text) is any different than irresponsible gun use? Of course not.

I would hate to think that some Legislators entrenched position on this texting while driving issue; is for any other reason than they are ill-informed.  Florida needs its own version of an anti-texting law right now; that makes sense for our state.

I also read from the same Legislators, that they believe enforcement of texting while driving laws would be difficult.  This is mentioned in the same places I read about infringement of public liberties, which strongly suggests they believe this to be another reason to not pass any texting law.

35 other States have seen fit to pass laws to help stop this deadly driving distraction.  Police departments, Sheriff’s offices and Highway Patrol’s all over the US are coming up with very unique and imaginative ways to enforce these new laws.  Difficulty in enforcement should never be a reason to stop laws that certainly save lives.

I have one last point to mention.  I hear from many who say that if you ban texting and use of smart phones then where will it stop?  Next they will ban eating in cars, changing the radio station and putting on make-up etc.  The one word to understand is “frequency”.  Nobody takes an hour to put on some lip stick, comb their hair, or to eat a hamburger while driving; yet smart phone use, checking emails and texting while driving, can go on for hours.  There is no comparison, they are all driving distractions, but the amount of time spent on phones is enormous and research has shown that texting is currently the biggest factor in needless driving related collisions, crashes, injuries and fatalities.

If any elected official continues to stop and entangle reasonable legislation on the texting while driving problem; then I hope each of you takes full responsibility for every texting driver in Florida, who will continue to text while driving, with complete immunity.  It doesn’t really help to prosecute someone after the texting driver kills someone, now does it Legislators?

Sincerely, concerned road user

Andy Pilgrim

andy@andypilgrim.com






Monday, February 13, 2012

Florida Democratic Party Redistricting Lawsuit

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE
SECOND JUDICIAL CIRCUIT, IN AND
FOR LEON COUNTY, FLORIDA
Plaintiffs,
v.
RICK SCOTT, in his official capacity as Governor of the State of Florida, KURT BROWNING, in his official capacity as Florida Secretary of State, and PAM BONDI, in her official capacity as Attorney General of the State of Florida,
Defendants.
CASE NO. ____________



COMPLAINT


INTRODUCTION
1.                  Plaintiffs bring this action to challenge the constitutionality of Florida’s congressional reapportionment plan, Committee Substitute for Senate Bill 1174 (“2012 Congressional Plan”), and the constitutionality of individual districts in the 2012 Congressional Plan.
2.                  Article III, Section 20 of the Florida Constitution provides the standards for reapportionment of Florida’s congressional districts.  Unfortunately, in conducting the 2012 congressional reapportionment process, the Florida Legislature violated these constitutional requirements.  Plaintiffs bring this action to ensure that Florida’s congressional districts and reapportionment plan abide by the fair, neutral, and constitutionally-mandated requirements of Article III, Section 20.
PARTIES
3.                  Plaintiffs Rene Romo, Benjamin Weaver, Jessica Barrett, June Keener, Richard Quinn Boylan, William Everett Warinner, and Bonita Agan are citizens of the United States and residents and qualified voters in the State of Florida. 
4.                  Plaintiff Rene Romo resides at 626 Caroline Street in Key West, Florida.  Under the 2012 Congressional Plan, she resides in Congressional District 26.
5.                  Plaintiff Benjamin Weaver resides at 1649 Stockton Street in Jacksonville, Florida.  Under the 2012 Congressional Plan, he resides in Congressional District 4.
6.                  Plaintiff William Everett Warinner resides at 306 NE 5th Avenue in Gainesville, Florida.  Under the 2012 Congressional Plan, he resides in Congressional District 5.  
7.                  Plaintiff Jessica Barrett resides at 217 Palm Avenue in Auburndale, Florida.  Under the 2012 Congressional Plan, she resides in Congressional District 10.
8.                  Plaintiff June Keener resides at 9424 Via Segovia in New Port Richey, Florida.  Under the 2012 Congressional Plan, she resides in Congressional District 12.
9.                  Plaintiff Richard Quinn Boylan resides at 2950 Alton Drive in St. Pete Beach, Florida.  Under the2012 Congressional Plan, he resides in Congressional District 13.
10.              Plaintiff Bonita Agan resides at 251 Driftwood Road SE in St. Petersburg, Florida.  Under the 2012 Congressional Plan, she resides in Congressional District 14.
11.              Defendant Rick Scott is the Governor of the State of Florida.  In his official capacity, Governor Scott is the chief executive officer of the State of Florida and is charged with ensuring that the laws are faithfully executed.  Defendant Scott further has the power to veto or approve and sign into law congressional reapportionment legislation.
12.              Defendant Kurt Browning is the Secretary of State for the State of Florida.  In his official capacity, Defendant Browning is the chief elections officer for the State of Florida and is charged with administering Florida election laws.
13.              Defendant Pam Bondi is the Attorney General of the State of Florida.  In her official capacity, Defendant Bondi is the chief legal officer of the State of Florida.
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
14.              This Court has jurisdiction over this action pursuant to Article V, Section 5(b) of the Florida Constitution, and has authority to grant declaratory and injunctive relief pursuant to Fla. Stat. §§ 86.011 and 26.012(3) respectively. 
15.              Venue is proper in Leon County pursuant to Fla. Stat. § 47.011.
FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS
16.              On November 2, 2010, Florida voters overwhelmingly voted to amend Florida’s Constitution to include a provision requiring that fair and neutral standards be used when drawing congressional district lines. 
17.              The congressional reapportionment provision, designated “Amendment 6” on the ballot and now contained in Article III, Section 20 of the Florida Constitution, provides:
SECTION 20.Standards for establishing congressional district boundaries.—In establishing congressional district boundaries:
(a)No apportionment plan or individual district shall be drawn with the intent to favor or disfavor a political party or an incumbent; and districts shall not be drawn with the intent or result of denying or abridging the equal opportunity of racial or language minorities to participate in the political process or to diminish their ability to elect representatives of their choice; and districts shall consist of contiguous territory.
(b)Unless compliance with the standards in this subsection conflicts with the standards in subsection (a) or with federal law, districts shall be as nearly equal in population as is practicable; districts shall be compact; and districts shall, where feasible, utilize existing political and geographical boundaries.
(c)The order in which the standards within subsections (a) and (b) of this section are set forth shall not be read to establish any priority of one standard over the other within that subsection.
18.              On February 9, 2012, the Florida Legislature passed the 2012 Congressional Plan.
19.              On information and belief, Defendant Rick Scott imminently will sign the 2012 Congressional Plan into law.
20.              The 2012 Congressional Plan violates multiple aspects of Article III, Section 20 of the Florida Constitution and deprives Plaintiffs of rights guaranteed them by the Florida Constitution.  In particular, the 2012 Congressional Plan:
a.       was drawn with the intent to favor a political party;
b.      was drawn with the intent to disfavor a political party;
c.       was drawn with the intent to favor certain incumbents;
d.      was drawn with the intent to disfavor certain incumbents;
e.       was drawn with the intent to deny or abridge the equal opportunity of racial and language minorities to participate in the political process;
f.       was drawn with the intent to diminish the ability of racial and language minorities to elect representatives of their choice;
g.      was drawn with the result of denying or abridging the equal opportunity of racial and language minorities to participate in the political process;
h.      was drawn with the result of diminishing the ability of racial and language minorities to elect representatives of their choice;
i.        contains districts that are not compact; and
j.        contains districts that fail to utilize existing political and geographical boundaries where feasible. 
21.              Congressional District 4 under the 2012 Congressional Plan violates multiple aspects of Article III, Section 20 of the Florida Constitution and deprives Plaintiffs of rights guaranteed them by the Florida Constitution.  In particular, Congressional District 4:
a.       was drawn with the intent to favor a political party;
b.      was drawn with the intent to disfavor a political party;
c.       was drawn with the intent to favor an incumbent;
d.      was drawn with the intent to deny or abridge the equal opportunity of racial and language minorities to participate in the political process;
e.       was drawn with the intent to diminish the ability of racial and language minorities to elect  representatives of their choice;
f.       was drawn with the result of denying or abridging the equal opportunity of racial or language minorities to participate in the political process;
g.      was drawn with the result of diminishing the ability of racial and language minorities to elect representatives of their choice;
h.      is not compact; and
i.        fails to utilize existing political and geographical boundaries where feasible.
22.              Congressional District 5 under the 2012 Congressional Plan violates multiple aspects of Article III, Section 20 of the Florida Constitution and deprives Plaintiffs of rights guaranteed them by the Florida Constitution.  In particular, Congressional District 5:
a.       was drawn with the intent to favor a political party;
b.      was drawn with the intent to disfavor a political party;
c.       was drawn with the intent to favor an incumbent;
d.      was drawn with the intent to deny or abridge the equal opportunity of racial and language minorities to participate in the political process;
e.       was drawn with the intent to diminish the ability of racial and language minorities to elect  representatives of their choice;
f.       was drawn with the result of denying or abridging the equal opportunity of racial or language minorities to participate in the political process;
g.      was drawn with the result of diminishing the ability of racial and language minorities to elect representatives of their choice;
h.      is not compact; and
i.        fails to utilize existing political and geographical boundaries where feasible.
23.              Congressional District 10 under the 2012 Congressional Plan violates multiple aspects of Article III, Section 20 of the Florida Constitution and deprives Plaintiffs of rights guaranteed them by the Florida Constitution.  In particular, Congressional District 10:
a.       was drawn with the intent to favor a political party;
b.      was drawn with the intent to disfavor a political party;
c.       was drawn with the intent to favor an incumbent;
d.      was drawn with the intent to deny or abridge the equal opportunity of racial and language minorities to participate in the political process;
e.       was drawn with the intent to diminish the ability of racial and language minorities to elect  representatives of their choice;
f.       was drawn with the result of denying or abridging the equal opportunity of racial or language minorities to participate in the political process;
g.      was drawn with the result of diminishing the ability of racial and language minorities to elect representatives of their choice;
h.      is not compact; and
i.        fails to utilize existing political and geographical boundaries where feasible.
24.              Congressional District 12 under the 2012 Congressional Plan violates multiple aspects of Article III, Section 20 of the Florida Constitution and deprives Plaintiffs of rights guaranteed them by the Florida Constitution.  In particular, Congressional District 12:
a.       was drawn with the intent to favor a political party;
b.      was drawn with the intent to disfavor a political party;
c.       was drawn with the intent to favor an incumbent;
d.      is not compact; and
e.       fails to utilize existing political and geographical boundaries where feasible.
25.              Congressional District 13 under the 2012 Congressional Plan violates multiple aspects of Article III, Section 20 of the Florida Constitution and deprives Plaintiffs of rights guaranteed them by the Florida Constitution.  In particular, Congressional District 13:
a.       was drawn with the intent to favor a political party;
b.      was drawn with the intent to disfavor a political party;
c.       was drawn with the intent to favor an incumbent;
d.      was drawn with the intent to deny or abridge the equal opportunity of racial and language minorities to participate in the political process;
e.       was drawn with the intent to diminish the ability of racial and language minorities to elect  representatives of their choice;
f.       was drawn with the result of denying or abridging the equal opportunity of racial or language minorities to participate in the political process;
g.      was drawn with the result of diminishing the ability of racial and language minorities to elect representatives of their choice; and
h.      fails to utilize existing political and geographical boundaries where feasible.
26.              Congressional District 14 under the 2012 Congressional Plan violates multiple aspects of Article III, Section 20 of the Florida Constitution and deprives Plaintiffs of rights guaranteed them by the Florida Constitution.  In particular:
a.       was drawn with the intent to favor a political party;
b.      was drawn with the intent to disfavor a political party;
c.       was drawn with the intent to favor an incumbent;
d.      was drawn with the intent to deny or abridge the equal opportunity of racial and language minorities to participate in the political process;
e.       was drawn with the intent to diminish the ability of racial and language minorities to elect  representatives of their choice;
f.       was drawn with the result of denying or abridging the equal opportunity of racial or language minorities to participate in the political process;
g.      was drawn with the result of diminishing the ability of racial and language minorities to elect representatives of their choice;
h.      is not compact; and
i.        fails to utilize existing political and geographical boundaries where feasible.
27.              Congressional District 26 under the 2012 Congressional Plan violates multiple aspects of Article III, Section 20 of the Florida Constitution and deprives Plaintiffs of rights guaranteed them by the Florida Constitution.  In particular, Congressional District 26:
a.       was drawn with the intent to favor a political party;
b.      was drawn with the intent to disfavor a political party;
c.       was drawn with the intent to favor an incumbent; and
d.      fails to utilize existing political and geographical boundaries where feasible.
28.              On information and belief, absent an injunction from this Court, Defendants intend to and will conduct primary and general elections for the United States House of Representatives on the basis of the congressional districts set forth in the 2012 Congressional Plan.
29.              Plaintiffs intend to and will vote in the state primary and general elections to be held in 2012 and thereafter for candidates for the United States House of Representatives.  If those elections are conducted by Defendants on the basis of an unconstitutional reapportionment plan and unconstitutional congressional districts, Plaintiffs and all other similarly situated individuals will be further deprived of rights guaranteed by the Florida Constitution.
COUNT 1
(Violation of Article III, Section 20 of the Florida Constitution)
30.              Plaintiffs restate and incorporate by reference the allegations of paragraphs 1 through 29 above as though fully set forth herein.
31.              The 2012 Congressional Plan was drawn with the intent to favor and to disfavor certain political parties, was drawn with the intent to favor and to disfavor certain incumbents, was drawn with the intent to deny or abridge the equal opportunity of racial and language minorities to participate in the political process and diminish their ability to elect representatives of their choice, was drawn with the result of denying or abridging the equal opportunity of racial and language minorities to participate in the political process and diminishing their ability to elect representatives of their choice, contains non-compact districts, and contains districts that fail to utilize existing political and geographical boundaries where feasible.  As a result, the 2012 Congressional Plan as a whole violates Article III, Section 20 of the Florida Constitution.  The 2012 Congressional Plan as a whole deprives Plaintiffs and all other citizens of Florida of the rights guaranteed them by the Florida Constitution.
32.              The 2012 Congressional Plan contains districts, including districts in which Plaintiffs reside, that were drawn with the intent to favor and to disfavor certain political parties, were drawn with the intent to favor and to disfavor certain incumbents, were drawn with the intent to deny or abridge the equal opportunity of racial and language minorities to participate in the political process and diminish their ability to elect representatives of their choice, were drawn with the result of denying or abridging the equal opportunity of racial and language minorities to participate in the political process and diminishing their ability to elect representatives of their choice, are non-compact, and fail to utilize existing political and geographical boundaries where feasible, all in violation of Article III, Section 20 of the Florida Constitution.  These districts deprive Plaintiffs and all similarly situated citizens of Florida of the rights guaranteed them by the Florida Constitution. 
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs request that this Court:
1.         Declare, pursuant to Fla. Stat. § 86.011, that the 2012 Congressional Plan deprives Plaintiffs and all citizens of Florida of their rights under Article III, Section 20 of the Florida Constitution, and that the 2012 Congressional Plan is unconstitutional, unlawful, null, and void; or, in the alternative, declare that Congressional Districts 4, 5, 10, 12, 13, 14, and 26 under the 2012 Congressional Plan deprive Plaintiffs and other residents of these districts of their rights under Article III, Section 20 of the Florida Constitution, and that these districts are unconstitutional, unlawful, null, and void;
2.         Issue a permanent injunction and judgment, pursuant to Fla .Stat. § 26.012(3), barring Defendants from calling, holding, supervising, or certifying any further elections under the 2012 Congressional Plan; or, in the alternative, enjoin Defendants from calling, holding, supervising, or certifying any further elections using Congressional Districts 4, 5, 10, 12, 13, 14, and 26 under the 2012 Congressional Plan;
3.         Hold hearings, consider briefing and evidence, and otherwise take actions necessary to determine and order valid plans for new congressional districts for the State of Florida; and
4.         Grant such other or further relief the Court deems to be appropriate, including but not limited to an award of Plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees and reasonable costs.




Dated:  February 9, 2012

By:

Joseph W. Hatchett (FL Bar #34486)
AKERMAN SENTERFITT
106 E. College Ave., Suite 1200
Tallahassee, Florida 32301
Tel: (850) 224-9634
Fax: (850) 222-0103

Karen C. Dyer
Florida Bar No.:  716324
E-mail:  kdyer@bsfllp.com
BOIES, SCHILLER & FLEXNER LLP
121 South Orange Avenue, Suite 840
Orlando, Florida 32801
Telephone:  (407) 425-7118
Facsimile:   (407) 425-7047

Jon L. Mills
Florida Bar No.:  148286
E-mail:  jmills@bsfllp.com
BOIES, SCHILLER & FLEXNER LLP
100 SE 2nd Street, Suite 2800
Miami, Florida  33131-2144
Telephone:  (305) 539-8400
Facsimile:  (305) 539-1307


 More info.......
Source Dailykos.com

  • FL Redistricting: Even though Gov. Rick Scott hasn't even signed the new state's new maps into law yet, the Florida Democratic Party has already filed suit against them under the new Fair Districts amendments to the state's constitution—which forbid legislators from taking partisan factors such as incumbency into account when drawing maps—and other groups are promising to do the same. (The Miami Herald has copies of a couple complaints at the link, include the FDP's.) Without much in the way of legal precedent, it's almost impossible to predict how the courts will rule; I'd say anything from allowing the maps to stand to a radical re-draw is possible.
    Meanwhile, there have been a whole number of moves brought about by the new congressional lines, which are summarized in our House section below. We also have a number of Florida-related items you'll want to check out:
    • David Jarman's comprehensive, district-by-district analysis of all the changes the new map has wrought, and what it means for Democratic and Republican election hopes;
    • Another awesome post from David: our Florida cheat-sheet, a one-stop shopping source for information on who's running where (and which seats are likely to be competitive) for the entire state;
    • Our classic redistribution analysis, showing you how the old districts get carved up into new ones under the new map;
    • A set of election results according to the new congressional districts, for every statewide race in Florida from 2006 to 2010;
    • And finally, a spreadsheet showing which old district, geographically speaking, can best be considered the predecessor of each new district—crucial because the legislature just renumbered the entire map.