Undoubtedly, you are busy cooking off the last of your corned beef and cabbage in preparation for St. Patty’s Day. Or maybe you’re plopped out in front of the tube, soaking in all of the March Madness. Either way, it’s a great day to be doing things other than talking politics. Still, there’s a lot going on. Here’s where sh*t stands:
If you check out one thing today, be sure to read about the difficulty of drawing new districts via the Orlando Sentinel’s Aaron Deslatte:
“It helps to visualize Florida’s redistricting process as one of those multi-level board games from ‘Star Trek’ where some android or Vulcan is sitting in a bar and trying to strategize at different levels simultaneously.
You’ve got the chore of re-drawing new Senate districts, which by itself is a mind-warping exercise. Since districts have to be of roughly equal population, any changes one might make to, say, Senate Majority Leader Andy Gardiner‘s invalidated seat in Orange and Lake counties, have a spillover effect on the surrounding districts. “That’s just the reality,” he said last week.
But that’s just one reality in an infinite universe of redistricting wormholes.”
Looking for more insight into the redistricting process? Check out: The numbers game of redistricting and Reform group urges senators to re-draw district maps in public.
Also, Judge Terry Lewis holds a hearing in the legal challenge to the Legislature’s redistricting plan for congressional districts.
The big story which really impacts no one: Nancy Argenziano can’t run as a Democrat – A judge has ruled that former Republican Nancy Argenziano has doesn’t have fundamental right to run for Congress as a member of a particular party. Argenziano was challenging the new election law because it requires candidates be in the party they want to run in for a longer time period. Argenziano wanted to run for Congress as a Democrat. She’ll continue as an independent.
Argenziano may have trouble raising money, but John Mica’s not having similar problems. Politico takes note of how much money U.S. Rep. John Mica is raising from out of state. Mica had collected just $6,550 from a total of seven people in his district through the end of last year — less than 1 percent of the $700,149 he had raised for this election cycle.
A separate fundraising story worth a read is about how much Rick Scott spent in 2010 to win the race for Governor. Let’s Get to Work, which raised money to get Gov. Scott, was one of the biggest independent spenders nationally, John Kennedy reports in the Palm Beach Post.
Rick Scott’s powers have been expanded by the Legislature, Katie Sanders reports:
“More power to supervise agency rulemaking. More power to remove members of local jobs agencies. More power to dish out millions of dollars to help businesses relocate to Florida.
In each case, Republicans say they wanted to take big decisions out of the hands of unelected agency bureaucrats and give them to the state’s highest-ranking official — the one accountable to voters.”
Democrats say “Why don’t we just change the title of governor to king and give him a crown and be done with it?”
Scott’s influence has also grown because the rest of the Cabinet can’t fly around on state planes, Lucy Morgan contends.
“Getting rid of all state planes seriously hobbles all of the other state officials who need to travel around the state to supervise far-flung employees and keep in touch with citizens who need their services. Anyone who has tried to travel in and out of Tallahassee can tell you how inconvenient it is to go anywhere. A plane trip to Orlando often means a costly trip through Atlanta and lots of extra time spent coming and going as well as overnight stays when you might have returned the same day.
Chief Finance Officer Jeff Atwater, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and Attorney General Pam Bondi have not complained, but each of them has to scramble to cobble together ways to do their jobs.”
U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson travels to Miami today for a meeting with Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and a tour of a local furniture company the government is working with to expand exports. Bryson and Gimenez will also discuss government-business partnerships and an upcoming Department of Commerce trade mission to India.
Information from the News Service of Florida was used in this report.