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Martin Dyckman: Courts failed organizations that won redistricting fight

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If only the Florida Constitution included a provision like this: (1) Members of the Legislature who vote for measures subsequently held unconstitutional shall be liable jointly and severally for all attorney fees and costs as established by the court. (2) Failure to pay such liabilities within 60 days of final judgment shall constitute disqualification for re-election or election to another office. That is, to be sure, as far-fetched a dream as hitting the Powerball, if not more so. But it’s…

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Corrine Brown, fired up and ready to go — to lunch

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With the oldest son of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. standing behind her, U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown held a master class in political theater at a Tallahassee buffet restaurant Friday. It came after a court hearing on her legal challenge of the state’s new congressional district map. In the morning, a panel of federal judges heard arguments — but did not immediately rule — on her request for a preliminary injunction to freeze in place the old map until a final…

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Corrine Brown’s lawyer makes historical argument to keep district lines

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A lawyer for U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown on Friday told a panel of federal judges that Florida’s new congressional map flies in the face of 100 years of history and would do violence to the voting rights of her black constituency. William Sheppard argued that the former District, which meanders from Jacksonville through Gainesville to Sanford, follows the course of the St. John’s River, where black residents settled and stayed after fleeing discrimination and racist attacks early last century. Brown’s former 5th Congressional…

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Court strikes down fee request in redistricting case

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An appeal court in Tallahassee has upheld a trial judge’s denial of attorney fees to the plaintiffs who won a congressional redistricting case. A three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal agreed with Circuit Judge Terry Lewis that the League of Women Voters of Florida, Common Cause and others “waived their right” to get their legal fees reimbursed for the trial court portion of the case. A separate request for appellate attorney fees still is pending before the Florida Supreme…

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Gulfport incumbents come out on top during lone debate

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

Four candidates in two Gulfport municipal races squared off in a League of Women Voters moderated debate Thursday night. Though challengers gave a strong performance, the incumbents came out on top. City Council incumbent Dan Liedtke and his challenger, April Thanos featured the first 45-minutes of back and forth while Mayoral candidates Barbara Banno and Sam Henderson wrapped up the night. Henderson, the current mayor and Banno, a former City Council member and owner of Stella’s in downtown, started the debate…

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Mitch Perry Report for 1.25.16 – Santa Clara will now be Peyton’s Place

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San Mateo is located approximately halfway between San Francisco and Santa Clara, the site of Super Bowl 50 in 13 days. It’s also the hometown of Tom Brady, generally considered (after last year’s Super Bowl) The Greatest Of All Time (GOAT), when it comes to ranking NFL quarterbacks in history. He wasn’t yesterday, though, was he? There are many, many reasons to cherish the Denver Broncos upset over Brady’s New England Patriots last night. One that comes to mind this morning is the…

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Florida Republican group strives to be “conservative alternative” to League of Women Voters

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The president of the Florida Federation of Republican Women said that the League of Women Voters, whose proposed congressional and state Senate redistricting maps were adopted by the courts after it and other groups sued, is liberal in its policies and its membership is largely from Democrats. Dena DeCamp of Lakeland said the Florida Federation intends to become a “conservative alternative” to the league and begin to push a conservative agenda and counter the league’s issues. “We are going to…

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