Supreme Court questions need for documents secrecy

09/19/2014
A lawyer for a Republican political consultant trying to keep out of public view documents at the center of a redistricting lawsuit ran into resistance from Florida Supreme Court justices across the ideological spectrum Friday.

The lawyer's client, Pat Bainter —- whose firm Data Targeting, Inc., has battled for months to keep the documents private —- appeared to be bracing for defeat Friday afternoon, issuing a blistering statement denouncing his perceived enemies. read more »

GOP consultant says 'integrity' of court is at stake over redistricting

09/19/2014
TALLAHASSEE - One of Florida's top Republican political consultants stopped short of accusing the state Supreme Court of lacking "integrity" Friday if it rules that he must disclose emails in a case brought under the state's new anti-gerrymandering laws.

Pat Bainter, whose firm Data Targeting has battled for two years to keep the documents private in a lengthy legal battle over the state's redistricting maps, argued on Friday that the release of his emails violates his First Amendment right to anonymous political speech. read more »

Florida Supreme Court holds testy hearing on secret evidence used in redistricting trial

09/18/2014
TALLAHASSEE, Florida — A bitter dispute pitting Republican political consultants against groups who challenged Florida's congressional map spilled out in front of the state's highest court on Friday.

The Supreme Court has been asked to decide whether or not secret evidence should have been used during a landmark redistricting trial. The evidence, which included 31 pages of emails and documents, was reviewed by the judge but has not been made public. read more »

Florida Supreme Court Justices Did What to Attorney in Controversial Redistricting Case?

09/18/2014
The Florida Supreme Court on Friday grilled an attorney representing a political consultant who tried to evade a Leon Circuit judge's efforts to get at the truth in the congressional redistricting process.

For his part, D. Kent Safriet of Hopping Green & Sams in Tallahassee tried to turn his client's situation into an opportunity to challenge two constitutional amendments intended to curb gerrymandering. read more »

Re-Draw the Lines- by The Laughing Stock, Florida's Musically Twisted Political Cabaret

08/11/2014
One of the things that will dominate the 2012 Florida Legislative Session is re-districting. Assigned to oversee that Herculean task is Niceville Senator, Don Gaetz. He's been upbeat about it in public but in private, he seems to be harboring a few misgivings. It's not red, white or blue for him. This year, he's the man in black. read more »

Lawmakers grapple with Fla. redistricting

08/05/2014
Florida legislators have been called into a special session to deal with a judge's ruling that they must redraw districts, a decision that could throw this fall's elections into chaos.

A judge ordered lawmakers last Friday to redraw the districts of Reps. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.) and Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) before Aug. 15, though it's unclear whether they and any others that are altered near them could be redrawn for the 2014 elections, or whether there would be a special election at some point for them. read more »

Legislative Leaders Officially Call Special Session for Redistricting

08/04/2014
On Monday, Florida Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, and Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, officially called a special session to redraw congressional districts after a Leon County circuit judge ruled their previous efforts failed to pass constitutional muster. read more »

Florida Legislature's Rocket Redistricting Plan

08/04/2014
TALLAHASSEE—The Florida Legislature is preparing a quick-fix this week to remedy its gerrymandered congressional map which would shed the "finger-like appendages" from two Orlando-area districts that a judge found improperly favored Republicans.

And the GOP-led Legislature is also preparing to fight any attempt to move the primary and general election dates, a move which could plunge election officials into a legal quagmire over thousands of already cast absentee ballots. read more »