GOP use of strawmen to submit redistricting maps focus of unsealed testimony

11/25/2014
Lawyers challenging the legality of Florida's congressional districts focused on the use of "strawmen" to submit proposed maps when they questioned GOP political consultant Pat Bainter about the Legislature's 2012 redistricting process, according to testimony in the case unsealed Tuesday.

The lawyers for groups challenging the redrawn congressional districts stressed the fact that third parties were recruited to submit maps drawn by GOP political consultants like Data Targeting, Bainter's company. read more »

Redistricting records GOP-led process was an illusion

11/25/2014
TALLAHASSEE - Long before the first public maps were released, critics say Florida Republican political operatives were creating an illusion of non-partisanship over the once-a-decade redistricting process witha wink and a nudge toward their collaborators in the Legislature.

That illusion was outed Tuesday when the Florida Supreme Court released thousands of pages of emails, testimony and sealed court records related to the GOP political consulting firm Data Targeting, which was at the center of the two-year legal fight over lawmakers' attempts to implement anti-gerrymandering reforms passed by voters. read more »

Florida Supreme Court unseals documents on districts

11/25/2014
TALLAHASSEE - The extent that Republican consultants went to influence Florida's redrawing of congressional and legislative districts was placed into public view on Tuesday by the Florida Supreme Court.

The high court officially unsealed hundreds of pages of emails and documents, as well as court testimony that had been given behind closed doors by one consultant from Gainesville. read more »

Records Show Broad Effort To Funnel Maps Through Public

11/25/2014
TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) — The Florida Supreme Court released records Tuesday that gave more insight into an alleged plan by Republican political consultants to funnel maps through the public.

The effort itself is not a surprise; revelations at a redistricting trial about a map submitted under the name of former Florida State University student Alex Posada had already indicated some maps submitted through the Legislature's system to gather public ideas were not drawn by the people whose names were attached to them. read more »

9 Investigates: High cost of Florida redistricting lawsuits

11/10/2014
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. —The Florida Legislature has spent more than $6 million on outside legal counsel fighting congressional redistricting.

According to records obtained from the Florida House of Representatives and Florida Senate, the two chambers have spent a combined $6,222,655.93 in its lawsuits with groups including the League of Women Voters.


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In Congress, it's sweet to be an incumbent

11/05/2014
Ask the Average Joe or Josephine what they think about Washington — and they will tell you that Congress is full of hacks who need to be thrown out of office.

Yet, do you know how many incumbents Central Florida booted this week?

Zero.

That's right, not a one. read more »

Congressional redistricting heads to state's high court just as lawmakers return to Capitol

10/23/2014
Following a 12-day trial that ended in June, Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis threw out district boundaries approved in 2012 by the Legislature, specifically finding that the districts held by U.S. Reps. Daniel Webster, R-Orlando and Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville were drawn to help Republicans maintain overwhelming control of the state's 27-member congressional delegation. read more »

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 »