YOUR DAILY WEEKLY READER: Snaking! Shifting! Speeding! More!


IF IT LOOKS LIKE A SNAKE, HISSES LIKE A SNAKE AND SLITHERS LIKE A SNAKE, IT’S PROBABLY A REPUBLICAN-DRAWN DISTRICT: “William Everett Warinner and James C. Miller, Sr., both registered voters in Brown’s district, claim that the ‘serpentine route’ of the meandering district violates their constitutional rights to equal protection because it packs blacks into the district in an effort to ‘bleach’ the adjoining districts to benefit Republicans. Warinner is among the plaintiffs already challenging Florida’s entire congressional redistricting map in state court, alleging that it violates the redistricting amendments in the state constitutional because the map was drawn with partisan intent. They are represented by some of that same law firms that represent the state and federal Democratic parties. According to the complaint against Secretary of State Ken Detzner, and amended on Thursday, plaintiffs claim they are being deprived of their 14th Amendment right to equal protection because the district was drawn with race as the predominant factor. They want a court to throw out the map and prevent another election from being held using those district boundaries. Detzner’s lawyers have asked the three-judge panel assigned to the case in Orlando, to either dismiss the lawsuit or change the venue to Tallahassee.” (via Tampa Bay Times)



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AT LAST, SOME MOVEMENT ON THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT KERFUFFLE, AND THIS TIME SAID MOVEMENT ISN’T TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ITS HOLES: “The bill is certain to have its critics, including on the left. Voting rights supporters will argue, justifiably, that the new Section 4 formula does not apply to enough states and wrongly treats voter ID laws differently than other discriminatory voting changes. Despite these flaws, the legislation represents a significant improvement over the disastrous post-Shelby status quo, which has seen states like North Carolina and Texas rush to pass blatantly discriminatory voting restrictions after being freed from federal oversight. The legislation strengthens voting rights protections in a number of tangible ways and gives the federal government and voting rights advocates new tools to combat voting discrimination.” (via The Nation)


NOT BUYING WHAT SHE’S SELLERS-ING: “Gov. Rick Scott on Friday will announce key members of his re-election campaign team, with communications director Melissa Sellers moving from the governor's office to be campaign manager and Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, chairman of Scott's re-election effort. Starting next Tuesday, Sellers, 31, will oversee day-to-day operations of the re-election organization. Before she joined the governor's office in 2012, Sellers was a regional spokeswoman for the Republican National Convention in Tampa and was chief spokeswoman for Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal during his campaign for governor in 2007 and his first term. Sellers, a Texas native, originally wanted to be a reporter. The University of Texas journalism graduate was named a rising star by Campaign & Elections magazine six years ago when she was 25.” (via Miami Herald)


FASTER, PUSSYCAT! KILL, KILL, KILL!: “The measure (SB 392), sponsored by Senate Transportation Chairman Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, allows speeds up to 75 mph on interstate highways, like I-75 or I-4, and up to 70 mph on divided four-lane highways in rural areas. Other roads under the DOT’s supervision could see speeds up to 65 mph after an evaluation. The vote came over the objection of critics who said increasing speed limits would lead to more traffic accidents, injuries and fatalities. One opponent likened it to a famous European highway that has stretches with no speed limits. ‘You can come with a lot of logic as to why we should do this, but the highways of Florida are not the German Autobahn — I’m concerned about lives,’ said Sen. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, who cast the only vote against the bill.” (via Sarasota Herald-Tribune)



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