On its face, the Florida Supreme Court’s decision Thursday to require redistricting in Florida helps Democrats, possibly giving them pick-up opportunities in the Tampa, Orlando, and Miami areas. But (m)uch will depend on the Republican-controlled Florida House and Senate, which are responsible for creating the new boundaries.”
The court ordered Rep. Corrine Brown’s (D-FL 05) majority-African-American district, which runs from Jacksonville to Gainesville to Orlando, to be redrawn in an east-west configuration rather than running north and south. That could put Brown in the same district as freshman Rep. Gwen Graham (D-FL 02), or draw a significant number of Democrats out of Graham’s district. (Miami Herald)
In FL-13, former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (D) is “strongly considering” running for Rep. David Jolly’s (R-FL 13) seat after the Florida Supreme Court required Jolly’s district and others to be redrawn in time for the 2016 elections. The ruling “nearly guarantees” that Crist’s home is drawn into the district and that it will lean more Democratic. (Politico)
Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch (D) and state Rep. Dwight Dudley (D) are considering bids for Jolly’s seat. Former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker (D) is also considered a possibility. Welch said he “absolutely” agreed with the decision and that the more liberal southern portion of Pinellas County had originally been cut out of the district for partisan reasons. Dudley said he plans on introducing a bill creating an independent redistricting commission. (Tampa Tribune)
St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman (D), who had been rumored as a possible candidate, said he is not interested in running. (Tampa Bay Times)
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"The Senate was expected to be back in session at noon, while House lawmakers were told to return to work for a 9 a.m. session. Mr. Trump on Friday had canceled plans to travel to his private resort on Palm Beach, Fla., where a celebration had been planned for Saturday to celebrate the anniversary of his first year in office."
"A stopgap spending bill stalled in the Senate Friday night, leading to a government shutdown for the first time since 2013. The continuing resolution funding agencies expired at midnight, and lawmakers were unable to spell out any path forward to keep government open. The Senate on Friday night failed to reach cloture on a four-week spending bill the House had already approved."
"The FBI is investigating whether a top Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin illegally funneled money to the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump win the presidency." Investigators have focused on Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank "who is known for his close relationships with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and the NRA." The solicitation or use of foreign funds is illegal in U.S. elections under the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) by either lobbying groups or political campaigns. The NRA reported spending a record $55 million on the 2016 elections.
"Hundreds of new and supplemental FARA filings by U.S. lobbyists and public relations firms" have been submitted "since Special Counsel Mueller charged two Trump aides with failing to disclose their lobbying work on behalf of foreign countries. The number of first-time filings ... rose 50 percent to 102 between 2016 and 2017, an NBC News analysis found. The number of supplemental filings, which include details about campaign donations, meetings and phone calls more than doubled from 618 to 1,244 last year as lobbyists scrambled to avoid the same fate as some of Trump's associates and their business partners."