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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"White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly told Democratic lawmakers Wednesday that the United States will never construct a physical wall along the entire stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border and that some of President Trump’s campaign promises on immigration were 'uninformed.'”
"House GOP leaders on Tuesday night pitched a new strategy to avert a looming government shutdown that includes children's health funding and the delay of ObamaCare taxes. Lawmakers need to pass a short-term stopgap bill by midnight Friday, when money for the federal government runs out. The latest GOP plan would keep the government’s lights on through Feb. 16, and be coupled with a six-year extension of funding for the popular Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The continuing resolution or CR would also delay ObamaCare's medical device and Cadillac taxes for two years, and the health insurance tax for one year starting in 2019."
"A key Senate negotiator and White House official on Tuesday expressed little hope for an immigration deal this week but nonetheless predicted that Congress can avoid a government shutdown." Marc Short, the White House Capitol Hill liaison, said he's optimistic about a deal on DACA overall, but not this week. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn also said he doubts an agreement can be made before week's end.
"Homeland Security Kristjen Nielsen confirmed that President Trump used 'tough language' in an Oval Office meeting last week over immigration policy, but she said she did not hear him describe some African countries and Haiti as 'shithole countries,' as has been reported." When pressed she, also said she "didn't know" whether Norway was a predominately white country.