Rep. Ron DeSantis (R) raised $2 million last month between his campaign ($471,000) and political committee ($1.6 million) and had “over $5.2 million” on hand. (Tampa Bay Times)
Former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine (D) announced Wednesday he self-funded another $800,000 in February and that his campaign and political committee raised a combined $450,000 last month. (release)
Housing investor Chris King (D) raised $265,441 in February, including $201,000 for his campaign and another $64,000 for his political committee. He reported $1.8 million on hand. (release)
Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum‘s (D) “campaign announced Wednesday that in February he raised more than $105,270 through his official campaign account and another $140,250 for his political committee, Forward Florida.” (Florida Politics)
STONEMAN DOUGLAS. “The Republican-led Florida House passed a school safety package that includes an unprecedented tightening of gun control regulations on Wednesday. The close vote placed reluctant GOP legislators in a vice between browbeating chamber leadership and the powerful National Rifle Association. … The … bill … would allow for the hiring of more school resources officers, physical security improvements to schools, new age and waiting-period limits on shotgun and rifle purchases and more police powers to seize weapons from dangerous people.”
State House Speaker Richard Corcoran (R): “Today, the House kept its word to the students and families of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. When we said ‘never again’ we meant it.” (Politico)
State Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam (R): “The Legislature’s commitment to funding that Safe Schools account has gone down over time. I think that complacency, unfortunately, potentially crept in. … It’s unfortunate that it took the Parkland event to refocus everyone on the need to harden these schools. … I am a member of the NRA, and that does not make us akin to someone who would kill 17 students.” (WJXT)
Levine and Gillum lauded the bill for taking steps in the right direction but called for further action to curtail gun rights. (releases)
“Gillum, during an appearance Saturday on MSNBC, accused [former Rep. Gwen Graham (D)] of campaigning on the Second Amendment when she ran for Congress. … King, during a news conference Wednesday in Tallahassee, said she never supported the ban during her time in Congress. Graham responded on Wednesday, saying in an email that the ‘attacks are predictable but sad.’ She alluded to her victory in 2014, which came after the NRA spent several hundred thousand dollars in an effort to defeat her.” (Tallahassee Democrat)
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President Trump announced that he is instructing the Pentagon to create a new "space force" independent service branch. "It is not enough to merely have an American presence in space," Trump said, "we must have American dominance in space." The new command will be the sixth branch of the U.S. Military, which currently includes the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.
"Two longtime associates of President Donald Trump are now acknowledging a previously undisclosed contact in May 2016 with a Russian who they say offered dirt on Hillary Clinton. Roger Stone and Michael Caputo say they forgot to tell investigators about their contact with a Russian national who goes by the name Henry Greenberg — even though they say Greenberg offered to sell incriminating information to the Trump campaign for $2 million."
"President Trump plans to nominate Kathy Kraninger to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the White House said on Saturday. The post is currently held by interim director Mick Mulvaney, who also leads the Office of Management and Budget, where Kraninger is an associate director. Kraninger is expected to continue Mulvaney's push to make the bureau more business friendly."
"The Supreme Court on Monday passed up its two opportunities this term to rule on when and whether states violate the Constitution by drawing electoral maps that sharply favor one political party." In a dispute over Maryland's congressional map, the Supreme Court "upheld a district court judge’s decision not to grant a preliminary injunction" blocking the map. In the Wisconsin case Gill v. Whitford, the justices ruled that Democratic voters lacked standing to challenge the redrawn electoral boundaries at the Supreme Court. Seven justices
"agreed to give the challengers another shot at making their case in the lower courts."
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross failed to keep his promise to divest from his company holdings upon entering government, a Forbes investigation has found. Ross reportedly kept his stakes in companies co-owned by the Chinese government, a firm linked to Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, and a Cyprus bank caught up in the Robert Mueller investigation. Forbes reports that Ross’s family continued to have an interest in these holdings while he dealt with China and Russia in his official role, even while knowing that his family’s fortunes were linked to the countries. Although the arrangements appear to be legal, Forbes says Ross may have broken the law by submitting a sworn statement to officials in November saying he divested of everything he promised he would. His spokesperson said Ross did not lie and has filed amended paperwork.