politics

Justices Send State Redistricting Battle To Lower Court

Sep 8, 2015

After lawmakers failed last month to agree on a congressional redistricting plan, the Florida Supreme Court on Friday sent the issue back to a circuit judge who will try to piece together a map that meets constitutional requirements.

The Supreme Court left open the possibility that the Legislature could still hold another session and redraw districts. But it also made clear it won't wait long, giving Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis until Oct. 17 to handle the case --- and refusing a House request for more time.

Harvard Law professor Lawrence Lessig met his self-imposed goal of crowdfunding $1 million by Labor Day, and Sunday on ABC announced he's running for the Democratic nomination for president.

Lessig, an activist with a grass-roots following among some progressives, says he's running on a singular platform — the Citizen Equality Act of 2017. It would expand voting access, ban gerrymandering and institute campaign finance reform.

Ever since the Tea Party began in 2009, various Republicans have been auditioning to lead this populist revolt. Rand Paul took a chainsaw to the federal budget. Ted Cruz almost shut down the government. Chris Christie and Scott Walker have been bashing Washington elites.

But it wasn't until Donald Trump came along that the populist base of the Republican Party found the right mouthpiece for all its grievances.

Kenny Malone / Flag photo: Lindsay Shaver Creative Commons

Maybe Barry White missed his calling.

In a new study, potential voters inherently favored political candidates with lower-pitched voices.

“We’re not saying that this is the Holy Grail of how we understand how voting works, but it’s in there somewhere as something that affects how we vote,” says Dr. Rindy Anderson, a biologist at Florida Atlantic University and one of three authors on the study.

Sen. Bernie Sanders drew big crowds again this weekend, but they may not be the right kind of crowd if he hopes to win South Carolina's primary. The Independent senator from Vermont is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, and he'll need black voters to win in the early-voting state.

Jeb Bush isn't pulling punches anymore when it comes to Donald Trump.

The former Florida governor has delicately danced around the billionaire businessman in the 2016 presidential primary so far. But the gloves came off this week when Bush called out Trump as a closet Democrat. He was trying to stunt Trump's rise while attempting to recover his own political mojo.

Redistricting Session Falls Apart Amid House-Senate Battle

Aug 21, 2015

A special session called to redraw state congressional lines was derailed Friday, the latest sign of growing acrimony between Republican leaders of the House and Senate.

The Republican-controlled Florida Legislature now has two rival maps for Congress.

Miami Herald Staff

A pair of voting-rights groups whose lawsuit led to the state's current congressional districts being struck down by the Florida Supreme Court say that a new proposal appears to be tilted to favor a Republican congressman in South Florida.

House Approves Congressional Districts; Senate Ponders Changes

Aug 14, 2015

The battle over boundaries for Florida's 27 congressional districts began in earnest Thursday, with a state House committee approving a plan while senators considered overhauling the same proposal --- and as a congresswoman continued pressing her case that the map would harm black voters.

Updated at 11:25 a.m. ET

Secretary of State John Kerry presided over a ceremony reopening the U.S. Embassy in Havana, including a flag-raising ceremony — an event that will mark the first time the Stars and Stripes have flown over a diplomatic compound there in 54 years.

Kerry, speaking before assembled dignitaries, remembered the strained history of U.S.-Cuba relations, including the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, when the Soviet Union was discovered to be siting nuclear rockets on the island nation.

Joyce Tenneson

When President Obama was sworn into office for his second term in January 2013, it was Miami-raised writer Richard Blanco who read the inaugural poem.

He was the first Latino and first openly gay inaugural poet in U.S.  history. And now Blanco, a child of Cuban immigrants, will put his poetic stamp on another historic event -- the re-opening of a U.S. embassy in Havana, Cuba.

Blanco, now a resident of Maine, was chosen to read his new poem during the re-opening ceremony before a crowd of Cuban officials and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

The Republican-controlled Florida Legislature, still angry at being forced into action by the state's highest court, launched yet another bid on Monday to reshape the state's congressional districts.

Legislators returned to the Capitol to kick off a 12-day special session to draw a new map that could make it difficult for several incumbent members of Congress to get re-elected. This is the third time lawmakers have worked on a congressional map since 2012.

Medical Marijuana Group Collects $770K

Aug 11, 2015

A group seeking to ask voters in 2016 to legalize medical marijuana raised more than $770,000 in July, buoyed by contributions from its leader, Orlando attorney John Morgan, according to a newly filed finance report.

"People United for Medical Marijuana" raised $770,534 during the month and spent $756,419, as it tries to collect enough petition signatures to get on the November 2016 ballot.

The Morgan Firm PA contributed about $704,000 of the July total, with Coral Gables retiree Barbara Stiefel chipping in another $40,000, the report shows.

Where Presidential Candidates Stand On Climate Change

Aug 11, 2015

Last week, President Obama released a plan to cut carbon emissions from power plants. Climate change has also been cropping up on the presidential campaign trail — both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have released their own proposals.

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