Florida Five: Crist’s running mate? ‘Earwax-eating’ Garcia’s ‘communism works’ video

Five of today’s top Florida political stories at your fingertips:

‘Communism works’ video: What just came out of ‘earwax-eating’ Garcia’s mouth? Appearing to eat earwax on CNN was just the beginning. It turns out Miami Democrat Joe Garcia has disturbing things coming out of his mouth too. In a Tuesday night Google Hangout about immigration, the congressman said that communism works, and “we’ve proved it,” according to the Miami Herald Blog. Read more.

Val runVal Demings makes sense for Charlie Crist’s running mate: Charlie Crist could be taking a page from Rick Scott’s playbook as a possible lieutenant governor candidate starts to emerge. Val Demings stunned Florida political circles when she ended her campaign against Teresa Jacobs on Tuesday. Demings was well-positioned to give Jacobs a fight in the Orange County mayoral race but it certainly wouldn’t have been a slam dunk. With Demings suddenly ending her campaign, speculation quickly grew that she would be Crist’s understudy on the Democratic gubernatorial ticket. Crist’s people are saying it’s too early for running-mate speculation, but they did not shoot down the trial balloons. Read more.

Orange wins Hispanic voting rights lawsuit: Court records indicate the judge issued her verbal ruling this morning at about 11 a.m., after a sixth day of testimony in the case. Chief Judge Anne C. Conway will later issue a full opinion, records show.The plaintiffs alleged that Orange leaders in 2011 crafted new political borders that diluted Hispanic voting strength. Read more.

Weatherford: Political consultants wanted ‘clarity’ in redistricting: House Speaker Will Weatherford testified Tuesday that Republican political consultants had “sullen faces” when he and other lawmakers told them flatly they could not have a hand in re-drawing new congressional maps.Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, led the House panel tasked with re-drawing legislative and congressional maps from 2010 to 2012 — the first time following the 2010 passage of the so-called Fair Districts amendments prohibiting political gerrymandering. He is also the first major policymaker to take the stand in the two-week trial in Leon County Circuit Court. The League of Women Voters and other groups have filed suit alleging GOP lawmakers still drew the congressional plans to help elect more Republicans, and their lawyers have pointed to meetings between GOP consultants and legislative staffers in the months following the passage. Read more.

RPOF contrasts Charlie Crist’s and Rick Scott’s records on jobs for Hispanics: The Republican Party of Florida released a new graph on Tuesday contrasting former governor Charlie Crist’s with Gov. Rick Scott’s record on jobs for Hispanics. The graph contends that under Crist, the number of Hispanics employed in the Sunshine State decreased by 157,000. Under Scott, the number of employed Hispanics has increased by 257,000. Read more. 

BONUS: Orlando files suit to take church land for soccer stadium

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