Money flows to political consultant in redistricting case


400-WINK-FRANKLIN-HUNDREDTwo committees linked to incoming Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, have paid nearly $150,000 during the past month to a Gainesville political-consulting firm embroiled in a legal fight about redistricting records, according to finance reports submitted to the state.

The committees, known as the “Space Coast Liberty Caucus” and “The Committee for a Better Florida,” have paid $148,510 to Data Targeting, Inc., since July 9 for what are described as advertising expenses.

The committees’ websites say they are associated with Gardiner, who is slated to become Senate president after the November elections. Data Targeting, Inc., has been at the center of a battle about whether records it produced should have been introduced in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of congressional districts approved by lawmakers in 2012. – News Service of Florida

Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis struck down the map, which has necessitated a special legislative session starting Thursday. During the case, Lewis used the records, but they have remained shielded from public view. The records issue is now at the Florida Supreme Court, and media companies have filed a brief arguing that the documents should be unsealed.