TPM News

Last summer, a Florida judge ruled that the state's legislature illegally redrew congressional districts in 2012 to benefit Republicans. In his ruling, Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis ripped into political consultants who he said "made a mockery of the Legislature's transparent and open process of redistricting" while "going to great lengths to conceal from the public their plan and their participation in it."

Now, newly released emails published Sunday shed light on the lengths those political consultants went to tweak the state's congressional districts in favor of the GOP despite a gerrymandering ban.

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The divorce of President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel had no singular cause, according to an insider close to Hagel, but boiled largely down to Hagel's dissatisfaction with the Obama White House's national security bureaucracy and the reality that Hagel had become the "weak link" in the public view of the president's foreign policy team.

Steve Clemons, The Atlantic editor-at-large and founder of the New America Foundation's America Strategy program who was a high-profile public advocate for Hagel's nomination as defense secretary, told TPM in a phone interview Monday that Hagel's resignation "happened faster than I expected" but he had expected it to come eventually.

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Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) called to leave a scathing message earlier this year with the Democratic state senator who sealed the demise of Obamacare's Medicaid expansion, according to the Washington Post.

Phillip Puckett had resigned abruptly in June amid private talks with Virginia Republicans about a state job, swinging control of the closely divided chamber to the GOP, which was fighting the expansion for some 400,000 residents.

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