Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Florida Republican Party And Voter Suppression-- It's Who They Are



In 2018, Florida voters passed Amendment 4, which ended the state’s lifetime ban on voting for most former prisoners, giving the right to vote to something like 1.4 million more Floridians. It was a lopsided referendum-- 5,148,926 (64.55%) in favor to 2,828,339 (35.45%) opposed. If you think that overwhelming support would end Republican Party opposition to this kind of expansion of voting rights... you just don't understand the Republican Party and the nature of conservatism. With the connivance of Trumpist Gov. Ron DeSantis-- America's most despised governor-- the GOP-controlled legislature passed a poll tax, forcing "people with felony records pay 'all fines and fees' associated with their sentence prior to the restoration of their voting rights." Last year Judge Robert Hinkle of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida threw out the bill but DeSantis appealed the decision to a right-wing controlled appeals court-- the 11th circuit-- ruled the law constitutional. Court battles continued, with Republicans still refusing to submit to the will of the voters and earlier this month, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the law on a 6-4 ruling, handing a significant victory to Trump, DeSantis and their puppet legislature. Politico noted yesterday that "One of the judges who voted to uphold the law is Barbara Lagoa, who is now a contender for the U.S. Supreme Court after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg."

Gary Fineout wrote that "The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition had previously received support from people such as NBA superstar LeBron James before the ruling. But coalition leaders say that the court ruling has sparked a huge outpouring of aid and they have now taken 44,000 donations in total. 'This outpouring of support for returning citizens is reminiscent of the type of support we received from people from all walks of life during our Amendment 4 campaign,' said Desmond Meade, executive director of the coalition. 'Just as in our campaign, this effort is about placing people over politics. The democracy that we envision is not one where an American is forced to choose between putting food on the table or voting.'... [They've] now raised more than $20 million to pay off outstanding court debts before hitting the registration deadline in less than two weeks."

Bloomberg, who is helping finance the Democratic efforts in Florida, is one of the big donors. Michael Vick and John Legend are two others. In a joint contribution, MTV, Comedy Central and VH1 kicked in $250,000. And the Miami Dolphins Social Impact Committee donated $100,000 last week.

Bloomberg’s decision to funnel money into paying off court debts came shortly after he also pledged to spend $100 million to help defeat President Donald Trump in Florida. Trump narrowly won the state with less than 113,000 votes and a defeat in the Sunshine State would likely doom his re-election.

Florida’s voter registration deadline is Oct. 5 and as many as 775,000 felons may have outstanding court debts-- which include fines, fees and restitution-- that preclude them from registering under the law passed last year by the Republican-controlled state Legislature.

Neil Volz, the coalition’s deputy director, said the group had already paid off fines and fees for nearly 5,000 people so far and averaged to about $1,000 per person. He said that the average could drop because “our goal is to help as many people as fast as possible” but he said the infusion of new help could lead to 20,000 people having their legal financial obligations paid off.
These extraordinary efforts by the Democrats are all about beating Trump and replacing him with moderate Democrat Joe Biden. The Republicans certainly want to save Trump's presidency, but they are even more interested in mainstaining their own power by holding onto congressional and state legislative seats. I asked some of the Democratic candidates running down-ballot races what the expanded voting rights would mean in their own campaigns and how they feel about the latest stunts. Everyone's busy campaigning today, but in between campaign stops, Joshua Hicks, the progressive Democrat working to replace Trump-DeSantis enabler Cord Byrd in a state House district that includes Nassau County and part of Deval reminded me that "Amendment 4 was passed by the voters with a clear majority. My opponent Cord Byrd, and his Republican friends schemed and passed a modern day poll-tax to prevent Americans who have served their time from being able to vote. It's un-American and it's wrong. But it's not surprising. That's what they do because if more people vote, they lose. My opponent is the guy who believes in QAnon and is fine with his supporters waving confederate flags during civil rights protests over George Floyd's murder. So it's not surprising he continues to support efforts that violate Floridian's voting rights and civil rights. This November, we have a chance to send a message-- let's place equality over racism and bigotry. Candidates in Florida need your help now more than ever... we need the resources to take advantage of the climate. Help place Democrats in the Florida Legislature, who will fight to enact Amendment 4 as it was meant, so we can stop the GOP from violating our civil rights."

Labels: , , , , ,


At 1:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do so few people remember Paul Weyrich loudly declaring that Republicans don't want everyone to vote; they only want THEIR people to vote?

Since that declaration in 1980, that is ALL the Republicans have done ever since. Yet so many are surprised that the Republicans display no shame in doing what they do to suppress the vote. They are, in fact, so good at it now that the "Democrats" have begun to practice the same thing - only against their own progressives.

A COVID pox on both their parties.

At 8:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you've read DWT for only the past 2 weeks, you also see that:

"Florida democrap Party And Voter Suppression-- they just don't give a shit because they never do anything"

anyone of you potted geraniums know what a judas goat is? That's what all sheepdogging pundits are.


Post a Comment

<< Home