Here's an idea that's never occurred to Republican activists: Cage-free shopping for votes. Here's another idea to Florida voters: If you want to put an end to having your votes caged, don't elect as your Governor someone who looks like a neonazi skinhead or stay home assuming the good guy will win.
The Republican party, through its cross-eyed Florida co-chair, is no longer investing any energy in pretending the current voter roll purge has any noble intentions. In the video above, the FL GOP chair essentially admitted that Florida is a swing state and the vote total in the upcoming general election will be close. As with 2000, it's a clear-cut case of vote caging and weeding out those who reliably vote Democratic, especially those of color.
Of course, that doesn't stop Rick Scott from trying to deny the right to vote white people who've been living, working and voting in Florida for decades, such as the lady who's operated a kennel for 40 years or the 91 year-old Bronze Star-winning WWII veteran who now, as with thousands of others, have had the burden of proof and a horrendously short window of opportunity to prove their citizenship thrust upon them.
Many of us, I hope, still remember what happened 12 years ago when then Florida Secretary of State (and future Congresswoman) Katherine Harris, doubling as George W. Bush's campaign co-chair, hired a company named Choicepoint in Alpharetta, Georgia to assemble a list of thousands of Florida voters, which her office then denied the right to vote based on the dodgiest of algorithms (back then it was enough if your name even sounded like that of a convicted felon). Up to 12,000 people wound up on the purge list, many more than the 537 votes by which Bush "won" Florida, hence the presidency.
12 years later, we're seeing something even more evil: Up to 182,000 names (likely more) have been submitted for re-examination and thousands of American citizens have been sent notices informing them (without any input from the State Dept.) that they're not citizens, after all, have lost their right to vote and that they have a very narrow window of opportunity to prove otherwise.
In other words, the burden of proving our citizenship and right to vote has been thrust upon us instead of being vetted by the state.
The Florida GOP chair is still clinging to the ridiculous excuse that this is being done in the name of "honoring the rule of law", which is hilarious considering what happened under Kate Harris in 2000. He also cited an unverified story of a single person who allegedly voted illegally in prior elections. So, because of this one apocryphal case of voter fraud, many hundreds, if not thousands, are being denied the right to vote.
Oh, and about three minutes into the video, this clown had the nerve to blame the Obama administration for these Draconian tactics.
In the wake of this latest Republican throwing out the baby with the bathwater/nuclear option that plainly attempts to cage votes based on racial and political demographics, at least 300 Florida voters had informed their state government that they are, indeed, citizens and have had their right to vote reinstated. The Republican Party of Florida is shopping for voters just as surely as Rush Limbaugh shops for doctors to give him Oxycontin and Viagra on the sly. They've not only ripped a page from the 2000 playbook, they've actually expanded on it.
While the Florida GOP chair admits the methodology is flawed, the horrendous results still haven't deterred either him or Rick Scott from continuing the purge. In fact, Scott recently promised that not only will this massive voter purge continue but that he'll ramp it up.
This latest purge was so hairy and smelly from the outset, that one suspects the previous Secretary of State, Kurt Browning, resigned over it after publicly admitting the methodology was flawed and would lead to legal voters being purged from the rolls.
And what Scott, a fabulously corrupt health care executive who made millions off Medicare fraud and is a giant dildo belonging to the Koch brothers, is doing amounts to right wing sedition. Scott's promised to actually ramp up the purge, meaning many more than the final list of 2700 could be targeted, despite the Justice Department ordering him to suspend his vote shopping spree and no less than five Congressmen and Sen. Nelson telling him the same thing.
This is so transparently a typical Republican strategy that it's not worth belaboring. The entire overarching rationale of the Florida elections of 2000 and many more before it was to disenfranchise just enough voters to eke out a 51% victory and the dodgiest of mandates. Thanks to an illegally and partisan suspension on the part of the SCOTUS of the recount, Bush "won" Florida by a 50.1% margin...
...the same 50.1% margin that Romney is counting on to win this general election.
And what no one is saying is who put together the original, massive 182,000 name list for Kurt Browning. Was it Choicepoint, who now datamines the personal information of job applicants for thousands of companies nationwide? Whoever it was, hiring a contractor do this and making the Florida taxpayer pay for their disenfranchisement would be another typical Republican tactic.
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