Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Via Email

Doc? What's the buzz down in FLA? Received this via email today...

Greetings: The reprehensible Jeb Bush is continuing his anti-democratic attempts to rig the vote in Florida:

Posted on Fri, Jul. 23, 2004

Days after a Florida appeals court demanded that the state provide more help to felons who want their right to vote restored, Gov. Jeb Bush introduced a new policy that civil rights advocates say circumvents the will of the court and threatens to exclude tens of thousands of potential voters.

Last week, the First District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee unanimously ruled that state prison officials must follow the law and provide newly released felons the necessary paperwork and assistance to get their full civil rights back.That would include a one-page application for a formal hearing before the Florida Clemency Board -- the only way an estimated 85 percent of felons will ever get their rights restored.

But instead of providing the application, Bush decided to scrap it altogether. On Wednesday, he announced that felons will now have to contact the Office of Executive Clemency when and if they want to apply for a hearing to have their rights restored.

Bush argues that the policy reduces paperwork and, therefore, provides the ease and assistance demanded by the court.Civil rights advocates say the decision will disfranchise thousands of people in a state where more than 400,000 are already banned from voting.


Gov. Jeb Bush shows judges he gets his way

Gov. Jeb Bush has come up with a novel way to deal with last week's court ruling requiring the state to give inmates a specific form so they can apply to have their civil rights restored.

He eliminated the form.

There. Now won't that show those rascally 1st District Court of Appeal judges just who's in charge?

"It's an obvious attempt by the governor to thumb his nose at the ruling," cried Randy Berg, the attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union who successfully argued the case on the felons' behalf.

As an aside, I can't see anything that will prevent Bush from circulating on election day his list of 50,000 or so "ex-felons" who are to be denied the vote. This is going to be a repeat in that regard of what Greg Palast uncovered about the 2000 election.

Yes, I know CNN recently obtained a copy of the latest list, but that is irrelevant. The only list that will matter is the one circulated on election day. Democratic Congressmen and Senators should be screaming to high heaven about all of this. Also, any pre-election polls in Florida mean nothing if Jeb Bush is going to disenfranchise thousands of voters.

We're not merely talking undemocratic here. We're talking anti-democratic.
Any comments from readers residing in the People's Banana Republic of Florida?