This is Part LVI of My Stupid State where I document what happens when a state full of Democrats elect a veto-proof, right-wing legislature along with a teabag, CRIMINAL governor to lead us. (Once again, yes--an actual bona-fide criminal who literally stole from seniors, who subsequently elected him.) This is my documentation of my beloved but idiotic state's slow descent into chaos.
I, (along with Rachel Maddow), have probably beaten to death all the conniving ways Rick Scott has used to make elections as hard and miserable for his opponents as possible. If you haven't heard his name associated with his infamous purges and suppression laws, then you just simply have never heard his name before. He was so bad that Ken Browning, our former SecState, resigned rather than purge thousands of innocent voters (which his replacement, Ken Detzner, gladly tried to do with 182,000 innocent Floridians).
Now a reasonable person would think that someone like Rick Scott, who knows his reelection is less than a year away, would at least attempt to appear reasonable, but teabag governors are like snakes in that they can't help their nature.
You see, due to the death of Rep. Bill Young (R), there's a special election coming up soon in Congressional District 13. This district has been pretty solid GOP for over a decade but has gotten less so: last year Obama won the district by one percentage point. Although a Democrat hasn't held this seat in years, the Dem candidate for this race has a great shot: Alex Sink. Sink is not only Scott's onetime gubernatorial opponent, she is also a personal rival of Rick Scott who has been a persistent critic since the election. As our former state CFO she has now had two elections as a statewide candidate. Sink is very well known, a prolific fundraiser, and personally still very popular: especially given the statewide buyer's remorse Floridians feel for deciding to roll the dice with the criminal.
So lessee... you have a winnable Dem candidate, a district losing its red hue, and worst of all, an election supervisor who actually does her f#%$ing job. Deborah Clark was preparing to send out thousands of absentee ballots to voters in the upcoming special election for this district. She had already reminded voters about the mail ballot dropoff locations and was prepared to staff them with employees-also willing to do their jobs and assist. She and other elections supervisors have done this for years.
Those of us who actually pay attention to Florida politics joked that Scott would try to do something underhanded. But we were wrong. It was pretty damn blatant:
Detzner issued an order to supervisors Monday, telling them they "should not solicit return of absentee ballots at any place other than a supervisor's office." The directive appeared to take dead aim at one supervisor, Deborah Clark in Pinellas, who aggressively promotes voting absentee and has a small network of remote drop-off locations to make it easier for people to turn in their absentee ballots.District 13 uses more absentee ballots than any other district in the state.
And here we have a directive aimed at curbing participation for this one election. Who knew?
It gets better.
The Pasco County Supervisor of Elections, Brian Corley, was livid about this move. He called it "pathetic" and said that "the timing stinks right here." No one has ever had issues with having dropboxes. He and others demanded answers.
The response? Because Brian Corley wanted it.
Detzner issued a statement saying the directive was " a clarification of existing law that was initiated by questions from supervisors of elections". When asked by the Times/Herald what supervisors and what questions, they were pointed to an email from Brian Corley from September about an error in the language of the 2014 state voter registration guide.
But the two supervisors that Detzner’s office said asked for the directive, Corley and Chris Chambless of Clay County, both Republicans, both denied they had asked for it and said Detzner’s interpretation of the law is wrong.Corley was quick to respond.
“I was merely trying to bring to their attention an error in their (voter registration) guide,” said Pasco Supervisor Brian Corley. “Somehow that got twisted into me asking for an opinion.”
When you are being attacked by elections supervisors in your own party, you are doing something wrong. It is clear to anyone with half a brain what Scott is trying to do.
But Scott thinks we are dumb. After all, we did elect him in the first place.