Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Clinton Goes After Scott on Voting Rights

Former President Bill Clinton goes after Gov. Rick Scott for signing the highly restrictive voting bill. Clinton's remarks came during a speech to young progressive activists.

"There has never been in my lifetime, since we got rid of the poll tax and all the Jim Crow burdens of voting, the determined effort to limit the franchise that we see today," Clinton added.

Clinton mentioned Gov. Rick Scott's move in March to overturn past state precedent - including under former GOP governors - that allows convicted felons to vote once they've finished probation periods.

"Why should we disenfranchise people forever once they've paid their price?" Clinton said. "Because most of them in Florida were African Americans and Hispanics who tended to vote for Democrats. That's why."

There absolutely is a racial element in how Florida Republicans deal with felons. Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi rejected Cassandra Jenkins' nomination to the parole commission. Scott and Bondi recited concerns about "safety" that projected prepared talking points. Jenkins had already served on the commission. Neither Scott or Bondi cited one instance where public safety was jeopardized because of Jenkins. It is also worth noting that Jenkins was the only black member of the commission and didn't get reappointed.

State Sen. Mike Bennett said voting should be as tough as it is in Africa. It is impossible to read Bennett's bizarre rant and not think of racism.

BENNETT: Do you read stories about the people of Africa? The people in the desert, who literally walk two or three hundred miles so they can have the opportunity to do what we do what we do, and we want to make it more convenient? How much more convenient do you want to make it? Do we want to go to their house? Take the polling booth with us?

Actually, if the voter is handicapped we do want to go to their house to help provide transportation, so they can vote. Bennett would have a disabled person crawl to a voting precinct.

If you never read stories about Africans walking two or three hundreds miles to vote then don't worry. Neither has Bennett. Politifact rated Bennett's bullshit claim a pants on fire lie. Bennett's nonsense is better suited for the white supremist web site than for an elected official.

Update: video of Clinton's speech.

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