Gee, you think that Mike Bloomberg and the Democrats really want to pull the plug on Trump in Florida? Especially Michael Bloomberg? It was only a couple of weeks ago that Bloomberg announced that he was tossing $100 million of his own cash into helping the Democrats and Joe Biden in Florida. Considering that Bloomberg made most of his fortune on analytics, I think we can pretty safely assume he isn’t sinking the entire wad into television advertising.
Cast your mind back a couple of years. Not all that long ago the Florida legislature passed, and the GOP governor signed a bill that restored the voting rights of convicted non violent criminals who had served their full terms, plus any requisite parole or probation with good behavior. That absolutely floored me. Florida has a goof sized number of convicts that qualified for the program, why would the Florida GOP bestow this largesse on people who might not feel kindly towards them?
Because there’s a catch, of course! After all, this is the Republican party we’re talking about here, right? It turns out that while they can register to vote, they cannot actually vote until they pay off their court imposed fines and court costs. There’s the poison pill. It’s almost automatic for a judge to impose some kind of a fine during any criminal sentencing, as well as holding the guilty party responsible for court costs. This is crippling, and also typically cruel of the GOP. How is a freshly reformed convict supposed to come up with thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars to literally buy his right to vote back?
Look, in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s SuperBloomberg! Mike Bloomberg announced today that he is cutting a check to the state of Florida to pay off the fines and court costs of every reformed criminal covered under the new law. Boy, oh BOY! Talk about an October Surprise. And talk about a wonderfully untapped pool of last minute voters.
The GOP never should have gotten so cute. They created a whole new underclass of disenfranchised voters, disenfranchised by a cruel joke that the GOP pulled on them. And now, at the last minute, here comes a former Democratic presidential candidate, one who actually campaigned in Florida, and gifts them their voting rights back. You think there’s much doubt about how the vast majority of those voters will cast their ballots? And do you think they’ll be as motivated as hell to show up at the polls?
If the Democrats end up winning Florida in November, and especially if they win it going away, they will have Michael Bloomberg to thank in large for the victory. The $100 million is great, but it might be that extra $154 million that turns the trick.