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  • How Florida Republicans Keep 'da Niggaz from Voting

    In Your Dreams wrote:
    [Excellent article describing in copious detail how Florida Republicans keep Blacks from voting. Of course, the Democrats have been deeply and actively complicit in this for years, above all with the exclusion of former convicts from the right to vote. Now former President Carter has added his voice to the protest. It all dovetails well with President Alarcon's call for there to be international observers in Florida: http://www.granma.cu/ingles/2004/jul...30/32elec.html -WL] Los Angeles Times - Sept 26, 2004 http://www.latimes.com/news/politics...,4475008.story How Florida Republicans Keep Blacks From Voting By Ann Louise Bardach SANTA BARBARA - The worst-kept secret among Florida's Republican elites is their dread of the African American vote. It is not an unfounded fear. In 2000, blacks in this crucial swing state voted for Al Gore in unprecedented numbers, a whopping 92%. Current polls indicate they are even less enamored with George W. Bush this time around. State Democrats are abuzz with suspicions about how Gov. Jeb Bush and his handpicked secretary of state, Glenda Hood, will limit the effect of black voters Nov. 2. Though the state has cultivated several voting techniques that favor Republicans - an emphasis on military and absentee ballots is one - no issue has been leveraged as successfully as its restrictive policy on ex-felons. One reason is that the Sunshine State holds the dubious honor of having one of the nation's largest felon populations, about 5% of its total. Florida is one of seven states that imposes a lifetime ban on voting for ex-felons, barring an act of executive clemency. Currently, more than 600,000 ex-inmates, not including 82,000 in prison, are unable to vote in Florida. It is impossible to discuss this issue separate from race. In 2000, more than 58% of Florida's ex-felons were African Americans. A task force set up by Gov. Bush to recommend changes after the vote-count fiasco of 2000 urged that the voting rights of prisoners be automatically restored once inmates completed their sentences. But the governor refused to review the issue. No matter whether one's crime was marijuana possession, check bouncing or drunk driving, a felon must negotiate a daunting obstacle course to win back the right to vote. It is a policy that disproportionately affects African Americans in the state's prisons, the vast majority are serving time for drug offenses. Critics of the policy point out that had Gov. Bush's troubled daughter, Noelle, been prosecuted for having falsified drug prescriptions or possession of crack cocaine instead of being placed in treatment-she would probably be an ex-felon today and unable to vote. How critical is the felon issue in Florida? Last year, more than 54,000 felons were released or completed their parole in the state. In 2001, the ACLU and the Florida Justice Institute sued the state for failing to comply with a state law mandating that felons be provided voting-rights assistance upon completion of their sentences. In response, the state admitted that between 1992 and 2001 it had not provided the required assistance forms to 125,000 ex-felons. When a Florida appellate court ordered Bush to provide the forms, he responded by abolishing them. In late August, the state's Clemency Board informed the plaintiffs that about 15% of the ex-felons have had or will have their voting rights restored without a hearing. Randall Berg of the Florida Justice Institute says the remaining 85% will need a hearing before the board, which consists of Bush and two state Cabinet members. But that's where the Kafka whiplash begins. The board meets only four times a year and then accepts just 50 cases. That means 200 ex-felons - maximum - get processed. For the lucky ex-felons who get a hearing, any of the board members, all Republicans, have the right to deny petition without citing cause. There is no appeal process. In short, the brother of the president can decide who gets to vote in Florida. "There is only the court of public opinion," said Peter Siegel of the Florida Justice Institute, "and Jeb Bush doesn't seem to care about that." Florida's felon-voting laws have their antecedents in pre-Civil War laws that minimized the number of freed slaves on voting rolls. In 1838, the state criminalized a host of actions to the detriment of poor, uneducated freed slaves, along with a penal system to ensure they served long sentences. For instance, vagrancy and larceny were made felonies. The state's felons would then permanently lose their right to vote unless they went hat in hand to the state's Clemency Board. Particularly troubling to Southern whites was passage of the 14th Amendment in 1868, which guaranteed blacks the right to vote. To ensure that blacks would not reward the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln with their votes, the Democratic-controlled Florida Legislature crafted a raft of statutes to keep blacks out of the polling booths. After 1880, Florida adopted literacy tests to ensure that many blacks would be ineligible to cast ballots. There was the "grandfather clause" that rewarded voting rights only to people whose "grandfathers" had voted, which knocked more blacks off the rolls. Another statute required voters to place eight individual ballots in eight separate ballot boxes, a rule intended to confuse black voters who had a 40% illiteracy rate in 1900. In 1889, Florida passed the first poll tax - pay-to-play voting - in the South, which remained in effect until 1938. In 1902, the state's Democratic Party pushed through a "whites only" primary system. African Americans who fought for suffrage often faced violence. Florida set records for lynchings in the South through 1946. On election day in 1920, a white mob laid siege to the black town of Ocoee, not far from Orlando, after a black man, allegedly carrying a weapon, demanded his right to vote. The town was torched and a half-dozen residents killed. In the late 1960s, as Florida Democrats embraced the civil rights movement, Republicans exploited the state's felon laws to depress the African American vote. Seeking to redress past inequities, Democratic Gov. Reubin Askew changed Florida's policy in 1975 to restore the voting right to felons once they completed their sentences. Gov. Bob Graham continued Askew's policy. GOP Gov. Bob Martinez reinstated the lifetime voting ban on ex-felons in 1988. But Democrats hardly have clean hands. In the 1990s, Gov. Lawton Chiles tightened the rules for ex-felons by eliminating certain crimes from clemency consideration. Gov. Bush has tinkered with the process to further restrict clemency and increase secrecy. On May 5, Secretary of State Hood ordered the state's 67 local election supervisors to begin purging "ineligible" voters from a list of 48,000 felons she had sent them. Hood insisted that the purge list be kept secret. Not until a state court ordered her to release the list in June did the media learn that Hood's list contained names of mostly black men; there were 61 Latinos. And 2,100 names on the list had received executive clemency, according to the Miami Herald. Describing the errors as "unintentional and unforeseen," Hood dropped her insistence that precincts use the flawed list. In fact, Hood knew the list had serious problems from the get-go, according to a May 2 internal memo that detailed dozens of worrisome concerns. Just how many ex-felons will make it to the polls on Nov. 2 remains unclear. Before Hood junked her felons list, supervisors in 14 counties - including Brevard, Gulf and Wakulla - had sent letters to people on it informing them they were ineligible to vote. By law, those who fail to respond within 30 days can be purged from voting rolls. The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University notified Hood that she was violating state and federal voter-registration laws and successfully argued that county election supervisors should alert those they had previously purged. It has also sued to challenge the constitutionality of the state's felon voting laws, and a federal appellate-court panel agreed with the plaintiffs. The case will be heard by the full court a week before the election. Only the most motivated, proactive ex-felons are expected to surmount the hurdles to win back their voting rights. Considering that the majority of the state's former inmates come from poor, often uneducated families, only a small fraction will probably ever see a voting booth again. And that suits the state's Republican Party just fine. [Ann Louise Bardach covers Florida politics for Slate and is the author of "Cuba Confidential: Love and Vengeance in Miami and Havana."] 2004 Los Angeles Times ================================================== ===============


  • #2
    How Florida Republicans Keep 'da Niggaz from Voting

    BS & Lies Snipped


    http://johnrlott.tripod.com/op-eds/00electionmyth.html

    Published Wednesday, July 28, 2004, in Investors Business Daily, p. A14

    Dems Won't Permit Facts to Get In Way of '00 Election Myth

    By John R. Lott, Jr. and Brian Blase.

    You know that the political debate has been poisoned when 85 percent of
    African-Americans feel President Bush stole the 2000 election. At least
    that is what a CBS poll released last Friday finds.

    Possibly this just reflects the same 85 percent of African-Americans who
    disapprove of the job that Bush is doing. But if no body really believes
    the election was stolen and it is all window dressing, it is hard to
    explain why the Democrats keep raising the issue at almost every possible
    opportunity.

    Michael Moore is not alone in asserting the election was stolen. On
    Monday night at the Democratic Convention, both former Vice President Al
    Gore and former President Bill Clinton raised the election issue that
    "this time every vote is counted" and "this year, we're going to make sure
    they're all counted."

    Before both the NAACP and the Urban League during July, Senator John Kerry
    said that in 2000 there were "a million disenfranchised African Americans"
    and that it was the "most tainted election in history."

    Jesse Jackson recently claimed that "in the year 2000, the loser won and
    the winner lost" and that "our birthright was stolen."

    The continued charges of Bush stealing the election from Gore are
    remarkable considering that exhaustive studies by the U.S. Commission on
    Civil Rights and newspaper organizations have found little, if any
    evidence voter harassment, intimidation and disenfranchisement occurred
    in Florida.

    Probes Come Up Empty

    The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights began an investigation in January
    2001 following the public outcry after the election. Although Democrats
    appointed 6 of the 8 commissioners and the hearings were often hostile
    toward Republicans, the Commission could not find evidence that a single
    person was intimidated, harassed, or prevented from voting by Florida law
    enforcement.

    The Commission could not find evidence of systematic disenfranchisement of
    African-American voters, and concluded that state officials were not at
    fault for widespread voter disenfranchisement.

    A favorite charge is that Republicans threw African-Americans off the
    voter rolls to take votes away from Democrats.

    Florida bans felons from voting, unless they had been granted clemency.
    Before the 2000 vote, the state hired Database Technologies to purge rolls
    of felons and dead people.

    Unfortunately, some non-felons were erroneously removed from the rolls *
    but the errors didn't target minorities.

    The liberal-leaning Palm Beach Post found that "a review of state
    records, internal e-mails of [Database Technologies] employees and
    testimony before the Civil Rights Commission and an elections task force
    showed no evidence that minorities were specifically targeted."

    In fact, while more African-Americans were removed from the voter roles
    simply because most felons in Florida are black, whites were twice as
    likely to be erroneously placed on the list as African-Americans were.

    The evidence does not support the charges that there was a nefarious plot
    to deny African-American voters their right to vote.

    In fact, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights reports that in 24 of the 25
    counties with the highest percentage of non-voted ballots for president,
    the county supervisor was a Democrat. In the remaining county, the
    supervisor was an independent.

    Spoiled Ballots

    Additionally, the overall rate of spoiled ballots was 14% higher when the
    county election supervisor was a Democrat, and 31% higher when the
    supervisor was an African American Democrat. The famed butterfly ballots of
    Palm Beach County were creations of Democrats.

    Thus, if these nonvoted ballots are viewed as disenfranchisement, not
    simply that some voters didn't intend to vote in a particular race, then
    the ire of Democrats should be directed toward Democrats in Florida.

    Recent research published by one of the current authors in the Journal of
    Legal Studies shows that if any African-Americans in Florida had an
    unusually high rate of spoiled ballots it was African-American
    Republicans, not African-American Democrats.

    By income, it was voters with family income over $500,000, hardly a group
    that one could attribute their nonvoted ballots to mistakes on their part.

    To start the Democratic convention, newspaper headlines blared:
    "Democratic Convention aims to stay positive."

    Of course, there were the obligatory charges from speakers such as Jimmy
    Carter that President Bush had lied about the Iraq war.

    But Bill Clinton is the master at simultaneously claiming that Democrats
    have sought to unite Americans, while Republicans "need a divided America,"
    and lacing his speech with issues that divide Americans: the supposedly
    stolen election or rich versus poor being just two. Senator Kerry and the
    Democratic Party elites will undoubtedly continue to trumpet their message
    of the 2000 election as "stolen" and *tainted" because it resonates with
    their base. But at what costs are these short-term electoral gains
    achieved? How harmful is it to race relations that African-Americans
    believe that others are conspiring to keep their votes from being counted?

    *John Lott is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and
    was the statistical expert for the Republican minority on the U.S.
    Commission on Civil Rights report on Florida.

    *Brian Blase is a research assistant at the American Enterprise Institute.






    Comment


    • #3
      {{{ PROOF THAT LIBERALS HATE AMERICA }}} ==> How Florida Republicans Keep 'd

      On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 21:05:10 -0600, "S. O. Damocles" <[email protected]>
      wrote:
      In Your Dreams wrote:
      [Excellent article describing in copious detail how Florida Republicans keep Blacks from voting. Of course, the Democrats have been deeply and actively complicit in this for years, above all with the exclusion of former convicts from the right to vote. Now former President Carter has added his voice to the protest. It all dovetails well with President Alarcon's call for there to be international observers in Florida: http://www.granma.cu/ingles/2004/jul...30/32elec.html -WL] Los Angeles Times - Sept 26, 2004 http://www.latimes.com/news/politics...,4475008.story How Florida Republicans Keep Blacks From Voting By Ann Louise Bardach SANTA BARBARA - The worst-kept secret among Florida's Republican elites is their dread of the African American vote. It is not an unfounded fear. In 2000, blacks in this crucial swing state voted for Al Gore in unprecedented numbers, a whopping 92%. Current polls indicate they are even less enamored with George W. Bush this time around. State Democrats are abuzz with suspicions about how Gov. Jeb Bush and his handpicked secretary of state, Glenda Hood, will limit the effect of black voters Nov. 2. Though the state has cultivated several voting techniques that favor Republicans - an emphasis on military and absentee ballots is one - no issue has been leveraged as successfully as its restrictive policy on ex-felons. One reason is that the Sunshine State holds the dubious honor of having one of the nation's largest felon populations, about 5% of its total. Florida is one of seven states that imposes a lifetime ban on voting for ex-felons, barring an act of executive clemency. Currently, more than 600,000 ex-inmates, not including 82,000 in prison, are unable to vote in Florida. It is impossible to discuss this issue separate from race. In 2000, more than 58% of Florida's ex-felons were African Americans. A task force set up by Gov. Bush to recommend changes after the vote-count fiasco of 2000 urged that the voting rights of prisoners be automatically restored once inmates completed their sentences. But the governor refused to review the issue. No matter whether one's crime was marijuana possession, check bouncing or drunk driving, a felon must negotiate a daunting obstacle course to win back the right to vote. It is a policy that disproportionately affects African Americans in the state's prisons, the vast majority are serving time for drug offenses. Critics of the policy point out that had Gov. Bush's troubled daughter, Noelle, been prosecuted for having falsified drug prescriptions or possession of crack cocaine instead of being placed in treatment-she would probably be an ex-felon today and unable to vote. How critical is the felon issue in Florida? Last year, more than 54,000 felons were released or completed their parole in the state. In 2001, the ACLU and the Florida Justice Institute sued the state for failing to comply with a state law mandating that felons be provided voting-rights assistance upon completion of their sentences. In response, the state admitted that between 1992 and 2001 it had not provided the required assistance forms to 125,000 ex-felons. When a Florida appellate court ordered Bush to provide the forms, he responded by abolishing them. In late August, the state's Clemency Board informed the plaintiffs that about 15% of the ex-felons have had or will have their voting rights restored without a hearing. Randall Berg of the Florida Justice Institute says the remaining 85% will need a hearing before the board, which consists of Bush and two state Cabinet members. But that's where the Kafka whiplash begins. The board meets only four times a year and then accepts just 50 cases. That means 200 ex-felons - maximum - get processed. For the lucky ex-felons who get a hearing, any of the board members, all Republicans, have the right to deny petition without citing cause. There is no appeal process. In short, the brother of the president can decide who gets to vote in Florida. "There is only the court of public opinion," said Peter Siegel of the Florida Justice Institute, "and Jeb Bush doesn't seem to care about that." Florida's felon-voting laws have their antecedents in pre-Civil War laws that minimized the number of freed slaves on voting rolls. In 1838, the state criminalized a host of actions to the detriment of poor, uneducated freed slaves, along with a penal system to ensure they served long sentences. For instance, vagrancy and larceny were made felonies. The state's felons would then permanently lose their right to vote unless they went hat in hand to the state's Clemency Board. Particularly troubling to Southern whites was passage of the 14th Amendment in 1868, which guaranteed blacks the right to vote. To ensure that blacks would not reward the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln with their votes, the Democratic-controlled Florida Legislature crafted a raft of statutes to keep blacks out of the polling booths. After 1880, Florida adopted literacy tests to ensure that many blacks would be ineligible to cast ballots. There was the "grandfather clause" that rewarded voting rights only to people whose "grandfathers" had voted, which knocked more blacks off the rolls. Another statute required voters to place eight individual ballots in eight separate ballot boxes, a rule intended to confuse black voters who had a 40% illiteracy rate in 1900. In 1889, Florida passed the first poll tax - pay-to-play voting - in the South, which remained in effect until 1938. In 1902, the state's Democratic Party pushed through a "whites only" primary system. African Americans who fought for suffrage often faced violence. Florida set records for lynchings in the South through 1946. On election day in 1920, a white mob laid siege to the black town of Ocoee, not far from Orlando, after a black man, allegedly carrying a weapon, demanded his right to vote. The town was torched and a half-dozen residents killed. In the late 1960s, as Florida Democrats embraced the civil rights movement, Republicans exploited the state's felon laws to depress the African American vote. Seeking to redress past inequities, Democratic Gov. Reubin Askew changed Florida's policy in 1975 to restore the voting right to felons once they completed their sentences. Gov. Bob Graham continued Askew's policy. GOP Gov. Bob Martinez reinstated the lifetime voting ban on ex-felons in 1988. But Democrats hardly have clean hands. In the 1990s, Gov. Lawton Chiles tightened the rules for ex-felons by eliminating certain crimes from clemency consideration. Gov. Bush has tinkered with the process to further restrict clemency and increase secrecy. On May 5, Secretary of State Hood ordered the state's 67 local election supervisors to begin purging "ineligible" voters from a list of 48,000 felons she had sent them. Hood insisted that the purge list be kept secret. Not until a state court ordered her to release the list in June did the media learn that Hood's list contained names of mostly black men; there were 61 Latinos. And 2,100 names on the list had received executive clemency, according to the Miami Herald. Describing the errors as "unintentional and unforeseen," Hood dropped her insistence that precincts use the flawed list. In fact, Hood knew the list had serious problems from the get-go, according to a May 2 internal memo that detailed dozens of worrisome concerns. Just how many ex-felons will make it to the polls on Nov. 2 remains unclear. Before Hood junked her felons list, supervisors in 14 counties - including Brevard, Gulf and Wakulla - had sent letters to people on it informing them they were ineligible to vote. By law, those who fail to respond within 30 days can be purged from voting rolls. The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University notified Hood that she was violating state and federal voter-registration laws and successfully argued that county election supervisors should alert those they had previously purged. It has also sued to challenge the constitutionality of the state's felon voting laws, and a federal appellate-court panel agreed with the plaintiffs. The case will be heard by the full court a week before the election. Only the most motivated, proactive ex-felons are expected to surmount the hurdles to win back their voting rights. Considering that the majority of the state's former inmates come from poor, often uneducated families, only a small fraction will probably ever see a voting booth again. And that suits the state's Republican Party just fine. [Ann Louise Bardach covers Florida politics for Slate and is the author of "Cuba Confidential: Love and Vengeance in Miami and Havana."] 2004 Los Angeles Times ================================================== ===============

      Comment


      • #4
        {{{ PROOF THAT LIBERALS HATE AMERICA }}} ==&gt; How Florida Republicans Keep 'da N

        On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 21:05:10 -0600, "S. O. Damocles" <[email protected]>
        wrote:
        In Your Dreams wrote:
        [Excellent article describing in copious detail how Florida Republicans keep Blacks from voting. Of course, the Democrats have been deeply and actively complicit in this for years, above all with the exclusion of former convicts from the right to vote. Now former President Carter has added his voice to the protest. It all dovetails well with President Alarcon's call for there to be international observers in Florida: http://www.granma.cu/ingles/2004/jul...30/32elec.html -WL] Los Angeles Times - Sept 26, 2004 http://www.latimes.com/news/politics...,4475008.story How Florida Republicans Keep Blacks From Voting By Ann Louise Bardach SANTA BARBARA - The worst-kept secret among Florida's Republican elites is their dread of the African American vote. It is not an unfounded fear. In 2000, blacks in this crucial swing state voted for Al Gore in unprecedented numbers, a whopping 92%. Current polls indicate they are even less enamored with George W. Bush this time around. State Democrats are abuzz with suspicions about how Gov. Jeb Bush and his handpicked secretary of state, Glenda Hood, will limit the effect of black voters Nov. 2. Though the state has cultivated several voting techniques that favor Republicans - an emphasis on military and absentee ballots is one - no issue has been leveraged as successfully as its restrictive policy on ex-felons. One reason is that the Sunshine State holds the dubious honor of having one of the nation's largest felon populations, about 5% of its total. Florida is one of seven states that imposes a lifetime ban on voting for ex-felons, barring an act of executive clemency. Currently, more than 600,000 ex-inmates, not including 82,000 in prison, are unable to vote in Florida. It is impossible to discuss this issue separate from race. In 2000, more than 58% of Florida's ex-felons were African Americans. A task force set up by Gov. Bush to recommend changes after the vote-count fiasco of 2000 urged that the voting rights of prisoners be automatically restored once inmates completed their sentences. But the governor refused to review the issue. No matter whether one's crime was marijuana possession, check bouncing or drunk driving, a felon must negotiate a daunting obstacle course to win back the right to vote. It is a policy that disproportionately affects African Americans in the state's prisons, the vast majority are serving time for drug offenses. Critics of the policy point out that had Gov. Bush's troubled daughter, Noelle, been prosecuted for having falsified drug prescriptions or possession of crack cocaine instead of being placed in treatment-she would probably be an ex-felon today and unable to vote. How critical is the felon issue in Florida? Last year, more than 54,000 felons were released or completed their parole in the state. In 2001, the ACLU and the Florida Justice Institute sued the state for failing to comply with a state law mandating that felons be provided voting-rights assistance upon completion of their sentences. In response, the state admitted that between 1992 and 2001 it had not provided the required assistance forms to 125,000 ex-felons. When a Florida appellate court ordered Bush to provide the forms, he responded by abolishing them. In late August, the state's Clemency Board informed the plaintiffs that about 15% of the ex-felons have had or will have their voting rights restored without a hearing. Randall Berg of the Florida Justice Institute says the remaining 85% will need a hearing before the board, which consists of Bush and two state Cabinet members. But that's where the Kafka whiplash begins. The board meets only four times a year and then accepts just 50 cases. That means 200 ex-felons - maximum - get processed. For the lucky ex-felons who get a hearing, any of the board members, all Republicans, have the right to deny petition without citing cause. There is no appeal process. In short, the brother of the president can decide who gets to vote in Florida. "There is only the court of public opinion," said Peter Siegel of the Florida Justice Institute, "and Jeb Bush doesn't seem to care about that." Florida's felon-voting laws have their antecedents in pre-Civil War laws that minimized the number of freed slaves on voting rolls. In 1838, the state criminalized a host of actions to the detriment of poor, uneducated freed slaves, along with a penal system to ensure they served long sentences. For instance, vagrancy and larceny were made felonies. The state's felons would then permanently lose their right to vote unless they went hat in hand to the state's Clemency Board. Particularly troubling to Southern whites was passage of the 14th Amendment in 1868, which guaranteed blacks the right to vote. To ensure that blacks would not reward the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln with their votes, the Democratic-controlled Florida Legislature crafted a raft of statutes to keep blacks out of the polling booths. After 1880, Florida adopted literacy tests to ensure that many blacks would be ineligible to cast ballots. There was the "grandfather clause" that rewarded voting rights only to people whose "grandfathers" had voted, which knocked more blacks off the rolls. Another statute required voters to place eight individual ballots in eight separate ballot boxes, a rule intended to confuse black voters who had a 40% illiteracy rate in 1900. In 1889, Florida passed the first poll tax - pay-to-play voting - in the South, which remained in effect until 1938. In 1902, the state's Democratic Party pushed through a "whites only" primary system. African Americans who fought for suffrage often faced violence. Florida set records for lynchings in the South through 1946. On election day in 1920, a white mob laid siege to the black town of Ocoee, not far from Orlando, after a black man, allegedly carrying a weapon, demanded his right to vote. The town was torched and a half-dozen residents killed. In the late 1960s, as Florida Democrats embraced the civil rights movement, Republicans exploited the state's felon laws to depress the African American vote. Seeking to redress past inequities, Democratic Gov. Reubin Askew changed Florida's policy in 1975 to restore the voting right to felons once they completed their sentences. Gov. Bob Graham continued Askew's policy. GOP Gov. Bob Martinez reinstated the lifetime voting ban on ex-felons in 1988. But Democrats hardly have clean hands. In the 1990s, Gov. Lawton Chiles tightened the rules for ex-felons by eliminating certain crimes from clemency consideration. Gov. Bush has tinkered with the process to further restrict clemency and increase secrecy. On May 5, Secretary of State Hood ordered the state's 67 local election supervisors to begin purging "ineligible" voters from a list of 48,000 felons she had sent them. Hood insisted that the purge list be kept secret. Not until a state court ordered her to release the list in June did the media learn that Hood's list contained names of mostly black men; there were 61 Latinos. And 2,100 names on the list had received executive clemency, according to the Miami Herald. Describing the errors as "unintentional and unforeseen," Hood dropped her insistence that precincts use the flawed list. In fact, Hood knew the list had serious problems from the get-go, according to a May 2 internal memo that detailed dozens of worrisome concerns. Just how many ex-felons will make it to the polls on Nov. 2 remains unclear. Before Hood junked her felons list, supervisors in 14 counties - including Brevard, Gulf and Wakulla - had sent letters to people on it informing them they were ineligible to vote. By law, those who fail to respond within 30 days can be purged from voting rolls. The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University notified Hood that she was violating state and federal voter-registration laws and successfully argued that county election supervisors should alert those they had previously purged. It has also sued to challenge the constitutionality of the state's felon voting laws, and a federal appellate-court panel agreed with the plaintiffs. The case will be heard by the full court a week before the election. Only the most motivated, proactive ex-felons are expected to surmount the hurdles to win back their voting rights. Considering that the majority of the state's former inmates come from poor, often uneducated families, only a small fraction will probably ever see a voting booth again. And that suits the state's Republican Party just fine. [Ann Louise Bardach covers Florida politics for Slate and is the author of "Cuba Confidential: Love and Vengeance in Miami and Havana."] 2004 Los Angeles Times ================================================== ===============

        Comment


        • #5
          {{{ PROOF THAT LIBERALS HATE AMERICA }}} ==&gt; How Florida Republicans Keep 'da

          On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 21:05:10 -0600, "S. O. Damocles" <[email protected]>
          wrote:
          In Your Dreams wrote:
          [Excellent article describing in copious detail how Florida Republicans keep Blacks from voting. Of course, the Democrats have been deeply and actively complicit in this for years, above all with the exclusion of former convicts from the right to vote. Now former President Carter has added his voice to the protest. It all dovetails well with President Alarcon's call for there to be international observers in Florida: http://www.granma.cu/ingles/2004/jul...30/32elec.html -WL] Los Angeles Times - Sept 26, 2004 http://www.latimes.com/news/politics...,4475008.story How Florida Republicans Keep Blacks From Voting By Ann Louise Bardach SANTA BARBARA - The worst-kept secret among Florida's Republican elites is their dread of the African American vote. It is not an unfounded fear. In 2000, blacks in this crucial swing state voted for Al Gore in unprecedented numbers, a whopping 92%. Current polls indicate they are even less enamored with George W. Bush this time around. State Democrats are abuzz with suspicions about how Gov. Jeb Bush and his handpicked secretary of state, Glenda Hood, will limit the effect of black voters Nov. 2. Though the state has cultivated several voting techniques that favor Republicans - an emphasis on military and absentee ballots is one - no issue has been leveraged as successfully as its restrictive policy on ex-felons. One reason is that the Sunshine State holds the dubious honor of having one of the nation's largest felon populations, about 5% of its total. Florida is one of seven states that imposes a lifetime ban on voting for ex-felons, barring an act of executive clemency. Currently, more than 600,000 ex-inmates, not including 82,000 in prison, are unable to vote in Florida. It is impossible to discuss this issue separate from race. In 2000, more than 58% of Florida's ex-felons were African Americans. A task force set up by Gov. Bush to recommend changes after the vote-count fiasco of 2000 urged that the voting rights of prisoners be automatically restored once inmates completed their sentences. But the governor refused to review the issue. No matter whether one's crime was marijuana possession, check bouncing or drunk driving, a felon must negotiate a daunting obstacle course to win back the right to vote. It is a policy that disproportionately affects African Americans in the state's prisons, the vast majority are serving time for drug offenses. Critics of the policy point out that had Gov. Bush's troubled daughter, Noelle, been prosecuted for having falsified drug prescriptions or possession of crack cocaine instead of being placed in treatment-she would probably be an ex-felon today and unable to vote. How critical is the felon issue in Florida? Last year, more than 54,000 felons were released or completed their parole in the state. In 2001, the ACLU and the Florida Justice Institute sued the state for failing to comply with a state law mandating that felons be provided voting-rights assistance upon completion of their sentences. In response, the state admitted that between 1992 and 2001 it had not provided the required assistance forms to 125,000 ex-felons. When a Florida appellate court ordered Bush to provide the forms, he responded by abolishing them. In late August, the state's Clemency Board informed the plaintiffs that about 15% of the ex-felons have had or will have their voting rights restored without a hearing. Randall Berg of the Florida Justice Institute says the remaining 85% will need a hearing before the board, which consists of Bush and two state Cabinet members. But that's where the Kafka whiplash begins. The board meets only four times a year and then accepts just 50 cases. That means 200 ex-felons - maximum - get processed. For the lucky ex-felons who get a hearing, any of the board members, all Republicans, have the right to deny petition without citing cause. There is no appeal process. In short, the brother of the president can decide who gets to vote in Florida. "There is only the court of public opinion," said Peter Siegel of the Florida Justice Institute, "and Jeb Bush doesn't seem to care about that." Florida's felon-voting laws have their antecedents in pre-Civil War laws that minimized the number of freed slaves on voting rolls. In 1838, the state criminalized a host of actions to the detriment of poor, uneducated freed slaves, along with a penal system to ensure they served long sentences. For instance, vagrancy and larceny were made felonies. The state's felons would then permanently lose their right to vote unless they went hat in hand to the state's Clemency Board. Particularly troubling to Southern whites was passage of the 14th Amendment in 1868, which guaranteed blacks the right to vote. To ensure that blacks would not reward the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln with their votes, the Democratic-controlled Florida Legislature crafted a raft of statutes to keep blacks out of the polling booths. After 1880, Florida adopted literacy tests to ensure that many blacks would be ineligible to cast ballots. There was the "grandfather clause" that rewarded voting rights only to people whose "grandfathers" had voted, which knocked more blacks off the rolls. Another statute required voters to place eight individual ballots in eight separate ballot boxes, a rule intended to confuse black voters who had a 40% illiteracy rate in 1900. In 1889, Florida passed the first poll tax - pay-to-play voting - in the South, which remained in effect until 1938. In 1902, the state's Democratic Party pushed through a "whites only" primary system. African Americans who fought for suffrage often faced violence. Florida set records for lynchings in the South through 1946. On election day in 1920, a white mob laid siege to the black town of Ocoee, not far from Orlando, after a black man, allegedly carrying a weapon, demanded his right to vote. The town was torched and a half-dozen residents killed. In the late 1960s, as Florida Democrats embraced the civil rights movement, Republicans exploited the state's felon laws to depress the African American vote. Seeking to redress past inequities, Democratic Gov. Reubin Askew changed Florida's policy in 1975 to restore the voting right to felons once they completed their sentences. Gov. Bob Graham continued Askew's policy. GOP Gov. Bob Martinez reinstated the lifetime voting ban on ex-felons in 1988. But Democrats hardly have clean hands. In the 1990s, Gov. Lawton Chiles tightened the rules for ex-felons by eliminating certain crimes from clemency consideration. Gov. Bush has tinkered with the process to further restrict clemency and increase secrecy. On May 5, Secretary of State Hood ordered the state's 67 local election supervisors to begin purging "ineligible" voters from a list of 48,000 felons she had sent them. Hood insisted that the purge list be kept secret. Not until a state court ordered her to release the list in June did the media learn that Hood's list contained names of mostly black men; there were 61 Latinos. And 2,100 names on the list had received executive clemency, according to the Miami Herald. Describing the errors as "unintentional and unforeseen," Hood dropped her insistence that precincts use the flawed list. In fact, Hood knew the list had serious problems from the get-go, according to a May 2 internal memo that detailed dozens of worrisome concerns. Just how many ex-felons will make it to the polls on Nov. 2 remains unclear. Before Hood junked her felons list, supervisors in 14 counties - including Brevard, Gulf and Wakulla - had sent letters to people on it informing them they were ineligible to vote. By law, those who fail to respond within 30 days can be purged from voting rolls. The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University notified Hood that she was violating state and federal voter-registration laws and successfully argued that county election supervisors should alert those they had previously purged. It has also sued to challenge the constitutionality of the state's felon voting laws, and a federal appellate-court panel agreed with the plaintiffs. The case will be heard by the full court a week before the election. Only the most motivated, proactive ex-felons are expected to surmount the hurdles to win back their voting rights. Considering that the majority of the state's former inmates come from poor, often uneducated families, only a small fraction will probably ever see a voting booth again. And that suits the state's Republican Party just fine. [Ann Louise Bardach covers Florida politics for Slate and is the author of "Cuba Confidential: Love and Vengeance in Miami and Havana."] 2004 Los Angeles Times ================================================== ===============

          Comment


          • #6
            {{{ PROOF THAT G aWol Bu$h DESTROYS America }}} ==&gt; How Florida Republicans

            Bill Thomas wrote:
            On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 21:05:10 -0600, "S. O. Damocles" <[email protected]> wrote:
            In Your Dreams wrote:
            [Excellent article describing in copious detail how Florida Republicans keep Blacks from voting. Of course, the Democrats have been deeply and actively complicit in this for years, above all with the exclusion of former convicts from the right to vote. Now former President Carter has added his voice to the protest. It all dovetails well with President Alarcon's call for there to be international observers in Florida: http://www.granma.cu/ingles/2004/jul...30/32elec.html -WL] Los Angeles Times - Sept 26, 2004 http://www.latimes.com/news/politics...,4475008.story How Florida Republicans Keep Blacks From Voting By Ann Louise Bardach SANTA BARBARA - The worst-kept secret among Florida's Republican elites is their dread of the African American vote. It is not an unfounded fear. In 2000, blacks in this crucial swing state voted for Al Gore in unprecedented numbers, a whopping 92%. Current polls indicate they are even less enamored with George W. Bush this time around. State Democrats are abuzz with suspicions about how Gov. Jeb Bush and his handpicked secretary of state, Glenda Hood, will limit the effect of black voters Nov. 2. Though the state has cultivated several voting techniques that favor Republicans - an emphasis on military and absentee ballots is one - no issue has been leveraged as successfully as its restrictive policy on ex-felons. One reason is that the Sunshine State holds the dubious honor of having one of the nation's largest felon populations, about 5% of its total. Florida is one of seven states that imposes a lifetime ban on voting for ex-felons, barring an act of executive clemency. Currently, more than 600,000 ex-inmates, not including 82,000 in prison, are unable to vote in Florida. It is impossible to discuss this issue separate from race. In 2000, more than 58% of Florida's ex-felons were African Americans. A task force set up by Gov. Bush to recommend changes after the vote-count fiasco of 2000 urged that the voting rights of prisoners be automatically restored once inmates completed their sentences. But the governor refused to review the issue. No matter whether one's crime was marijuana possession, check bouncing or drunk driving, a felon must negotiate a daunting obstacle course to win back the right to vote. It is a policy that disproportionately affects African Americans in the state's prisons, the vast majority are serving time for drug offenses. Critics of the policy point out that had Gov. Bush's troubled daughter, Noelle, been prosecuted for having falsified drug prescriptions or possession of crack cocaine instead of being placed in treatment-she would probably be an ex-felon today and unable to vote. How critical is the felon issue in Florida? Last year, more than 54,000 felons were released or completed their parole in the state. In 2001, the ACLU and the Florida Justice Institute sued the state for failing to comply with a state law mandating that felons be provided voting-rights assistance upon completion of their sentences. In response, the state admitted that between 1992 and 2001 it had not provided the required assistance forms to 125,000 ex-felons. When a Florida appellate court ordered Bush to provide the forms, he responded by abolishing them. In late August, the state's Clemency Board informed the plaintiffs that about 15% of the ex-felons have had or will have their voting rights restored without a hearing. Randall Berg of the Florida Justice Institute says the remaining 85% will need a hearing before the board, which consists of Bush and two state Cabinet members. But that's where the Kafka whiplash begins. The board meets only four times a year and then accepts just 50 cases. That means 200 ex-felons - maximum - get processed. For the lucky ex-felons who get a hearing, any of the board members, all Republicans, have the right to deny petition without citing cause. There is no appeal process. In short, the brother of the president can decide who gets to vote in Florida. "There is only the court of public opinion," said Peter Siegel of the Florida Justice Institute, "and Jeb Bush doesn't seem to care about that." Florida's felon-voting laws have their antecedents in pre-Civil War laws that minimized the number of freed slaves on voting rolls. In 1838, the state criminalized a host of actions to the detriment of poor, uneducated freed slaves, along with a penal system to ensure they served long sentences. For instance, vagrancy and larceny were made felonies. The state's felons would then permanently lose their right to vote unless they went hat in hand to the state's Clemency Board. Particularly troubling to Southern whites was passage of the 14th Amendment in 1868, which guaranteed blacks the right to vote. To ensure that blacks would not reward the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln with their votes, the Democratic-controlled Florida Legislature crafted a raft of statutes to keep blacks out of the polling booths. After 1880, Florida adopted literacy tests to ensure that many blacks would be ineligible to cast ballots. There was the "grandfather clause" that rewarded voting rights only to people whose "grandfathers" had voted, which knocked more blacks off the rolls. Another statute required voters to place eight individual ballots in eight separate ballot boxes, a rule intended to confuse black voters who had a 40% illiteracy rate in 1900. In 1889, Florida passed the first poll tax - pay-to-play voting - in the South, which remained in effect until 1938. In 1902, the state's Democratic Party pushed through a "whites only" primary system. African Americans who fought for suffrage often faced violence. Florida set records for lynchings in the South through 1946. On election day in 1920, a white mob laid siege to the black town of Ocoee, not far from Orlando, after a black man, allegedly carrying a weapon, demanded his right to vote. The town was torched and a half-dozen residents killed. In the late 1960s, as Florida Democrats embraced the civil rights movement, Republicans exploited the state's felon laws to depress the African American vote. Seeking to redress past inequities, Democratic Gov. Reubin Askew changed Florida's policy in 1975 to restore the voting right to felons once they completed their sentences. Gov. Bob Graham continued Askew's policy. GOP Gov. Bob Martinez reinstated the lifetime voting ban on ex-felons in 1988. But Democrats hardly have clean hands. In the 1990s, Gov. Lawton Chiles tightened the rules for ex-felons by eliminating certain crimes from clemency consideration. Gov. Bush has tinkered with the process to further restrict clemency and increase secrecy. On May 5, Secretary of State Hood ordered the state's 67 local election supervisors to begin purging "ineligible" voters from a list of 48,000 felons she had sent them. Hood insisted that the purge list be kept secret. Not until a state court ordered her to release the list in June did the media learn that Hood's list contained names of mostly black men; there were 61 Latinos. And 2,100 names on the list had received executive clemency, according to the Miami Herald. Describing the errors as "unintentional and unforeseen," Hood dropped her insistence that precincts use the flawed list. In fact, Hood knew the list had serious problems from the get-go, according to a May 2 internal memo that detailed dozens of worrisome concerns. Just how many ex-felons will make it to the polls on Nov. 2 remains unclear. Before Hood junked her felons list, supervisors in 14 counties - including Brevard, Gulf and Wakulla - had sent letters to people on it informing them they were ineligible to vote. By law, those who fail to respond within 30 days can be purged from voting rolls. The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University notified Hood that she was violating state and federal voter-registration laws and successfully argued that county election supervisors should alert those they had previously purged. It has also sued to challenge the constitutionality of the state's felon voting laws, and a federal appellate-court panel agreed with the plaintiffs. The case will be heard by the full court a week before the election. Only the most motivated, proactive ex-felons are expected to surmount the hurdles to win back their voting rights. Considering that the majority of the state's former inmates come from poor, often uneducated families, only a small fraction will probably ever see a voting booth again. And that suits the state's Republican Party just fine. [Ann Louise Bardach covers Florida politics for Slate and is the author of "Cuba Confidential: Love and Vengeance in Miami and Havana."] 2004 Los Angeles Times ================================================== ===============

            Comment


            • #7
              {{{ PROOF THAT G aWol Bu$h DESTROYS America }}} ==&gt; How Florida Republicans

              On Wed, 29 Sep 2004 11:47:57 -0600, "S. O. Damocles" <[email protected]>
              wrote:
              Bill Thomas wrote:
              On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 21:05:10 -0600, "S. O. Damocles" <[email protected]> wrote:
              In Your Dreams wrote:> [Excellent article describing in copious detail how> Florida> Republicans keep Blacks from voting. Of course, the> Democrats have been deeply and actively complicit in this> for years, above all with the exclusion of former convicts> from the right to vote.>> Now former President Carter has added his voice to the> protest. It all dovetails well with President Alarcon's> call for there to be international observers in Florida:> http://www.granma.cu/ingles/2004/jul...30/32elec.html> -WL]>> Los Angeles Times - Sept 26, 2004> http://www.latimes.com/news/politics...,4475008.story>> How Florida Republicans Keep Blacks From Voting>> By Ann Louise Bardach>> SANTA BARBARA - The worst-kept secret among Florida's> Republican elites is their dread of the African American> vote. It is not an unfounded fear. In 2000, blacks in this> crucial swing state voted for Al Gore in unprecedented> numbers, a whopping 92%. Current polls indicate they are> even less enamored with George W. Bush this time around.>> State Democrats are abuzz with suspicions about how Gov.> Jeb Bush and his handpicked secretary of state, Glenda> Hood, will limit the effect of black voters Nov. 2. Though> the state has cultivated several voting techniques that> favor Republicans - an emphasis on military and absentee> ballots is one - no issue has been leveraged as> successfully as its restrictive policy on ex-felons. One> reason is that the Sunshine State holds the dubious honor> of having one of the nation's largest felon populations,> about 5% of its total.>> Florida is one of seven states that imposes a lifetime ban> on voting for ex-felons, barring an act of executive> clemency. Currently, more than 600,000 ex-inmates, not> including 82,000 in prison, are unable to vote in Florida.> It is impossible to discuss this issue separate from race.> In 2000, more than 58% of Florida's ex-felons were African> Americans.>> A task force set up by Gov. Bush to recommend changes> after> the vote-count fiasco of 2000 urged that the voting rights> of prisoners be automatically restored once inmates> completed their sentences. But the governor refused to> review the issue. No matter whether one's crime was> marijuana possession, check bouncing or drunk driving, a> felon must negotiate a daunting obstacle course to win> back> the right to vote.>> It is a policy that disproportionately affects African> Americans in the state's prisons, the vast majority are> serving time for drug offenses. Critics of the policy> point> out that had Gov. Bush's troubled daughter, Noelle, been> prosecuted for having falsified drug prescriptions or> possession of crack cocaine instead of being placed in> treatment-she would probably be an ex-felon today and> unable to vote.>> How critical is the felon issue in Florida? Last year,> more> than 54,000 felons were released or completed their parole> in the state. In 2001, the ACLU and the Florida Justice> Institute sued the state for failing to comply with a> state> law mandating that felons be provided voting-rights> assistance upon completion of their sentences. In> response,> the state admitted that between 1992 and 2001 it had not> provided the required assistance forms to 125,000> ex-felons. When a Florida appellate court ordered Bush to> provide the forms, he responded by abolishing them.>> In late August, the state's Clemency Board informed the> plaintiffs that about 15% of the ex-felons have had or> will> have their voting rights restored without a hearing.> Randall Berg of the Florida Justice Institute says the> remaining 85% will need a hearing before the board, which> consists of Bush and two state Cabinet members. But that's> where the Kafka whiplash begins. The board meets only four> times a year and then accepts just 50 cases. That means> 200> ex-felons - maximum - get processed.>> For the lucky ex-felons who get a hearing, any of the> board> members, all Republicans, have the right to deny petition> without citing cause. There is no appeal process. In> short,> the brother of the president can decide who gets to vote> in> Florida. "There is only the court of public opinion," said> Peter Siegel of the Florida Justice Institute, "and Jeb> Bush doesn't seem to care about that.">> Florida's felon-voting laws have their antecedents in> pre-Civil War laws that minimized the number of freed> slaves on voting rolls. In 1838, the state criminalized a> host of actions to the detriment of poor, uneducated freed> slaves, along with a penal system to ensure they served> long sentences. For instance, vagrancy and larceny were> made felonies. The state's felons would then permanently> lose their right to vote unless they went hat in hand to> the state's Clemency Board.>> Particularly troubling to Southern whites was passage of> the 14th Amendment in 1868, which guaranteed blacks the> right to vote. To ensure that blacks would not reward the> Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln with their votes, the> Democratic-controlled Florida Legislature crafted a raft> of> statutes to keep blacks out of the polling booths.>> After 1880, Florida adopted literacy tests to ensure that> many blacks would be ineligible to cast ballots. There was> the "grandfather clause" that rewarded voting rights only> to people whose "grandfathers" had voted, which knocked> more blacks off the rolls.>> Another statute required voters to place eight individual> ballots in eight separate ballot boxes, a rule intended to> confuse black voters who had a 40% illiteracy rate in> 1900.> In 1889, Florida passed the first poll tax - pay-to-play> voting - in the South, which remained in effect until> 1938.> In 1902, the state's Democratic Party pushed through a> "whites only" primary system.>> African Americans who fought for suffrage often faced> violence. Florida set records for lynchings in the South> through 1946. On election day in 1920, a white mob laid> siege to the black town of Ocoee, not far from Orlando,> after a black man, allegedly carrying a weapon, demanded> his right to vote. The town was torched and a half-dozen> residents killed.>> In the late 1960s, as Florida Democrats embraced the civil> rights movement, Republicans exploited the state's felon> laws to depress the African American vote. Seeking to> redress past inequities, Democratic Gov. Reubin Askew> changed Florida's policy in 1975 to restore the voting> right to felons once they completed their sentences. Gov.> Bob Graham continued Askew's policy. GOP Gov. Bob Martinez> reinstated the lifetime voting ban on ex-felons in 1988.>> But Democrats hardly have clean hands. In the 1990s, Gov.> Lawton Chiles tightened the rules for ex-felons by> eliminating certain crimes from clemency consideration.> Gov. Bush has tinkered with the process to further> restrict> clemency and increase secrecy.>> On May 5, Secretary of State Hood ordered the state's 67> local election supervisors to begin purging "ineligible"> voters from a list of 48,000 felons she had sent them.> Hood> insisted that the purge list be kept secret. Not until a> state court ordered her to release the list in June did> the> media learn that Hood's list contained names of mostly> black men; there were 61 Latinos. And 2,100 names on the> list had received executive clemency, according to the> Miami Herald.>> Describing the errors as "unintentional and unforeseen,"> Hood dropped her insistence that precincts use the flawed> list.>> In fact, Hood knew the list had serious problems from the> get-go, according to a May 2 internal memo that detailed> dozens of worrisome concerns.>> Just how many ex-felons will make it to the polls on Nov.> 2> remains unclear. Before Hood junked her felons list,> supervisors in 14 counties - including Brevard, Gulf and> Wakulla - had sent letters to people on it informing them> they were ineligible to vote.>> By law, those who fail to respond within 30 days can be> purged from voting rolls. The Brennan Center for Justice> at> New York University notified Hood that she was violating> state and federal voter-registration laws and successfully> argued that county election supervisors should alert those> they had previously purged. It has also sued to challenge> the constitutionality of the state's felon voting laws,> and> a federal appellate-court panel agreed with the> plaintiffs.> The case will be heard by the full court a week before the> election.>> Only the most motivated, proactive ex-felons are expected> to surmount the hurdles to win back their voting rights.> Considering that the majority of the state's former> inmates> come from poor, often uneducated families, only a small> fraction will probably ever see a voting booth again.>> And that suits the state's Republican Party just fine.>> [Ann Louise Bardach covers Florida politics for Slate and> is the author of "Cuba Confidential: Love and Vengeance in> Miami and Havana."]>> 2004 Los Angeles Times>> ================================================== ===============

              Comment


              • #8
                [[( PROOF THAT LIBERALS HATE AMERICA ]]) ==&gt; {{{ PROOF THAT G aWol Bu$h DESTROY

                On Wed, 29 Sep 2004 11:47:57 -0600, "S. O. Damocles" <[email protected]>
                wrote:
                Bill Thomas wrote:
                On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 21:05:10 -0600, "S. O. Damocles" <[email protected]> wrote:
                In Your Dreams wrote:> [Excellent article describing in copious detail how> Florida> Republicans keep Blacks from voting. Of course, the> Democrats have been deeply and actively complicit in this> for years, above all with the exclusion of former convicts> from the right to vote.>> Now former President Carter has added his voice to the> protest. It all dovetails well with President Alarcon's> call for there to be international observers in Florida:> http://www.granma.cu/ingles/2004/jul...30/32elec.html> -WL]>> Los Angeles Times - Sept 26, 2004> http://www.latimes.com/news/politics...,4475008.story>> How Florida Republicans Keep Blacks From Voting>> By Ann Louise Bardach>> SANTA BARBARA - The worst-kept secret among Florida's> Republican elites is their dread of the African American> vote. It is not an unfounded fear. In 2000, blacks in this> crucial swing state voted for Al Gore in unprecedented> numbers, a whopping 92%. Current polls indicate they are> even less enamored with George W. Bush this time around.>> State Democrats are abuzz with suspicions about how Gov.> Jeb Bush and his handpicked secretary of state, Glenda> Hood, will limit the effect of black voters Nov. 2. Though> the state has cultivated several voting techniques that> favor Republicans - an emphasis on military and absentee> ballots is one - no issue has been leveraged as> successfully as its restrictive policy on ex-felons. One> reason is that the Sunshine State holds the dubious honor> of having one of the nation's largest felon populations,> about 5% of its total.>> Florida is one of seven states that imposes a lifetime ban> on voting for ex-felons, barring an act of executive> clemency. Currently, more than 600,000 ex-inmates, not> including 82,000 in prison, are unable to vote in Florida.> It is impossible to discuss this issue separate from race.> In 2000, more than 58% of Florida's ex-felons were African> Americans.>> A task force set up by Gov. Bush to recommend changes> after> the vote-count fiasco of 2000 urged that the voting rights> of prisoners be automatically restored once inmates> completed their sentences. But the governor refused to> review the issue. No matter whether one's crime was> marijuana possession, check bouncing or drunk driving, a> felon must negotiate a daunting obstacle course to win> back> the right to vote.>> It is a policy that disproportionately affects African> Americans in the state's prisons, the vast majority are> serving time for drug offenses. Critics of the policy> point> out that had Gov. Bush's troubled daughter, Noelle, been> prosecuted for having falsified drug prescriptions or> possession of crack cocaine instead of being placed in> treatment-she would probably be an ex-felon today and> unable to vote.>> How critical is the felon issue in Florida? Last year,> more> than 54,000 felons were released or completed their parole> in the state. In 2001, the ACLU and the Florida Justice> Institute sued the state for failing to comply with a> state> law mandating that felons be provided voting-rights> assistance upon completion of their sentences. In> response,> the state admitted that between 1992 and 2001 it had not> provided the required assistance forms to 125,000> ex-felons. When a Florida appellate court ordered Bush to> provide the forms, he responded by abolishing them.>> In late August, the state's Clemency Board informed the> plaintiffs that about 15% of the ex-felons have had or> will> have their voting rights restored without a hearing.> Randall Berg of the Florida Justice Institute says the> remaining 85% will need a hearing before the board, which> consists of Bush and two state Cabinet members. But that's> where the Kafka whiplash begins. The board meets only four> times a year and then accepts just 50 cases. That means> 200> ex-felons - maximum - get processed.>> For the lucky ex-felons who get a hearing, any of the> board> members, all Republicans, have the right to deny petition> without citing cause. There is no appeal process. In> short,> the brother of the president can decide who gets to vote> in> Florida. "There is only the court of public opinion," said> Peter Siegel of the Florida Justice Institute, "and Jeb> Bush doesn't seem to care about that.">> Florida's felon-voting laws have their antecedents in> pre-Civil War laws that minimized the number of freed> slaves on voting rolls. In 1838, the state criminalized a> host of actions to the detriment of poor, uneducated freed> slaves, along with a penal system to ensure they served> long sentences. For instance, vagrancy and larceny were> made felonies. The state's felons would then permanently> lose their right to vote unless they went hat in hand to> the state's Clemency Board.>> Particularly troubling to Southern whites was passage of> the 14th Amendment in 1868, which guaranteed blacks the> right to vote. To ensure that blacks would not reward the> Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln with their votes, the> Democratic-controlled Florida Legislature crafted a raft> of> statutes to keep blacks out of the polling booths.>> After 1880, Florida adopted literacy tests to ensure that> many blacks would be ineligible to cast ballots. There was> the "grandfather clause" that rewarded voting rights only> to people whose "grandfathers" had voted, which knocked> more blacks off the rolls.>> Another statute required voters to place eight individual> ballots in eight separate ballot boxes, a rule intended to> confuse black voters who had a 40% illiteracy rate in> 1900.> In 1889, Florida passed the first poll tax - pay-to-play> voting - in the South, which remained in effect until> 1938.> In 1902, the state's Democratic Party pushed through a> "whites only" primary system.>> African Americans who fought for suffrage often faced> violence. Florida set records for lynchings in the South> through 1946. On election day in 1920, a white mob laid> siege to the black town of Ocoee, not far from Orlando,> after a black man, allegedly carrying a weapon, demanded> his right to vote. The town was torched and a half-dozen> residents killed.>> In the late 1960s, as Florida Democrats embraced the civil> rights movement, Republicans exploited the state's felon> laws to depress the African American vote. Seeking to> redress past inequities, Democratic Gov. Reubin Askew> changed Florida's policy in 1975 to restore the voting> right to felons once they completed their sentences. Gov.> Bob Graham continued Askew's policy. GOP Gov. Bob Martinez> reinstated the lifetime voting ban on ex-felons in 1988.>> But Democrats hardly have clean hands. In the 1990s, Gov.> Lawton Chiles tightened the rules for ex-felons by> eliminating certain crimes from clemency consideration.> Gov. Bush has tinkered with the process to further> restrict> clemency and increase secrecy.>> On May 5, Secretary of State Hood ordered the state's 67> local election supervisors to begin purging "ineligible"> voters from a list of 48,000 felons she had sent them.> Hood> insisted that the purge list be kept secret. Not until a> state court ordered her to release the list in June did> the> media learn that Hood's list contained names of mostly> black men; there were 61 Latinos. And 2,100 names on the> list had received executive clemency, according to the> Miami Herald.>> Describing the errors as "unintentional and unforeseen,"> Hood dropped her insistence that precincts use the flawed> list.>> In fact, Hood knew the list had serious problems from the> get-go, according to a May 2 internal memo that detailed> dozens of worrisome concerns.>> Just how many ex-felons will make it to the polls on Nov.> 2> remains unclear. Before Hood junked her felons list,> supervisors in 14 counties - including Brevard, Gulf and> Wakulla - had sent letters to people on it informing them> they were ineligible to vote.>> By law, those who fail to respond within 30 days can be> purged from voting rolls. The Brennan Center for Justice> at> New York University notified Hood that she was violating> state and federal voter-registration laws and successfully> argued that county election supervisors should alert those> they had previously purged. It has also sued to challenge> the constitutionality of the state's felon voting laws,> and> a federal appellate-court panel agreed with the> plaintiffs.> The case will be heard by the full court a week before the> election.>> Only the most motivated, proactive ex-felons are expected> to surmount the hurdles to win back their voting rights.> Considering that the majority of the state's former> inmates> come from poor, often uneducated families, only a small> fraction will probably ever see a voting booth again.>> And that suits the state's Republican Party just fine.>> [Ann Louise Bardach covers Florida politics for Slate and> is the author of "Cuba Confidential: Love and Vengeance in> Miami and Havana."]>> 2004 Los Angeles Times>> ================================================== ===============

                Comment


                • #9
                  [[( PROOF THAT LIBERALS HATE AMERICA ]]) ==&gt; {{{ PROOF THAT G aWol Bu$h DESTROY

                  On Wed, 29 Sep 2004 11:47:57 -0600, "S. O. Damocles" <[email protected]>
                  wrote:
                  Bill Thomas wrote:
                  On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 21:05:10 -0600, "S. O. Damocles" <[email protected]> wrote:
                  In Your Dreams wrote:> [Excellent article describing in copious detail how> Florida> Republicans keep Blacks from voting. Of course, the> Democrats have been deeply and actively complicit in this> for years, above all with the exclusion of former convicts> from the right to vote.>> Now former President Carter has added his voice to the> protest. It all dovetails well with President Alarcon's> call for there to be international observers in Florida:> http://www.granma.cu/ingles/2004/jul...30/32elec.html> -WL]>> Los Angeles Times - Sept 26, 2004> http://www.latimes.com/news/politics...,4475008.story>> How Florida Republicans Keep Blacks From Voting>> By Ann Louise Bardach>> SANTA BARBARA - The worst-kept secret among Florida's> Republican elites is their dread of the African American> vote. It is not an unfounded fear. In 2000, blacks in this> crucial swing state voted for Al Gore in unprecedented> numbers, a whopping 92%. Current polls indicate they are> even less enamored with George W. Bush this time around.>> State Democrats are abuzz with suspicions about how Gov.> Jeb Bush and his handpicked secretary of state, Glenda> Hood, will limit the effect of black voters Nov. 2. Though> the state has cultivated several voting techniques that> favor Republicans - an emphasis on military and absentee> ballots is one - no issue has been leveraged as> successfully as its restrictive policy on ex-felons. One> reason is that the Sunshine State holds the dubious honor> of having one of the nation's largest felon populations,> about 5% of its total.>> Florida is one of seven states that imposes a lifetime ban> on voting for ex-felons, barring an act of executive> clemency. Currently, more than 600,000 ex-inmates, not> including 82,000 in prison, are unable to vote in Florida.> It is impossible to discuss this issue separate from race.> In 2000, more than 58% of Florida's ex-felons were African> Americans.>> A task force set up by Gov. Bush to recommend changes> after> the vote-count fiasco of 2000 urged that the voting rights> of prisoners be automatically restored once inmates> completed their sentences. But the governor refused to> review the issue. No matter whether one's crime was> marijuana possession, check bouncing or drunk driving, a> felon must negotiate a daunting obstacle course to win> back> the right to vote.>> It is a policy that disproportionately affects African> Americans in the state's prisons, the vast majority are> serving time for drug offenses. Critics of the policy> point> out that had Gov. Bush's troubled daughter, Noelle, been> prosecuted for having falsified drug prescriptions or> possession of crack cocaine instead of being placed in> treatment-she would probably be an ex-felon today and> unable to vote.>> How critical is the felon issue in Florida? Last year,> more> than 54,000 felons were released or completed their parole> in the state. In 2001, the ACLU and the Florida Justice> Institute sued the state for failing to comply with a> state> law mandating that felons be provided voting-rights> assistance upon completion of their sentences. In> response,> the state admitted that between 1992 and 2001 it had not> provided the required assistance forms to 125,000> ex-felons. When a Florida appellate court ordered Bush to> provide the forms, he responded by abolishing them.>> In late August, the state's Clemency Board informed the> plaintiffs that about 15% of the ex-felons have had or> will> have their voting rights restored without a hearing.> Randall Berg of the Florida Justice Institute says the> remaining 85% will need a hearing before the board, which> consists of Bush and two state Cabinet members. But that's> where the Kafka whiplash begins. The board meets only four> times a year and then accepts just 50 cases. That means> 200> ex-felons - maximum - get processed.>> For the lucky ex-felons who get a hearing, any of the> board> members, all Republicans, have the right to deny petition> without citing cause. There is no appeal process. In> short,> the brother of the president can decide who gets to vote> in> Florida. "There is only the court of public opinion," said> Peter Siegel of the Florida Justice Institute, "and Jeb> Bush doesn't seem to care about that.">> Florida's felon-voting laws have their antecedents in> pre-Civil War laws that minimized the number of freed> slaves on voting rolls. In 1838, the state criminalized a> host of actions to the detriment of poor, uneducated freed> slaves, along with a penal system to ensure they served> long sentences. For instance, vagrancy and larceny were> made felonies. The state's felons would then permanently> lose their right to vote unless they went hat in hand to> the state's Clemency Board.>> Particularly troubling to Southern whites was passage of> the 14th Amendment in 1868, which guaranteed blacks the> right to vote. To ensure that blacks would not reward the> Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln with their votes, the> Democratic-controlled Florida Legislature crafted a raft> of> statutes to keep blacks out of the polling booths.>> After 1880, Florida adopted literacy tests to ensure that> many blacks would be ineligible to cast ballots. There was> the "grandfather clause" that rewarded voting rights only> to people whose "grandfathers" had voted, which knocked> more blacks off the rolls.>> Another statute required voters to place eight individual> ballots in eight separate ballot boxes, a rule intended to> confuse black voters who had a 40% illiteracy rate in> 1900.> In 1889, Florida passed the first poll tax - pay-to-play> voting - in the South, which remained in effect until> 1938.> In 1902, the state's Democratic Party pushed through a> "whites only" primary system.>> African Americans who fought for suffrage often faced> violence. Florida set records for lynchings in the South> through 1946. On election day in 1920, a white mob laid> siege to the black town of Ocoee, not far from Orlando,> after a black man, allegedly carrying a weapon, demanded> his right to vote. The town was torched and a half-dozen> residents killed.>> In the late 1960s, as Florida Democrats embraced the civil> rights movement, Republicans exploited the state's felon> laws to depress the African American vote. Seeking to> redress past inequities, Democratic Gov. Reubin Askew> changed Florida's policy in 1975 to restore the voting> right to felons once they completed their sentences. Gov.> Bob Graham continued Askew's policy. GOP Gov. Bob Martinez> reinstated the lifetime voting ban on ex-felons in 1988.>> But Democrats hardly have clean hands. In the 1990s, Gov.> Lawton Chiles tightened the rules for ex-felons by> eliminating certain crimes from clemency consideration.> Gov. Bush has tinkered with the process to further> restrict> clemency and increase secrecy.>> On May 5, Secretary of State Hood ordered the state's 67> local election supervisors to begin purging "ineligible"> voters from a list of 48,000 felons she had sent them.> Hood> insisted that the purge list be kept secret. Not until a> state court ordered her to release the list in June did> the> media learn that Hood's list contained names of mostly> black men; there were 61 Latinos. And 2,100 names on the> list had received executive clemency, according to the> Miami Herald.>> Describing the errors as "unintentional and unforeseen,"> Hood dropped her insistence that precincts use the flawed> list.>> In fact, Hood knew the list had serious problems from the> get-go, according to a May 2 internal memo that detailed> dozens of worrisome concerns.>> Just how many ex-felons will make it to the polls on Nov.> 2> remains unclear. Before Hood junked her felons list,> supervisors in 14 counties - including Brevard, Gulf and> Wakulla - had sent letters to people on it informing them> they were ineligible to vote.>> By law, those who fail to respond within 30 days can be> purged from voting rolls. The Brennan Center for Justice> at> New York University notified Hood that she was violating> state and federal voter-registration laws and successfully> argued that county election supervisors should alert those> they had previously purged. It has also sued to challenge> the constitutionality of the state's felon voting laws,> and> a federal appellate-court panel agreed with the> plaintiffs.> The case will be heard by the full court a week before the> election.>> Only the most motivated, proactive ex-felons are expected> to surmount the hurdles to win back their voting rights.> Considering that the majority of the state's former> inmates> come from poor, often uneducated families, only a small> fraction will probably ever see a voting booth again.>> And that suits the state's Republican Party just fine.>> [Ann Louise Bardach covers Florida politics for Slate and> is the author of "Cuba Confidential: Love and Vengeance in> Miami and Havana."]>> 2004 Los Angeles Times>> ================================================== ===============

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    [[( PROOF THAT LIBERALS HATE AMERICA ]]) ==&gt; {{{ PROOF THAT G aWol Bu$h

                    On Wed, 29 Sep 2004 11:47:57 -0600, "S. O. Damocles" <[email protected]>
                    wrote:
                    Bill Thomas wrote:
                    On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 21:05:10 -0600, "S. O. Damocles" <[email protected]> wrote:
                    In Your Dreams wrote:> [Excellent article describing in copious detail how> Florida> Republicans keep Blacks from voting. Of course, the> Democrats have been deeply and actively complicit in this> for years, above all with the exclusion of former convicts> from the right to vote.>> Now former President Carter has added his voice to the> protest. It all dovetails well with President Alarcon's> call for there to be international observers in Florida:> http://www.granma.cu/ingles/2004/jul...30/32elec.html> -WL]>> Los Angeles Times - Sept 26, 2004> http://www.latimes.com/news/politics...,4475008.story>> How Florida Republicans Keep Blacks From Voting>> By Ann Louise Bardach>> SANTA BARBARA - The worst-kept secret among Florida's> Republican elites is their dread of the African American> vote. It is not an unfounded fear. In 2000, blacks in this> crucial swing state voted for Al Gore in unprecedented> numbers, a whopping 92%. Current polls indicate they are> even less enamored with George W. Bush this time around.>> State Democrats are abuzz with suspicions about how Gov.> Jeb Bush and his handpicked secretary of state, Glenda> Hood, will limit the effect of black voters Nov. 2. Though> the state has cultivated several voting techniques that> favor Republicans - an emphasis on military and absentee> ballots is one - no issue has been leveraged as> successfully as its restrictive policy on ex-felons. One> reason is that the Sunshine State holds the dubious honor> of having one of the nation's largest felon populations,> about 5% of its total.>> Florida is one of seven states that imposes a lifetime ban> on voting for ex-felons, barring an act of executive> clemency. Currently, more than 600,000 ex-inmates, not> including 82,000 in prison, are unable to vote in Florida.> It is impossible to discuss this issue separate from race.> In 2000, more than 58% of Florida's ex-felons were African> Americans.>> A task force set up by Gov. Bush to recommend changes> after> the vote-count fiasco of 2000 urged that the voting rights> of prisoners be automatically restored once inmates> completed their sentences. But the governor refused to> review the issue. No matter whether one's crime was> marijuana possession, check bouncing or drunk driving, a> felon must negotiate a daunting obstacle course to win> back> the right to vote.>> It is a policy that disproportionately affects African> Americans in the state's prisons, the vast majority are> serving time for drug offenses. Critics of the policy> point> out that had Gov. Bush's troubled daughter, Noelle, been> prosecuted for having falsified drug prescriptions or> possession of crack cocaine instead of being placed in> treatment-she would probably be an ex-felon today and> unable to vote.>> How critical is the felon issue in Florida? Last year,> more> than 54,000 felons were released or completed their parole> in the state. In 2001, the ACLU and the Florida Justice> Institute sued the state for failing to comply with a> state> law mandating that felons be provided voting-rights> assistance upon completion of their sentences. In> response,> the state admitted that between 1992 and 2001 it had not> provided the required assistance forms to 125,000> ex-felons. When a Florida appellate court ordered Bush to> provide the forms, he responded by abolishing them.>> In late August, the state's Clemency Board informed the> plaintiffs that about 15% of the ex-felons have had or> will> have their voting rights restored without a hearing.> Randall Berg of the Florida Justice Institute says the> remaining 85% will need a hearing before the board, which> consists of Bush and two state Cabinet members. But that's> where the Kafka whiplash begins. The board meets only four> times a year and then accepts just 50 cases. That means> 200> ex-felons - maximum - get processed.>> For the lucky ex-felons who get a hearing, any of the> board> members, all Republicans, have the right to deny petition> without citing cause. There is no appeal process. In> short,> the brother of the president can decide who gets to vote> in> Florida. "There is only the court of public opinion," said> Peter Siegel of the Florida Justice Institute, "and Jeb> Bush doesn't seem to care about that.">> Florida's felon-voting laws have their antecedents in> pre-Civil War laws that minimized the number of freed> slaves on voting rolls. In 1838, the state criminalized a> host of actions to the detriment of poor, uneducated freed> slaves, along with a penal system to ensure they served> long sentences. For instance, vagrancy and larceny were> made felonies. The state's felons would then permanently> lose their right to vote unless they went hat in hand to> the state's Clemency Board.>> Particularly troubling to Southern whites was passage of> the 14th Amendment in 1868, which guaranteed blacks the> right to vote. To ensure that blacks would not reward the> Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln with their votes, the> Democratic-controlled Florida Legislature crafted a raft> of> statutes to keep blacks out of the polling booths.>> After 1880, Florida adopted literacy tests to ensure that> many blacks would be ineligible to cast ballots. There was> the "grandfather clause" that rewarded voting rights only> to people whose "grandfathers" had voted, which knocked> more blacks off the rolls.>> Another statute required voters to place eight individual> ballots in eight separate ballot boxes, a rule intended to> confuse black voters who had a 40% illiteracy rate in> 1900.> In 1889, Florida passed the first poll tax - pay-to-play> voting - in the South, which remained in effect until> 1938.> In 1902, the state's Democratic Party pushed through a> "whites only" primary system.>> African Americans who fought for suffrage often faced> violence. Florida set records for lynchings in the South> through 1946. On election day in 1920, a white mob laid> siege to the black town of Ocoee, not far from Orlando,> after a black man, allegedly carrying a weapon, demanded> his right to vote. The town was torched and a half-dozen> residents killed.>> In the late 1960s, as Florida Democrats embraced the civil> rights movement, Republicans exploited the state's felon> laws to depress the African American vote. Seeking to> redress past inequities, Democratic Gov. Reubin Askew> changed Florida's policy in 1975 to restore the voting> right to felons once they completed their sentences. Gov.> Bob Graham continued Askew's policy. GOP Gov. Bob Martinez> reinstated the lifetime voting ban on ex-felons in 1988.>> But Democrats hardly have clean hands. In the 1990s, Gov.> Lawton Chiles tightened the rules for ex-felons by> eliminating certain crimes from clemency consideration.> Gov. Bush has tinkered with the process to further> restrict> clemency and increase secrecy.>> On May 5, Secretary of State Hood ordered the state's 67> local election supervisors to begin purging "ineligible"> voters from a list of 48,000 felons she had sent them.> Hood> insisted that the purge list be kept secret. Not until a> state court ordered her to release the list in June did> the> media learn that Hood's list contained names of mostly> black men; there were 61 Latinos. And 2,100 names on the> list had received executive clemency, according to the> Miami Herald.>> Describing the errors as "unintentional and unforeseen,"> Hood dropped her insistence that precincts use the flawed> list.>> In fact, Hood knew the list had serious problems from the> get-go, according to a May 2 internal memo that detailed> dozens of worrisome concerns.>> Just how many ex-felons will make it to the polls on Nov.> 2> remains unclear. Before Hood junked her felons list,> supervisors in 14 counties - including Brevard, Gulf and> Wakulla - had sent letters to people on it informing them> they were ineligible to vote.>> By law, those who fail to respond within 30 days can be> purged from voting rolls. The Brennan Center for Justice> at> New York University notified Hood that she was violating> state and federal voter-registration laws and successfully> argued that county election supervisors should alert those> they had previously purged. It has also sued to challenge> the constitutionality of the state's felon voting laws,> and> a federal appellate-court panel agreed with the> plaintiffs.> The case will be heard by the full court a week before the> election.>> Only the most motivated, proactive ex-felons are expected> to surmount the hurdles to win back their voting rights.> Considering that the majority of the state's former> inmates> come from poor, often uneducated families, only a small> fraction will probably ever see a voting booth again.>> And that suits the state's Republican Party just fine.>> [Ann Louise Bardach covers Florida politics for Slate and> is the author of "Cuba Confidential: Love and Vengeance in> Miami and Havana."]>> 2004 Los Angeles Times>> ================================================== ===============

                    Comment

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