Doral, Florida - Election integrity is a partisan issue: one party is against it, and the other is split between the establishment against it, and the grassroots for it. Now in the so-called Free State of Florida, RINO Never Trumpers are joining forces with Democrats to undermine election integrity. They are thereby undermining the campaign to re-elect President Trump in the general election of November this year.
Democrats, of course, are working to elect their candidate for President, whether Crooked Joe Biden, Michelle My Belle Obama or whoever. The Democrat party has been completely taken over by progressives, so to speak of a conservative Democrat is to speak an oxymoron. They are all progressives, even if some masquerade as conservatives.
Republicans, however, should be taking measures to support Trump’s re-election. After all, Trump is the candidate of what are supposed to be Republican principles: the rule of law, sound money, border security, energy independence and the like. Nevertheless, many Republicans, especially state legislators, are supporting measures to weaken election integrity, thereby increasing the risk that this year’s presidential election will be stolen from Trump in Florida.
Such a theft in a Red State would not be unprecedented. The theft of the 2020 presidential election featured thefts in two Red States:
(1) Georgia, where Governor Kemp and Secretary of State Steffenberger permitted election irregularities, especially in Fulton County. They were animated by their political disputes with President Trump, especially the dispute over who should be nominated to replace United States Senator Isakson in 2019. Trump pushed for the nomination of Congressman Mark Collins, an outspoken conservative, but Kemp nominated Kelly Loeffler, a well-meaning but ineffectual ingenue, when her husband donated $20 million to the Republican party in Georgia.
(2) Arizona, where the McCain Mafia was offended by Trump’s disparaging remarks about Senator McCain during the 2016 campaign. As a result, the McCain Mafia delivered Maricopa County for Biden, Senator McCain voted against the repeal of Obamacare, and the McCain funeral in the Capitol was an aggressively anti-Trump event. Cindy McCain was rewarded with an ambassadorship by the Obama-Biden 3.0 administration.
This year, a Red State ripe for turning is Florida, because the Republican establishment is complacent about its election integrity measures, and it is receptive to this scheme. Listed below are the three key players in this gambit.
Supervisors of Elections
The Florida Association of Supervisors of Elections—FSE is a private association of public entities. They are, in effect, a public-sector cartel. Most of its members are Republicans. Their main lobbying firm in Tallahassee employs Evan Power, the newly-elected Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida. Their No. 1 legislative priority for their lobbyists is: “Protect election workers from harassment and threats.”
There is no empirical evidence of such harassment and threats, but this legislative priority is part of a nation-wide fake progressive narrative. Election workers were accustomed to administering elections without much supervision from citizens. Then the presidential election of 2020 alerted many grassroots conservatives to the importance of engaging in the electoral process, especially poll watching.
For woke progressives, the mere existence of poll watchers represents a micro-aggression. Accordingly, a Democrat legislator with unanimous Republican support has introduced legislation to protect election workers from their imagined harassment. A proposed new section of the Florida Statutes, HB721, states substantially as follows:
The term “election worker” means a member of a county canvassing board, or an election official or poll worker.
A person may not intimidate, threaten, coerce or harass an election worker, with the intent to impede or interfere with the performance of the election worker’s official duties, or to retaliate against him.
A person who violates this section commits a misdemeanor of the first degree.
This proposed new legislation has no empirical basis, because there are scant records of incidents of any such harassment anywhere. In any event, existing law already protects election workers from any such attacks, so no new legislation is needed. The real purpose of this new legislation is to facilitate lawfare by politically-motivated prosecutors and progressive NGO’s (Non-Governmental Organizations) against conservative poll watchers. Republican legislators are setting up grassroots conservatives, who get involved in the election process, for the same weaponization of the legal system that is currently harassing Donald Trump with four false criminal prosecutions, two baseless civil lawsuits, and removal from the ballot in Colorado and Maine.
Republicans hold a super-majority in both houses of the Florida legislature, but it is made up of a conservative minority (with no Florida Freedom Caucus), and RINO leadership, especially Senate President Passidomo (Naples) and Senator Danny Burgess (Zephyrhills). They should know better than to fall for a proposal designed to scare away conservatives engaged in the election process. The mainstream media has been spreading the fake narrative that election workers are under siege. See: https://thefederalist.com/2024/01/22/by-protecting-election-workers-democrats-mean-protecting-control-over-election-administration/.
This proposed legislation is intended to dissuade grassroots conservatives from participating in supervision of the election process, especially poll watching. There are already adequate laws on the books to protect election workers. Democrats next may propose legislation labeling poll watching as a “hate crime,” which has happened in Virginia. Promoting the progressive propaganda that election workers are being harassed and to expect violence at the polls, is aimed at dissuading citizens from participating as poll workers, and discouraging citizens from voting in person. These tactics are similar to those used to keep citizens away from the electoral process in Venezuela and other countries in Latin America. See: https://prayingmantis.substack.com/p/reading-the-tallahassee-tea-leaves.
Rudy Giuliana worked on President Trump’s legal team after the 2020 election. In the course of his work, he made disparaging remarks about a couple of election workers in Georgia. As a result, a jury in the District of Columbia returned a $146 million defamation judgment against him, and he was driven to file for bankruptcy.
In addition, election integrity legislation introduced during this session, like SB1752 intoduced by Senator Blaise Ingoglia (Hernando County), have received no support. This bill would require a reason to request to Vote-By-Mail, like the traditional absentee voting. See: https://miamiindependent.com/election-integrity-brigade-of-miami-dade-county-launches-web-site/.
The administration of Governor DeSantis, led by his appointed Secretary of State Cord Byrd, has not provided effective conservative leadership on election integrity issues since his re-election. DeSantis has suspended his presidential campaign and endorsed Trump, but has not joined in any events with the Trump campaign, unlike other candidates like Senator Tim Scott, Vivek Ramaswamy and Governor Doug Burgum. It is likely that DeSantis is biding his time, in the event that Trump somehow stumbles, so that he can present himself as the best Republican candidate for President in that case. Of course, he could have done that without launching a presidential campaign at all, simply by endorsing Trump and supporting him in his legal defense.
The Florida Republican Assembly, a grassroots conservative group, has called for Secretary of State Byrd and his subordinate, Director of Elections Maria Mathews, to resign based on: (1) performing substandard security checks on voting machines; (2) declaring that Supervisors of Elections may not conduct hand counts to audit election results; and (3) failing to verify that registered voters are United States citizens. See: https://miamiindependent.com/why-the-florida-republican-assembly-calls-for-resignations-of-top-state-election-officials/; and https://miamiindependent.com/the-rpof-lobbies-for-suppression-of-florida-citizens/. Secretary of State Byrd worked against grassroots conservatives in the anti-election integrity legislation passed last year, but at least at that time he worked to keep out the harassment provision.
Governor DeSantis has been absent on Florida issues since he launched his doomed presidential campaign last year. During his campaign he has ignored not only election integrity issues, but also issues related to homeowners insurance and electricity rates. He will not be able to count on support from grassroots conservatives in his next presidential campaign.
Let’s see what Florida Republicans do this year, but as President Reagan warned: “Trust, but verify.”