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As I was saying……

By Patrick Van Roy On September 24th, 2020

Legal analyst J. Christian Adams argued last night on Fox News that Michael Bloomberg is breaking federal and likely Florida state law by buying votes from felons.

Federal law makes it illegal to pay for or receive money for voting.  And J. Christian Adams also argued that Bloomberg is putting the felons in legal and financial jeopardy by paying off their debts for votes.

60 Responses to “As I was saying……”

  1. Federal law makes it illegal to pay for or receive money for voting

    Good luck with proving a quid pro quo on that one.

    Florida thought they had disenfranchised the poor and didn’t expect Bloomberg to shell out in the name of democracy. This is nothing more that a paper tiger frantic knee jerk to being blidsided on their anti democratic tactic.

    Billionaire and failed presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg raised $16 million to help pay the fines for 32,000 black and Hispanic felons so they can vote for Joe Biden in the 2020 election

    Isn’t that a bit racist?

  2. Florida voted in a referendum to end the liftime ban on voting for convicted felons who have served their sentences. Trumpist governor De Santis effectively negated that vote by getting a law passed requiring all court fines and costs to be paid before the vote was restored to the individual. This is an extreme example of voter suppression by the GOP, and I have no doubt that Patrick supports it 100%.

  3. Peter

    Spot on

    Voter suppression we learn more and more, is a real thing, a conscious strategy.

    It is ugly, it is anti American, it is anti democratic, but it is what they do.

  4. I’m not convinced that Bloomberg is doing anything wrong here. By paying the fines of ex-felons, he is re-enfranchising them. Whether they vote or not, and for Biden, is a big if, and their own business.

    I personally think that ex prisoners probably don’t have a tradition of voting and only a small percentage will take advantage of the right to vote if offered.

  5. Charles

    The only reason De Santis passed that law was because he thought it would reduce the Democrat vote. Otherwise why bother?

    But it is only one example of shameless voter suppression as practised by GOP governors and legislators in recent years. They have got it down to a fine art.

  6. When Scott took office [ 2010 ] he and the Republican-controlled legislature embarked on a series of initiatives that curtailed access to the polls. In previous elections, state rules had allowed fourteen days of early voting; the legislature eliminated six of those days, including the Sunday before elections, and restricted the hours of early-voting sites. It also sharply tightened the use of third-party groups, such as the League of Women Voters, to register voters, and imposed criminal penalties for such lapses as registering voters without a permit. Under one of the more exacting requirements, volunteers who registered people to vote were given exactly forty-eight hours to submit each form to the state. Those who missed the deadline were fined.

    New Yorker, this past month, about Florida, where voter suppression is the most conscious strategy in the world, not only against any felons

  7. Yes Phantom, it’s totally blatant. Florida is one of the most shameless but there are plenty of similar examples from other states, and the intention is totally transparent.

    The other main thrust is gerry-mandering the electoral districts so that states where Democrat votes out-number Republican votes remain comfortably under GOP control. The top three are North Carolina, Maryland and Pennsylvania. All of the top ten except Maryland are GOP.

    https://rantt.com/the-top-10-most-gerrymandered-states-in-america

  8. Sweet baby Christ, this is feudal:

    What we learned in litigation was not just that a huge number of Floridians are affected by this, and not just that many of them can’t afford to repay these debts, but that many of them can’t even figure out how much money they owe because Florida doesn’t have a single, centralized database that keeps track of this information. It’s kept on a county-by-county basis. It’s not updated to reflect the payments that people have already made, and then the records only go back so far. So we have clients who have convictions from the early 1990s or even earlier, and there simply are no records that exist anymore for many convictions that are that old.

    So we have this Kafkaesque system where people have to pay an amount before they can be eligible to vote. They can’t figure out how much they owe, but if they want to register, they must swear an oath under penalty of perjury that they are in fact eligible to vote in Florida. It’s a crazy system.

    https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/09/dale-ho-voting-rights-shelby-county.html

    Massive applause for Bloomberg.

  9. The Dems play gerrymander games across the country, and they did highly dishonest things in the 2000 election with their hanging chat and selective recount games in Florida, but blatant voter suppression is a Republican thing.

    And you won’t ever hear the base criticize it. They know exactly what is happening and they approve of it.

  10. This is an extreme example of voter suppression by the GOP, and I have no doubt that Patrick supports it 100%.

    Patrick’s silence speaks volumes. Of course he supports it, it’s GOP policy duh! It’s gotta be right!

  11. I’ve never heard a committed Republican criticize voter suppression.

    They pretend that it doesn’t exist, even though they know that it exists and that the people that they vote for are the ones doing it.

    And then they give lectures about the Constitution and the rights of the people.

    It’s all quite amusing.

  12. it doesn’t exist, the only voter intimidation that takes place in the US are the Unions in every election and it’s a reversed intimidation… you vote or you don’t work.

    The left and the loons scream voter suppression because the right wants it to be a requirement that you show an ID….

    This does suppress the vote, it suppresses people from voting more than once, or for someone else both common practices of the democrat party dso if you require voter id it is a suppression OF ILLEGITIMATE VOTES. same with clearing the voter rolls.

  13. Patricks silence is due to him being at a huge family diner in Philly all day. It was my Mothers Birthday as well as my brother in-laws.

    As usual Peter has reached a wrong conclusion.

  14. Ok so I’m a career criminal, I have a Felony record and I owe thousands of dollars to the courts that I can’t pay and you’ll pay them all I have to do is vote….. no problem thanks.

    That’s buying votes.

    If a Billionaire said I’m going to pay your fuel bill for the year as long as you vote they would call it a bribe.

    But if you pay the bills of a scumbag animal conicted Felon who hasn’t bothered to pay his debt to society because even if you did your time in Jail if you haven’t paid your fines and court costs you HAVE NOT paid your debt to society your still a scumbag who doesn’t deserve to have any rights returned to you let alone your criminal penalties for so you can vote…

    Yeah reward the criminal animal as long as it gets you vote screw it, you don’t live in the community what do you care if criminal animals tip the vote and put democrats who want to defund the police in power. Let them rape, rob and burn fuck those who work and walk the straight and narrow I’m Mike Bloomberg I’ve got personal security.

  15. What if the so called felons never raped, robbed or assaulted anyone?

    You are a felon and can be fined up to $5000 in FL for —possession— of more than 20 grams of marijuana

    Not everyone can afford to pay that kind of fine.

    The law is entirely unjust there, the real felons are the governor and anyone who supports laws like that. Lock them all up.

  16. Not everyone can afford to pay that kind of fine.

    Then they shouldn’t have done the crime, even if it was just smoking pot.

    Phantom do you honestly believe the majority of these felons are pot heads and pot fines…..?

    No the majority are VIOLENT Felons.

  17. I don’t know about that

    Many would be nonviolent drugs sellers

    And if you don’t allow those people to get up as members of society, you are sustaining a system of endless crime

    I don’t believe in fining poor people who cannot pay.

    And that’s what we’re talking about here in many cases

  18. I want to see the list of crimes…. no one has provided it and I’ve looked.

    If it’s just potheads and nonviolent Felonies….. then I would actually have no problem with it.

    I think pot should be legal, and this is from someone who counsels addicts…… Pot is not a dangerous drug period.

  19. We agree on legalizing pot

    BTW If you did not watch it, you might want to look at this past Sunday’s episode of 60 minutes

    The first part of the show deals with the controversy of voting by mail. And it was entirely focused on PA

  20. What concerns me Phantom is you really don’t get charged with felony anywhere unless you meet a certain criteria. When a person is arrested the crimes are not what determine the charges. The circumstances of the crime, the way the arrest went down, and perps personal history.

    Those are what determine what and how you are charged.

    I wan’t to see the file on each perp. How many were arrested in possession of a firearm at any point period. Police reports not court reports. 8x out of ten a firearm is in possession at the time of arrest and during commission of the crime but is never charged to the perp.

    That’s the info I want checked, that’s all that matters.

  21. like this story….. this is not the version you’ve seen on the tv, but this is the version that counts.

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/breonna-taylor-grand-jury-simply-followed-the-facts

  22. PaTroll
    Can you check your mail? The post I submitted is date-sensitive.
    Cheers.

  23. This is not the version you’ve seen on the tv, but this is the version that counts

    Yet another incredibley biased source devoid of nuance or analysis.

    From what I’ve read the shooting of Breonna Taylor seemed to be the result of a series of police fuck ups and while I don’t think it was murder there’s arguably a manslaughter as a result of recklessness charge and one guy being charged with an action not directly relating to Taylor’s death smacks of tokenism & scape goatism.

    I wan’t to see the file on each perp. How many were arrested in possession of a firearm at any point period.

    ow do you expect to see that when the state can’t even tell them how much they supposedly owe?

  24. Imposing sometimes heavy fines on poor people makes it more likely that they and their families will remain poor.

    How exactly is this good for society?

  25. How exactly is this good for society?

    Easy. Less poor people can vote.

    Florida’s final solution:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8zhNb8ANe8&ab_channel=SpencerVik

  26. But even forgetting about voting

    They still owe unjust fines and costs

    Which impacts their credit rating, maybe impair job prospects , keeps them and the family poor.

    Bad for them, bad for society

    Hard to think of a more genuinely stupid policy than heavily fining poor people

    You want to make it easier for them to go straight and climb out of poverty. This makes it harder for them to do either

  27. Of course, but the ends justify the means….

  28. “Ok so I’m a career criminal, I have a Felony record and I owe thousands of dollars to the courts that I can’t pay and you’ll pay them all I have to do is vote….. no problem thanks.”

    Is there even a suggestion that that is the case? That in order to get these fines paid you have to vote?

    Because from what I can see it is paying the fines so these people can vote. Not have to vote, and certainly not have to vote Democratic.

  29. Heavy fines on poor people often for minor infractions in Ferguson Missouri were a reason why many completely hate the police and the system.

    For many , a $250 fine is a major burden, unpayable

    https://www.npr.org/2014/08/25/343143937/in-ferguson-court-fines-and-fees-fuel-anger

  30. I’m personally of the opinion that fines should be like they are in Switzerland – scaled on ability to pay. At minimum wage $250 isn’t far a week’s wage. So fines should be based on that. If you are going to fine someone a week’s wages then fine them a week’s wages (regardless of whether that is $250 or $25000).

  31. There is a fairly famous traffic court judge in Providence RI, known for his humanity in such cases

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxkjFYbVT34

  32. Seimi your post is up….. I can’t do thumbs up emoji on my computer….

  33. Paul your first comment is a perfect echo of the problem……

    Yet another incredibley biased source devoid of nuance or analysis.

    So you don’t like the source so ignore it…… Ok so just because you don’t like the source dismiss it…. remember as much as I despise WaPo and the NYTs I read them so that I can get all sides views. Try it, it will help your perspective.

    From what I’ve read the shooting of Breonna Taylor seemed to be the result of a series of police fuck ups and while I don’t think it was murder there’s arguably a manslaughter as a result of recklessness charge and one guy being charged with an action not directly relating to Taylor’s death smacks of tokenism & scape goatism.

    Yes WHAT YOU READ not THE FACTS the Grand Jury heard the FACTS the facts don’t match the rhetoric that you’ve read. You still don’t know what happened because you believe the one officer that was charged was charged for Taylor death he wasn’t.

    No one was charged for her death the 3 charges of reckless endangerment the one officer recieved were for endangering the lives of the 3 people in the next apartment NOT Breaona Taylor.

    The idiot shot wildey and hit nothing where his bullets went through the wall into the next apartment where there was a man, pregnant woman, and a child. The cop was charged with reckless endangerment for THEM…. not Taylor.

    Taylor, 26, a black medical worker, was tragically killed this past March in an exchange of gunfire between police and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, who fired a 9 mm pistol at the entry team executing a search warrant. Walker struck police Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly in the leg. Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove returned fire. During the exchange, Taylor was fatally struck six times by police bullets. She had been standing in the hallway, alongside Walker, who was in a shooting stance and remained unscathed during the shootout.

    A Jefferson County Grand Jury ultimately charged Brett Hankinson, now a former Louisville Metro Police Department detective, with three counts of “wanton endangerment.” He fired a total of 10 rounds, with some entering an adjacent apartment that contained a male, a pregnant female, and a child. Hankinson has already been fired from the force. He now faces five years on each of the three charged counts. The other two officers were determined to have been justified in firing their weapons.

    The facts have been examined, and the grand jury, comprised of our peers and fellow residents, have made a decision. Justice is not often easy. It does not fit the mold of public opinion. And it does not conform to shifting standards. It answers only to the facts and to the law.

  34. Phantom

    being poor has nothing to do with fines…. If you’ve been charged with a felony the odds are you’ve been leading a life outside the Law, you are likely not educated, and likely an addict.

    They are poor not because of Fines, but because of the choices they made.

    You actually believe Fines should be based on the income of the criminal?

    LMAO

  35. Heavily Fining poor people is evil and stupid policy, for the person fined and for all the community

    And it happens, not only for real and fake felonies, but for minor traffic violations and things of that nature

    Won’t give more examples now, the point has been made

  36. You actually believe Fines should be based on the income of the criminal?

    I certainly believe they should. A fixed fine can hurt a poor person far more than a rich person for the same offence. I believe in Switzerland you’re finef based on your wealth. So speeding tickets fines are higher for those who are richer.

  37. Politicians control the cost of Fines….. The Local, State, and Federal bureaucracies set the scale of Fines and only a Judge can adjust the amount in between a minimum to maximum scale.

  38. I certainly believe they should. A fixed fine can hurt a poor person far more than a rich person for the same offence. I believe in Switzerland you’re finef based on your wealth. So speeding tickets fines are higher for those who are richer.

    Dave in the US that would cause Lawsuits and charges of Discrimination, and Profiling.

    The Laws and Fines must be applied equally regardless of race, creed, color, or wealth.

  39. “The Laws and Fines must be applied equally regardless of race, creed, color, or wealth.”

    Why wealth? Race, colour and creed sure. But why wealth?

  40. In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread.


    PVR
    Anatole France

  41. Dave in the US that would cause Lawsuits and charges of Discrimination, and Profiling.

    The Laws and Fines must be applied equally regardless of race, creed, color, or wealth.

    I agree with the others but not wealth.
    It means that the punishment between rich and poor is disproportionate. If someone is very rich, then a $150 speeding fine isn’t going to be much of an inconvenience, but if you’re a poor person, that can mean the difference between being able to eat or not.

    It’s like saying rich people should serve shorter prison sentences than poor people for the same offence.

  42. Why wealth? Race, colour and creed sure. But why wealth?

    Usery

  43. “Usery”

    What has money lending got to do with it?

  44. Finland does the same means tested fine system

    There is merit to that approach

    If you fine Bill Gates $1000 he won’t notice it but if you fine others it can destroy them

  45. Exactly Phantom.

  46. usery…… interest at unreasonably high rates.

    It applies here just not in it’s usual sense.

    In the US the Law applies equally…. that includes fines and legal penalties. Lady Justice is blind and that includes being blind to how fat or thin your wallet is.

    If you can’t do the time, or pay the fine don’t do the crime. Any form of variation based simply on wealth is discrimination. period, no if ands or buts…….

  47. “In the US the Law applies equally…. that includes fines and legal penalties. Lady Justice is blind and that includes being blind to how fat or thin your wallet is.”

    Except it isn’t. If I have commited five criminal offences, and I commit a sixth, then the previous five are taken into account. It is not just a Person 1 does crime A and Person 2 does crime A and they get the same sentence. Other factors are taken into account. There is absolutely no reason that wealth cannot be. Because in order to apply the law equally then the punishment needs to be equal. And given someone on minimum wage a $100 fine and given a billionaire a $100 fine is not an equal punishment. It is a major punishment to the first and a nothing punishment to the second.

    “If you can’t do the time, or pay the fine don’t do the crime. Any form of variation based simply on wealth is discrimination.”

    No. Not varying on weatlh is discrimination. Because if you can pay the fine then you can do the crime. Which means for rich people large sections of criminal law has been decriminalised.

  48. The Laws are written as to include a persons history. As I said to Phantom earlier in this thread your past criminal history not only defines your fines, but what charges are actually levied against you.

    Wealth in this country can not be used as a factor. It’s discrimination, but more importantly a persons worth is not the business of the government or the court.

    The court has no Right to know your worth. It’s not pertinent and it’s a violation of your right to privacy.

    A case can and is made in regard to your wealth in only one aspect of the Law. Bail… and Flight Risk. That’s it.

  49. Any legal system which doesn’t include personal wealth as part of an equation regarding punishment is an unfair system. That’s plain to see.
    Means-tested fines are the only fair way.

  50. Fines against the poor would to me be always wrong, immoral and hugely unproductive to all.

    End of.

  51. “Wealth in this country can not be used as a factor. It’s discrimination, but more importantly a persons worth is not the business of the government or the court.”

    Nonsense. Courts take wealth into account all the time. Couple get divorced the level of alimony or marital assets award depends on the wealth of the individuals. That is a court taking wealth into account.

    In personal injury awards the ability of the corporation to pay is factored in.

  52. the rules are different for criminal Seamus. Those types of Law are specifically about assets, in a criminal case they are not only irrelevant, but illegal to be a factor.

  53. Who says that income is illegal to be any factor in criminal punishment

    What law, what ruling in common law, or in federal or state law says that

    I’ve never heard this said before

  54. Fines and penalties in criminal cases do not take into account a persons financial worth. It is not a factor.

  55. Tradition —if it actually is a tradition – does not make it illegal to do something different

  56. “the rules are different for criminal Seamus. Those types of Law are specifically about assets, in a criminal case they are not only irrelevant, but illegal to be a factor.”

    So change the law. If the law is wrong then change the law. There is no reason not to allow wealth to be taken into account.

    “Fines and penalties in criminal cases do not take into account a persons financial worth. It is not a factor.”

    Just because it is not a factor doesn’t mean it cannot be a factor.

  57. Fines that accompany criminal Law are set when the Law is written with a minimum and maximum fine attached to the criminal act. The financial penalty is preset for that range based on the criminal act. To vary those numbers on the persons wealth is a violation of civil rights. You are trying to justify discrimination based on wealth.

  58. “Fines that accompany criminal Law are set when the Law is written with a minimum and maximum fine attached to the criminal act. The financial penalty is preset for that range based on the criminal act.”

    So change the law.

    “To vary those numbers on the persons wealth is a violation of civil rights. You are trying to justify discrimination based on wealth.”

    What civil rights? Show me a single civil rights document in any country on the planet that says it is illegal or wrong to discriminate on the basis of wealth.

    It also isn’t discriminating on the basis of wealth. It is ensuring that the same hardship is suffered by all people who commit that crime. In order to ensure that a different fine will be needed depending on the wealth of the individual.

  59. I doubt very much that the fines and penalties imposed on a convicted drug smuggler don’t take any account of the convicted persons worth

    I’m not buying any of this

  60. drug cases are under a different seizure Law and that Law has had over a half dozen cases brought against on constitutional grounds. So far it’s been both held up and struck down. The held up cases all used RICO the failed ones didn’t.

    Seriously I’m not just arguing to argue, and it’s a long set of presidents but it is settled Law that considering a persons wealth in levying criminal fines and penalties is unconstitutional.

    It can basically only be considered when setting bail for flight risk. Drug cases come down to property seizure and money seizure which is the only other time wealth is considered is always a rico case.