Efforts to remove voters from the rolls because of possible ineligibility, reduce early voting and other issues that may make it harder to vote are "unconscionable," former Gov. Charlie Crist said Wednesday during an appearance on MSNBC.
Crist, an independent who was a Republican for most of the time he was governor, said "it's a great concern" that the administration of Gov. Rick Scott, which followed him, has aggressively been trying to push for removal of ineligible voters through a check of records seeking to find people who may be in the country illegally.
Crist noted the Scott administration also reversed a move that Crist championed to automatically restore the voting rights of former felons, and that Scott signed a law that, among other things, reduced the number of days during which people can vote early. "In Florida, we have a history of having some pretty close elections," Crist said. "The idea of making it more difficult to exercise this precious right … is just unconscionable to me," said Crist, who also agreed with criticism of a Pennsylvania requirement that voters have driver's licenses. "If you make it more difficult … you're not doing democracy a favor, you're impeding that process," Crist said.
He said he hasn't decided whether to support either presidential candidate yet, but that he is following the election closely. Crist, who was defeated in a bid for a U.S. Senate seat by Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, declined to comment much on what he thought of Rubio's rise to stardom and place as a vice presidential contender, other than to say "I think he's a real nice guy."
TWEET: @Kevin_Cate: Crist voter purge embrace shows you he's looking at the primary. The issue wouldn't be an advantage in general.
Jeb Bush Endorses Jeff Brandes, Senate District 22
"Jeff Brandes has the right stuff to lead in the Florida Senate," Governor Bush said. "Jeff has the courage and real world experience to tackle the complex issues facing the State of Florida. Having Jeff in the Florida Senate will ensure the residents of the bay area have strong, principled leadership in Tallahassee."
Florida Mayor Won't Endorse Obama
Alvin Brown's non-appearance at President Barack Obama's campaign rally in Jacksonville last Thursday was officially because Brown was out of town at a mayors' conference. It turns out that if he had been in town he probably wouldn't have been there anyway.
"I'm not going to get involved in presidential politics. I'm not getting involved in any campaigns,'' Brown told the Tampa Bay Times today, reiterating what he said before the GOP debate in January and during campaigns last year.
Hometown newspaper withholds Connie Mack Endorsement
Connie Mack’s hometown newspaper, The Naples Daily News, wrote glowingly about Mack’s primary opponent David Weldon and then announced it would be withholding its endorsement.
Should Florida Pay for Debate Security?
The mayor of Boca Raton is asking Gov. Rick Scott for the state to pitch in a quarter million dollars to help with security around a presidential debate planned for later this year at Lynn University, reports the News Service of Florida.
Mayor Susan Whelchel appealed to Scott for the $250,000 after initially being turned down for money to help with the October debate security costs. "Much of the long-term positive benefits of having a Presidential Debate in Florida would be erased if there were to be a security incident," Whelchel wrote to Scott, according to a report Wednesday in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. The city is facing a $5 million budget shortfall, and officials there are set to debate a proposed increase in the local property tax rate later this summer.
Spokeswoman Jackie Schutz responded to a request for information about Rick Scott's vacation with a brief statement saying only that he was "out west" with his family and would return next week, reports the Associated Press.
Scott bought a home and 60 acres in Montana last year.