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Florida AG Bloomberg-backed criminal investigation into prosecution attempt

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody called for an investigation Wednesday An attempt to support Mike Bloomberg It will help restore the voting rights of thousands of criminals ahead of the November election.

The former New York City mayor has teamed up with the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition to help raise at least $ 16 million to pay off criminal fines and fees for offenders to regain the right to vote. The initiative targets about 32,000 ex-prisoners who had to pay a rehabilitation fee of less than $ 1,500 and had already registered to vote.

“Today, I sent a letter to the Florida Law Enforcement Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation about violations of election laws,” Moody said in a statement Wednesday. “I have instructed the statewide attorney to work with law enforcement and any statewide grand jury the governor may call.”

Although he did not openly call for an inquiry into Bloomberg, his letter to both companies was quoted. Washington Post article on his involvement. He said Florida Gov. Ron Desantis had asked for the matter to be reconsidered.

Florida Voters Passed a level in 2018 Restoration of the right to vote for offenders who have not been convicted of murder or sexual offenses and who have completed their sentences. Republicans in the state legislature responded that by enacting a law in 2019, those offenders would have to pay any fines and fees to have their sentences completed. Voting groups sued over the law, It compares to a poll line, But the Court of Appeals earlier this month The law was ruled to be constitutional.

“The right to vote is fundamental to our democracy, and no American should deny that right. As we work with the Florida Rights Restructuring Coalition, we are committed to ending the devaluation and discrimination that drives it,” Bloomberg said in a statement Tuesday after the initiative was announced.

Bloomberg spokesman Jason Sketcher responded to Pushback: “This blatant political maneuver is the latest example of Republicans trying to keep the Floridians from voting.”

Representative Matt Gates, R-Fla., First raised the opportunity to inquire into this attempt in an interview. With Sean Hannity of Fox News On Tuesday night, the attorney general said he hoped he had already noticed it.

“It simply came to our notice then [under Florida statute] Someone has to offer something, directly or indirectly, to affect whether someone votes or not, “Gates told Fox News.” You have the question of whether the restoration and court costs to someone are worth anything. “

“The next step is to determine if anyone voted,” Gates added.

The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Contributors to Bloomberg’s partnership with the alliance include artist John Legend, Twitter CEO John Dorsey and Susan Buffett. The legend reached its own network for donors, working closely with Bloomberg’s efforts. The former presidential candidate did not personally participate in the coalition.

Bloomberg separately Pledged $ 100 million To assist former Vice President Joe Biden in Florida earlier this month.

After President Donald Trump polled less than 113,000 votes in 2016, Florida will be the battleground to watch closely in the upcoming November election. Recent statewide polls Both Biden and Trump are actively campaigning there, locked in dead heat.

Earl Warner

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