On principle, you really can’t argue with Florida Gov. Rick Scott. As he said Tuesday morning on national television:
“Look, the debate’s over. We know we have almost 100 individuals [who] are registered to vote [who] are non-U.S. citizens. Over 50 of them have voted in our elections. I have an obligation to enforce the laws of our land. You don’t get to vote in Florida if you are a non-U.S. citizen.”
Not even the fanatics at the ACLU or the League of Women Voters could argue with that.
The issue and problem are how to identify them and remove them from the voter lists.
As an aside, note that we did not use the inflammatory word “purge.” This is the pejorative our liberal media brethren like to use to spray gasoline on the fire. But that’s nothing compared to the ridiculous metaphor that appeared in the Tampa Bay Times last week.
The Times published the famous 1963 photograph of Alabama Gov. George Wallace standing in front of the University of Alabama auditorium, when he attempted to block two blacks from entering the school.
“Nearly 50 years after Wallace’s showdown,” the Times editorialized in a letter to Scott, “you are standing between Floridians and their right to vote as U.S. citizens.”
The Times covered its inciteful metaphor of comparing Scott to Wallace by saying “we do not believe you share Wallace’s hateful views on race,” but the mere juxtaposition of Wallace and Scott was a blatant statement that the Times does indeed believe Scott is similar to Wallace. Why else run the photo?
“The practical result disproportionately affects poor and minority residents and prevents them from voting in much the same way that black students were denied entry to public schools and universities in Alabama,” The Times wrote.
And on June 12, the Times said: “There is no debate about this: The Republican governor appears determined to systematically suppress the vote of Democrats, minorities and low-income Floridians who don’t support him or his narrow-minded policies.”
This was published, of course, with not one dot of ink devoted to evidence to bear out this hyperbole.
But this is the way it is on Florida’s editorial pages and out of the mouths of Scott’s opposition. They cannot stand the guy.
Really? Rick Scott is “determined” to “systematically suppress” the votes of anyone who doesn’t support him? “Narrow-minded policies”? They might try meeting the man.
What’s more, if you talk to any of Florida’s supervisors of elections, they will tell you the subject of maintaining clean voter rolls and the process of removing anyone who doesn’t qualify has become extraordinarily complicated. Just go through Chapter 98 of the Florida statutes. And then add on all of the regulations in the 2002 voter act that Congress passed. While elections supervisors would never be caught dead saying it on the record, they will lay blame for this byzantine process on the hands of Congress and state lawmakers. To be sure, these laws are tilted heavily in the illegal voters’ favor.
So what would you do if you were governor, sworn in to uphold the laws of the state — and informed that it has been verified there are non-U.S. citizens voting in Florida elections?
Let it go?
A few statistics and context:
In the governor’s sampling of about 2,600 voters in Florida, 86 came up as non-U.S. citizens who had voted. Is this cause for further pursuit if you were the governor?
If there are 11.5 million registered voters in Florida, and you applied the ratio of 86-to-2,600 to the entire voter pool, that could mean as many as 380,385 non-U.S. citizens are voting statewide.
Now the context: In the 2000, presidential election, George W. Bush won by 539 votes in Florida. When Congressman Vern Buchanan beat Christine Jennings in 2006, he won by 369 votes.
How many illegals is too many?
Supervisors of elections have learned over the years that the Florida Department of Motor Vehicle lists, which have been used to maintain voter lists, are flawed and inaccurate. Scott is suing the federal government because he wants access to a Homeland Security list that is considered more reliable. As we were told, the Obama administration doesn’t want to give the state that list because it’s afraid the list will fall into the wrong hands.
What would you do if you were Gov. Scott?
Our bet: He will continue to pursue what he believes is right, regardless of how it will affect his popularity. Good for him.
SALUTE THE RED, WHITE AND BLUE
Thursday is Flag Day.
Inspired by three decades of state and local celebrations, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Flag Day on May 30, 1916, on the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777. But it wasn’t until Aug. 3, 1949, that President Harry Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14 as National Flag Day.
But the real origin of Flag Day is believed to have originated in 1885. School teacher B.J. Cigrand arranged for the pupils in the Fredonia, Wis., Public School District 6 to observe June 14 (the 108th anniversary of the official adoption of The Stars and Stripes) as “Flag Birthday.”
PROFILES IN CHARACTER
If you missed the video of George W. Bush’s short talk at the unveiling of his and Laura Bush’s portraits at the White House at the end of May, you missed a class act (youtube.com/watch?v=GD3IodWyGME).
That occasion prompted one of our readers to remind us of one of the major differences between the current occupant of the White House and Bush. Read these two shorts speeches; see for yourself:
Here is George W. Bush’s speech after the capture of Saddam Hussein:
“The success of yesterday’s mission is a tribute to our men and women now serving in Iraq.
The operation was based on the superb work of intelligence analysts who found the dictator’s footprints in a vast country. The operation was carried out with skill and precision by a brave fighting force. Our servicemen and women and our coalition allies have faced many dangers in the hunt for members of the fallen regime, and in their effort to bring hope and freedom to the Iraqi people. Their work continues, and so do the risks. Today, on behalf of the nation, I thank the members of our Armed Forces and I congratulate them.
Here is Barack Obama’s speech, announcing the death of Osama bin Laden on May 1, 2011:
And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as I continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network.
Then, last August, after years of painstaking work by myintelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden. It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground. I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside of Pakistan. And finally, last week, I determined that I had enough intelligence to take action, andauthorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice.
Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Click here to read Detzner Letter to U.S. Department of Justice.
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March 10: The great debate
The Observer will hold a debate for Longboat Key Town Commission candidates at 7 p.m. March 10, at Bayfront Park Recreation Center, 4052 Gulf of Mexico Drive.
Greg Hoffman SCOREs award
Longboat Key resident Greg Hoffman received Manasota SCORE’s Platinum Leadership Award at the organization’s 50th anniversary awards luncheon Feb. 24.
Spring forward for Daylight Saving
Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday, so turn your clocks forward by an hour before bedtime Saturday night.