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White Florida state official asks black man seeking right to vote: ‘How many different mothers, kids do you have?’

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After serving time for a felony, Florida resident Erwin Jones, appeared in court before Gov. Rick Scott (R) and the cabinet, sitting as the Executive Clemency Board, seeking to get his civil rights back, so he could vote, sit on a jury  or run for public office.

However, Jones, a black man was subjected to racial discrimination as Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis asked him a series of highly offensive questions, according to the Florida Phoenix.

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During the June 14 meeting, Patronis asked Jones how many children he had, and “how many different mothers to those children [there are]?”

Patronis, a Republican also asked another man seeking clemency, William Reid Hicks, if he attended church or not.

Tallahassee attorney, Richard Greenberg, who has represented people seeking clemency for more than two decades said Patronis questions were shocking.

“I don’t think I’ve heard anyone else ask that question. It seems totally irrelevant,” Greenberg said.

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Activists said his questioning showed the: “deeply flawed process felons face when seeking official clemency to restore their civil rights in Florida.”

Patronis is running for reelection in November

(EDITOR’S NOTE: This story previously displayed a photo of Florida State Senator Jeremy Ring who is running again Patronis in the upcoming election. We regret the error.)

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Court delivers brutal ruling against Kim Davis — the Kentucky clerk who blocked same-sex marriages

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In 2015, Christian fundamentalist Kim Davis (who was serving as clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky at the time) was praised by the right wing after refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples — a violation of federal law. The U.S. Supreme Court had just, in effect, legalized same-sex marriage all over the country with its ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. Some same-sex couples filed a lawsuit in response, and a federal appeals court has reaffirmed that the State of Kentucky will have to pay a hefty amount thanks to Davis.

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Trump’s economic ‘brain trust’ ridiculed as America braces for a trade war recession: report

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President Donald Trump appears unprepared to deal with a potential recession, the Associated Press reported Friday.

"Facing a trade war against China that has shaken the global economy, President Donald Trump gathered his most trusted economic aides in the Oval Office," the AP reported. "The assembled brain trust for Friday’s urgent consultations included an economics chief best known for his stint as a cable TV commentator; a trade adviser whose pro-tariff views are outside the economic mainstream; and a treasury secretary (joining by phone on his way back from vacation) who made millions off the housing crisis and then turned to financing Hollywood movies."

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ICE and Homeland Security busted pushing right-wing propaganda and conspiracy theories

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Donald Trump in Oval Office

Multiple federal departments have been pushing far-right propaganda to federal employees.

"An arm of the Justice Department regularly sent summaries and links to articles from an online white nationalist publication over the last year, a BuzzFeed News investigation has found. In addition, similar newsletters sent to the Labor Department, ICE, HUD and the Department of Homeland Security, included links and content from hyperpartisan and conspiracy-oriented publishers," BuzzFeed News reported Friday.

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