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Rick Scott overwhelmingly restored voting rights to white Republican felons — after restricting black felons

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As Floridians prepare to vote on a ballot measure that would restore voting rights to 1.5 million people, a new investigation found that Gov. Rick Scott overwhelmingly restored the rights of white, Republican-voting felons over their black Democratic counterparts.

The Palm Beach Post found that during Scott’s nearly eight-year-long tenure, he “restored the voting rights of twice as many whites as blacks and three times as many white men as black men.”

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He also “restored rights to a higher percentage of Republicans and a lower percentage of Democrats than any of his predecessors since 1971,” the newspaper found.

Black people, the Post found in its independently-confirmed survey of nearly half the people whose voting rights have been restored, accounted for the lowest percentage of restorations during Scott’s governorship than any of Florida’s previous governors — regardless of party.

The report also noted that after winning the governor’s seat in 2011, the Republican now running for Congress changed the state’s voting rights restoration system “to make it the most restrictive since 1976.”

Felons used to have their voting rights restored nearly automatically in Florida, but under Scott, people are required to wait five to seven years after their sentence or probation ends before they can apply. Applications are then reviewed individually by an investigator, the report noted — a process that’s forced some to wait up to a decade and created a backlog of more than 10,000 applications.

Florida, the Post noted, is one of only three states that requires formerly incarcerated people to apply to have their voting rights restored, with Kentucky and Iowa being the only other two.

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Critics have taken note of Scott’s assertion that felons are at his “mercy” when it comes to their voting rights. Although his three Cabinet members vote on the restoration process, it is ultimately the governor who signs off.

“During the meetings, the four board members often drill applicants with highly personal questions,” the report noted. “One man had to discuss unproven accusations of sex with his teenage cousin. Another man was asked how many mothers gave birth to his six children. Many answer to whether they go to church regularly.”

Though formerly incarcerated people are not required to attend the board meetings, many of those who don’t have had their applications denied by Scott.

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Read the entire report via the Palm Beach Post.


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Colbert names Trump’s siege on DC the ‘Tinyman Square’ incident

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It wasn't quite Tiananmen Square, where a still-unknown number of Chinese protesters were murdered by the government in 1989, but it was the closest thing President Donald Trump managed to score this week.

After watching the footage of the military tear gas, beat and shoot at protesters so Trump could march from the presidential bunker to St. John's Church for the cameras.

"It was like Tiananmen Square," Colbert deemed. "Except, in Trump's case, Tinyman Square."

Trump claimed on "The Fox & Friends" that no one was tear-gassed, so it's unclear what was stinging people's eyes and making them cough, choke and tear up. The Park Police released a statement saying it wasn't tear gas. While the moment was captured on video from dozens of different camera angles, one protester actually grabbed a canister of Oleoresins Capiscum, or "OC," the gas that was used.

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Vladimir Putin must love watching the US fall apart: columnist

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New Yorker columnist Susan Glasser made the astute observation that if Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted to destabilize the United States with the election of President Donald Trump, he's clearly achieved his objective.

It was reported in March that Russian intelligence services are working to incite violence using white supremacist groups to try and sow racial chaos in the United States ahead of the November election.

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Conservative columnist links all Republicans to the attack on Lafayette Square

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Monday afternoon, President Donald Trump decided to walk across Lafayette Square for a photo-op. To get there, however, it took an outright battle with mounted park police, police covered in body armor and rattled Secret Service members who had just rushed the president to the bunker several nights before. Armed with semi-automatic weapons and military gear, they staged a siege on Lafayette Square against unarmed hippies, woke whites and people of color, again, forced to fight for justice.

Writing for the Washington Post Wednesday, conservative columnist Max Boot attacked Attorney General Bill Barr, who accepted responsibility for demanding that demonstrators be tear-gassed, beaten and shot with rubber bullets. Like Bull Conor ordering fire hoses on students marching in Birmingham, Alabama, Barr's attack on Lafayette Square for a photo-op proved he is willing to do what it takes to stroke the fractured ego of a president forced to cower in a bunker.

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