A Florida newspaper ripped Gov. Ron DeSantis for destroying the credibility of the state’s elections with a new investigative force.
The Republican governor wants to establish the Office of Election Crime and Security to give himself unprecedented authority over election-related investigations, and the Tampa Bay Times blasted the move as unnecessary and poorly defined.
“The idea comes in the wake of accusations from the GOP base that the Republican governor hasn’t sufficiently aped former President Donald Trump’s baseless claims of widespread voter fraud,” wrote the newspaper’s editorial board. “Not only are the motivations wrong, but the measure has no sense of scale and no sense of the right law enforcement priorities. The office would be ridiculously large.”
DeSantis proposed a 52-person staff and $5.7 million annual budget, which the newspaper compared against Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, where 30 detectives and supervisors investigated 178 homicides last year.
“Florida needs more officers investigating murder, violent crime, missing children, exploitation of the elderly — not conspiracy theories to energize partisan voters,” the editorial board wrote.