For the last year and a half, Floridians have been hassled by Rick Scott. Not only has his agenda been so extreme that it has led him to the lowest approval rating for any governor in the United States, but all the ethic and legal battles that follow him make him unfit for any office.
This week, the Governor’s Office in Tallahassee has stooped to a new low. On Wednesday, the State of Florida announced that they were going to be releasing the voter purge list to the public. Basically, anyone that wants to have the list of those that are considered illegal will now be able to get it.
At first, the voter purge was wrong. That much can be said during the debate on whether the Supervisor of Elections should continue or not. They all said no. The federal government said no. Basically it was a bad idea.
Now the Scott Administration feels the need to go out there and release all the names of those that they consider “illegals”? That is insane.
First of all, we already know that some of them aren’t. I only use the word “some” because those are the ones we know of. There might be a lot more on there, but we just haven’t found out yet. Anyway, so the list itself has already proven to be flawed.
But that is just a small part of it. With the release of this list, the state is now telling everyone “these are illegals”, even without any proof. While it is wrong to make false statements if they aren’t true (which I am sure is illegal), it could be dangerous as well.
For example, let’s say one of these “minutemen” get a hold of this voter purge list. Will he start taking matters into his own hands? Will he go out there like Dog the Bounty Hunter and start bagging up people and sending them on a boat to Mexico (even if the person is a WWII vet)? Making this list public now means that every anti-immigration person or group out there now has a group of people to harass for the rest of their lives. It will just be a matter of time until we hear about an “incident” because of the release of this list.
The question that has to be asked is if this list could be challenged in court. Why couldn’t those who can absolutely prove that they are citizens not seek legal action for slander? If claiming that someone isn’t a citizen when they are, thus putting their life in direct threat by vigilante groups isn’t a crime, I don’t know what is.
On top of the possible threats, there will always be the constant suspicion on whether someone is illegal or not. Let’s say that one of these anti-immigration groups take out a huge advertisement buy in the Florida Times-Union or another such paper, and just list all 180,000 people on that ad? While many of those on the list are legal, their neighbors and society will have in the back of their head “is that person illegal”?
For the last year and a half, we have put up with Rick Scott’s reckless governance. Now, he is doing something that directly puts the lives of 180,000 people in danger. There is a point where you are trying to push your agenda, but then a point where you are just trying to be harmful. We have now gone over that line.
6 thoughts on “Scott and Bondi’s voter purge now an attack on privacy.”
I don’t normally disagree with you, Dave, but I must here. Not that I disagree that the creation of the ‘list’ is idiotic and blatantly partisan – it is. However, FL’s constitution requires the public records be released. The only records that cannot are those that are protected by statute.
I know the law regarding this stuff, which makes it even worse. What if the AG office now comes up with a list of 200,000 suspected child molesters, 150,000 suspected bank robbers and so on? They can do this until the end of day, put everyone that had a “D” next to their name on any list and then release it to the public. This is just another intimidation tactic on the part of the governor.
So, if we take the examples above, if they Google Search David Trotter and I am on the child molester list, that will be on the internet forever. Now, will this list being released bring a lawsuit that could call of the sealing or destruction of this list? I hope so. But the thing is that some Republican groups, who feel that they are above the law, will already have this list. They will publish it and keep it on the internet for ever, even if the State of Florida destroyed the record. Releasing this is a bad, bad, bad idea, no matter what the law.
As far as what is or isn’t exempt from this law, I am not as familiar with the law. If there were a case for exemption, this would be it. The state is basically accusing 180,000 people, without any proof whatsoever, that they are here illegally. While I support these people being informed on a person-by-person basis, they should not be put on a list that is then public record. The problem is that they will always be associated with this list and the list will never go away.
This is not to say that I am a supporter of Rick Scott, but according to
“It’s important to note here that the state did not send all 180,000 names to the local supervisors. Instead, the state identified a much smaller subset of 2,600 potential noncitizens and sent those names to the local supervisors in April. So Scott was not trying to remove 180,000 names, and we rated that claim False. (Read the full fact-check.)”
I agree with the premise of this article but sadly it has to be released.
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Government databases often have errors or misleading information. This is sometimes due to bureaucracies serving their own interests as government organs, and sometimes due to incompetent bureaucrats who enter the information.
Your concern about errors in those databases and what might happen to citizens when such information gets into the public’s hands is valid. That is precisely why efforts to correct those government databases is critical.
The very potential misuse of such errors by bad actors within or outside the government is exactly why the government should always endeavor to correct their data. And other government agencies and the people brought into question by government bungling should cooperate with efforts to correct that data. This effort is an example of that.
The problem is not confined to government. I recall a time when I had to swear in an affidavit to a big bank that I was actually me and not someone else whose name and other key personal information was like mine.
Is it an aggravating, offensive pain in the butt? You bet.
But if we didn’t have people running around trying to steal or misuse others identification, this would be needed less often. And if the feds had cooperated early on, the pains in this case would have been much less.
As for me, I hope the government incompetents put me erroneously on some offensive list. And I hope bad acting groups out there try to do something wrong with it.
And my lawyer hopes both the government and those groups and individuals, who are evildoers have money or property, so we can go collect a pile of their money for their evil deeds. That includes any who perpetuate such defamatory info on the internet in perpetuity, which will only raise and extend our income stream continually.
P.S.: Fortunately we have the “stand your ground” law so that I can blow away some ‘minuteman’ or bounty hunter who comes after me.
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