Former New York City Mayor and failed presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg is helping pay the outstanding fees of more than 30,000 convicted felons in Florida. The reason: so they can vote in the November election.
The billionaire has already raised over $16 million for the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC).
Bloomberg’s push would benefit ex-convicts as part of a 2018 state constitutional amendment allowing felons who’ve served their time to regain their right to cast a ballot.
According to The Washington Post, nearly 800,000 felons still owe money to the court system, which bars them from voting unless they pay off their fines in time to vote in the upcoming election. Bloomberg will pay the debts for those who owe only a small amount of money — so long as they’re Black or Latino (e.g. more likely to vote Democrat).
Bloomberg’s race-based payback initiative only applies to Black or Latino voters who were already registered to vote, with outstanding fines of less than $1,500.
A representative for Bloomberg claimed, “The right to vote is fundamental to our democracy and no American should be denied that right.”
On Monday, the FRRC promoted a New York Times editorial titled, “This Is How Bloomberg Can Help Biden Win Florida.”
The piece praised Bloomberg’s recent decision to spend $100 million in the Sunshine State to boost Joe Biden.
Last week, Comedy Central, MTV and VH1 announced they will make a joint $250,000 donation to the cause. An additional $5 million came from left-leaning celebrity donors including LeBron James, Michael Jordan and John Legend.
Earlier this summer, James launched “More Than A Vote” to “fight black voter suppression and excite minority voters across the nation.”
The NBA star, who’s never afraid to support something racially-divisive or hyper-partisan, has been pushing the ex-felon vote for three months.
All these events come just days after Biden made his first trip to Florida, where a recent NBC poll found Latinos statewide evenly split between him and President Donald Trump.
A.J. Kaufman is an Alpha News columnist. His work has appeared in the Baltimore Sun, Florida Sun-Sentinel, Indianapolis Star, Israel National News, Orange County Register, St. Cloud Times, Star-Tribune, and across AIM Media Midwest and the Internet. Kaufman previously worked as a school teacher and military historian.