I touched on this briefly in a post yesterday, but it's a revelation so blatantly appalling that it really deserves it's own post.
It surfaced when Secretary of State Ken Detzner informed the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee that on election day last November, some elections supervisors management was so poor that it could have led to Rick Scott actually removing them. Detzner told them:
“Without pointing any fingers, and without calling out names, I would say that there were situations, both in the general election and prior to that, that the administration of an election in a county came very, very, very close … to a decision to have somebody relieved of their duties.”
This led to a proposal from Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla. (R-Lines Were Long And I Helped By Sponsoring HB1355). Never mind the "coulda', woulda', shoulda' "no finger pointing suggestion" from Detzner, the Miami Republican thinks that removing a election official should become a promise, rather than a threat:
Targeting five counties that saw the worst problems during the 2012 elections, Florida legislators are considering giving Gov. Rick Scott and his administration broader power to remove elections supervisors or put them on probation.
Some critics say the move is an attempt to scapegoat supervisors for long lines caused mainly by legislators, who shortened early voting and lengthened the ballot with 11 proposed constitutional amendments.
The proposal came from Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, a Miami Republican who sponsored the 2011 election bill (HB 1355), signed into law by Scott, that critics say made voting more arduous last year. Diaz de la Portilla’s latest measure would require supervisors to issue reports to the Florida secretary of state three months before an election, attesting to their readiness.
Because a governor who currently has an approval rating of 33 percent, faces a difficult reelection, and trails his would be Democrat Charlie Crist opponent by 14 points, can never have too much power over the election process. Am I right?
Never mind that he and the Republicans used their "power" (and some they shouldn't have) over the last election by purging voter rolls and changing the election laws, and successfully disenfranchising many of those voters. They still lost.
Never mind that the Detzner Pointing Fingers Listening Tour on "what went wrong" with the election was really just a cosmetic effort.
They know very well what went wrong. They had a plan that worked as intended: HB1355, but it didn't work well enough. No matter how many times Rick Scott says "he did the right thing" we know he was warned of the problems that would ensue, had the chance to change his mind and didn't, signed the bill into law anyway, and when he had the chance to merely extend voting hours when those lines kept growing on election night, he said no.
So now when there's the honest chance to really fix what is clearly wrong, the Republican solution is to give him even more power over the election process?
What's wrong with this picture? Because he can't simply declare himself King Of The Swamp he's creating, this is the only alternative?
Sure looks like it. Because if they throw up all those roadblocks, but the voters insist on exercising their right to vote, and would probably prefer to elect one of the pythons currently slithering around in the Everglades rather than hand Lord Voldemort a second term, the next natural step would be the potential threat of firing an election official if they don't perform to Scott's liking?
Because we've already heard that the election from hell "wasn't the fault of the Republicans, Detzner, or Scott." We've seen the "proposed changes" that would supposedly put many of the pre-HB1355 procedures back to what they were. But those are just proposals, and we've got a long way to go before 2014.
When Scott faces an even worse chance of being reelected than he had as an unknown candidate, except for his history running a company that broke new records for Medicare fraud, the incentive to really "fix" the system is very low.
Or very high, depending on your definition of the word "fix."