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https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/517522-bloomberg-pays-fines-for-32000-felons-in-florida-so-they-can-vote

When I saw this early yesterday, my reaction was: Paying fines or paying bribes?  For it to not be a bribe, shouldn't the felon or ex-felon be able to choose between cash-in-hand and paying the fines?

I was glad to see the following several hours later.
https://www.foxnews.com/politics/matt-gaetz-election-bribery-probe-bloomberg-florida

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A difference between paying a bribe and paying a fine is that a bribe is conditioned on the recipient performing an action, and charity is not. If I charitably pay your fine, you are free to thank me

Tony, this horse we children would ride out in the country belonged to that man I spoke of who went to school only through the third grade. He was the second husband of our mother. He was a cattle ran

Merlin, under the heading of this thread: Are you going to vote for the Trump/Pence ticket? The Supreme Court overthrow of Roe will have already been accomplished as far as that can be affected by get

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Merlin, under the heading of this thread: Are you going to vote for the Trump/Pence ticket? The Supreme Court overthrow of Roe will have already been accomplished as far as that can be affected by getting anti-abortion seats on the Court. (I think all the talk about increasing the number of Justices on the Court is junk-prayer talk, just like Sen. Cruz in the 2016 Primary telling his evangelical base that he would go for a Constitutional Amendment to allow States to bar same-sex marriage---when you see that sort of recourse proposed, you know that side has simply lost the issue.) I voted always against anti-Roe candidates my whole voting life, but fact is, we have now lost.

We sent in our mail ballots, voting for Biden/Harris this week. Hoping this time as last that the electoral votes of Virginia do not go the guy for whom a day without malice is a day without sunshine.

Fivethirtyeight's projections of possible outcomes as of today (77 - Biden / 22 - Trump) are in this next link. I gather it is updated daily. https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2020-election-forecast/ 

https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/polls/president-general/national/

 

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A difference between paying a bribe and paying a fine is that a bribe is conditioned on the recipient performing an action, and charity is not. If I charitably pay your fine, you are free to thank me or not, to vote or not… The term “bribe” is a specific legal term, though it is metaphorically used to describe giving any incentive. Bribery, which is illegal, requires an offer to a public servant, where the offer is not authrized by law, and the intent is to influence an act in the official discretion of the public servant. None of this describes paying a fine for a felon.

A more apt description is vote-buying, which is a federal felony under 18 USC 597:

Quote

Whoever makes or offers to make an expenditure to any person, either to vote or withhold his vote, or to vote for or against any candidate; and whoever solicits, accepts, or receives any such expenditure in consideration of his vote or the withholding of his vote shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if the violation was willful, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.

 

That is why the offer has to be an unconditional act of charity. There’s no question that Bloomberg hopes that convicts will vote as a consequence of his charity, and maybe will vote a specific way, but as it stands, his efforts in this direction are legal. Gaetz’s implication is legally inept: “bribery” is in a different paragraph in the pertinent Florida statute from “anything of value”. Still, nothing wrong with a little criminal investigation just to be sure, and maybe even to expand the power of the government to restrict politically-motivated actions (not!).

 

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Stephen,

I am not a one-issue voter about any narrow topic. I judge candidates according to where he/she fits on my ranking scale from -10 to +10, where -10 = totalitarian and +10 = advocates equal, optimal freedoms for all, the state doing only its proper functions. The extremes being -10 = maximum coercion or bullying and +10 = minimum coercion or bullying would be a good scale, too. Economic freedoms get their due weight in where I rank anybody. Regarding actual voting, it is usually and unfortunately the case of choosing the lesser of two evils.

I put Biden well on the negative side of that scale. Trump is negative, too, but not as negative. Biden is a wishy-washy leftist, follower-not-leader, and a puppet. So for him it’s more a matter of whom I expect would be his puppeteers. He has been a politician for over 50 years. He hasn’t been a real producer of anything except four children. If he gets elected, his exercise of power will be heavily influenced by others, such as Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, HRC, and AOC, all totalitarians. He is very pro-intervention on foreign policy, except he opposed the 1991 Gulf War! I expect he would too readily kowtow to the U.N.

The thought of Biden being Commander-in-Chief of the military makes me shudder. Of course, he will get advice from the military. But what if the advisors strongly disagree? Then he would need to decide. Ugh. What would he do? Call Obama and hope for something to change?

Smarts? He ranked in the 26th-percentile in his graduating class for his B.A. He ranked in the 11th-percentile in law school, where he was a plagiarist.

Regarding abortion, I am for a woman’s right to choose. On the other hand, I am against many, many people who are pro-abortion and approve coercing others to pay for her abortion via taxes (with maybe two exceptions).

You mentioned same-sex marriage. Are you aware of Joe Biden’s history about that and homosexuality? See Wikipedia.

There is plenty for me to rate Trump a negative. Most of them are common knowledge. Positive? He reduced corporate tax rates. He hasn’t kowtowed to the U.N. or Iran. He hasn’t led the U.S. into an extended and costly war (e.g. in Syria) like George W. Bush and Obama did.


 

Edited by merjet
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David Odden,

I am not a lawyer nor consider myself well-informed about the legalities of the Mike Bloomberg and Florida vote situation. My comment about bribery was my philosophical perspective. Is Bloomberg’s paying these fines a bribe or a gift? It is far more a bribe in my opinion. I posed the question, For it to not be a bribe, shouldn't the felon or ex-felon be able to choose between cash-in-hand and paying the fines? Based on what I have read Bloomberg is not offering cash-in-hand as an alternative.
 

You cited federal law about vote-buying. Fine. Also apparently relevant legally is a Florida law about “either directly or indirectly provide something of value to impact whether or not someone votes.” In my philosophical opinion, Bloomberg’s purpose is exactly that. His action is not an unconditional act of charity.

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Pretty neat. I just signed in using the Facebook button. Thanks to Jaskin and Dream Weaver for all your work.

Tony, those numbers (for that day) at fivethirtyeight are not polls or projections of percents of popular vote totals or of Electoral College vote totals. They are just numbers won out of 100 scenarios of Electoral outcomes, but with admissible scenarios (I gather) informed by updated polling data. On that day, one of the scenarios ended in a tie to be decide by the House of Representatives. I doubt that very many of the 100 scenarios are landslides.

Merlin, I hadn't recalled that Biden had opposed the Gulf War, if I ever had known that. I was out of contact with news in those days. I had a television, but never turned it on after Jer's death in 1990. (Jer and I never had television, and that was deliberate for the sake of our projects; until a friend gave us one---and another friend gave us a player to watch Blockbuster tapes on the screen---for those couple of years of his health decline.) One evening I was having dinner with some friends at a Southwestern restaurant on Halsted. I arrived at the table where my friends were chatting, when the one speaking stopped and asked of me: "You do know there is a war, Stephen?" We all laughed, and I had known of the Gulf War, probably from passing by headlines of newspapers in the stands.

In 1996 I met Walter, we became a couple, and he brought with him to our abode his television and his cat. (We agreed on those in advance.) So I began to see, or anyway hear from the kitchen, the "news" from the TV in the evenings. But in '97 we got a PC, and when the Florida election closeness between Gore and Bush came about, I really got into following all the developments through the online news sites. And I kept on with that since, so I rejoined somewhat that part of public clamor.

 I attach a favorite painting of mine. It's by Clarice Smith, and it's called "Dead Heat."

 

%22Dead Heat%22 - Clarice Smith.jpg

Edited by Boydstun
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A leader in the effort to enable felons in Florida to vote by paying their outstanding fines & whatever is the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition. 

I went to its website https://floridarrc.com/. When the page loaded and I scrolled down a bit, there was a clickable 'Donate Today' rectangle. Proceeding as if I were going to donate, I saw the following (URL = https://wegotthevote.org/freethevote/):

"ActBlue Charities is a qualified 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization and donations are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed under the law.

"I acknowledge that my contribution is being made to ActBlue Charities and earmarked for Florida Rights Restoration Coalition Education Fund, to whom my contribution will be forwarded."

ActBlue's purpose is to fund Democratic candidates and policies.

On the other hand, clicking the X in the upper right corner after https://floridarrc.com/ loads and then clicking Donate, another page loads that says:
"Florida Rights Restoration Coalition is a sponsored project of Tides Advocacy, a non-profit exempt from federal taxation under Section 501(c)(4). Contributions to Florida Rights Restoration Coalition are not tax-deductible."

This looks fishy. A 501(c)(3) organization is supposedly prohibited from political activities. However, "other activities intended to encourage people to participate in the electoral process, such as voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives, would not be prohibited political campaign activity if conducted in a non-partisan manner.

"On the other hand, voter education or registration activities with evidence of bias that (a) favor one candidate over another, (b) oppose a candidate in some manner, or (c) favor a candidate or group of candidates, constitute prohibited participation or intervention." Link.

So I have an open question: Are contributions made to enable Florida felons to vote tax-deductible? If 'yes', that is corrupt. And somebody such as Michael Bloomberg contributing $X million only costs him about 0.5*$X million after income tax savings. 


 

Edited by merjet
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Notice that no one brings up efficacy. Instead only is it ethical, is it legal.

If Trump had done what Bloomberg did someone would bring up efficacy, specifically, lack of reason to believe it could work for him at all would be brought up, here and elsewhere. But I have seen no one doubt the efficacy of Bloomberg's actions.

And that is because no one sincerely doubts that felonious scum will need only a small nudge to vote for fellow felonious, seditious, treasonous scum.

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11 hours ago, merjet said:

In my philosophical opinion, Bloomberg’s purpose is exactly that. His action is not an unconditional act of charity.

What conditions are you talking about? There is no implication or requirement that any of them vote for Biden or vote Democrat. If they vote Trump, nothing will happen. You're just being pedantic or deliberately dense about what the meaning of "condition" is.

56 minutes ago, Jon Letendre said:

And that is because no one sincerely doubts that felonious scum will need only a small nudge to vote for fellow felonious, seditious, treasonous scum.

It's not a nudge towards who to vote for. There is literally no advantage to vote Democrat. Worse than that, it probably won't even work in the way he would hope, because we have no idea how many ex-convicts would vote Republican or Democrat. 

 

 

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25 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

It's not a nudge towards who to vote for. There is literally no advantage to vote Democrat. Worse than that, it probably won't even work in the way he would hope, because we have no idea how many ex-convicts would vote Republican or Democrat. 

Has anyone ever done something random and nice for you and later you felt positively toward them?

Edited by Jon Letendre
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In any case I don't think Bloomberg will be charged with indiscriminately paying fines and fees imposed upon and intended to be suffered by the individual criminals, which is probably not a crime.

Rather, I think he only paid the fines and fees of those felons who are Democrats or known to vote Democrat and he thereby can be charged with election interference.

Top law enforcement officer of the land says ... 

 

 

My bet is on Bloomberg not doing any more of it.

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4 hours ago, Jon Letendre said:

Has anyone ever done something random and nice for you and later you felt positively toward them?

It certainly wouldn't convince me to change how I vote if they are doing the just thing (it is just that ex-convicts have the right to vote). Most people do something because of some kind of incentive towards their values. There is literally no incentive provided by Bloomberg. There is no gain whatsoever for voting Democrat or Republican.

2 hours ago, Jon Letendre said:

Rather, I think he only paid the fines and fees of those felons who are Democrats or known to vote Democrat and he thereby can be charged with election interference.

Evidence would be nice. 

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Democratic and Republican Party mechanisms for replacing a presidential or vice-presidential nominee in the 2020 election—like if a candidate dies or otherwise gets really incapacitated by, say, a stroke. I imagine with Trump or Biden as winner, but dead or otherwise out, the winning Party would promote their VP winner to Pres and fill the VP spot with, well, with someone. I just found this out. I hope that if Mr. Trump wins (incumbent Presidents usually do), he will not die before taking office. That way Speaker Pelosi and President Pence could get better acquainted, if I understand correctly.

Nancy-Pelosi-Boots-Mike-Pence-From-His-House-Office.jpg

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1 hour ago, Eiuol said:

Evidence would be nice. 

And sunny days only, too!

You saw the thoughts on this matter from the head of the Executive Branch of the US government. Every day he is briefed on yet more information that you and I will never know about.

But let's see if Bloomberg keeps it up or never does it again.

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What's coming next for the left, the Democrat Party, the mainstream news, Hollywood, social media companies and the globalist elite will not be affected in any meaningful way by the assassination or natural death of Donald Trump, except to trigger contingency planning that will fast-track their destruction and make it much more brutal.

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12 hours ago, Eiuol said:

What conditions are you talking about? There is no implication or requirement that any of them vote for Biden or vote Democrat. If they vote Trump, nothing will happen. You're just being pedantic or deliberately dense about what the meaning of "condition" is.

It's not a nudge towards who to vote for. There is literally no advantage to vote Democrat. Worse than that, it probably won't even work in the way he would hope, because we have no idea how many ex-convicts would vote Republican or Democrat. 

Really? Are you trying to say that the probability of the ex-felons' votes is 50% Democrat and 50% Republican or close to that? If so:

1. What is your evidence or justification for that?
2. Do you really believe that Michael Bloomberg believes in a 50%/50% probability (or close)? If yes, why would the Trump hater be willing to spend $$millions to enable the ex-felons to vote?
3. Do you really believe that ActBlue -- committed to electing Democrats and channeling money to Florida Rights Restoration to enable ex-felons to vote --believes in a 50%/50% probability (or close)?
 
Do you really believe that Florida Rights Restoration will put no pressure on the ex-felons they help to vote Democrat?
 
I clearly said 5 days ago and 23 hours ago what would make the offer unconditional -- offer the ex-felons cash-in-hand in lieu of using the money to enable them to vote.
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Part of 60 Minutes last night was about ex-felons being able to vote in Florida. I learned that the record-keeping for knowing whether on not an ex-felon has outstanding fines & whatever, or even how many $$ they are, is atrocious. Regardless, in my view, that does not justify bribery. Fix the eligibility rules for ex-felons to vote by changing the law and cleaning up the mess.

Click on the part of the page linked above about this matter. Then the new page includes another link to see the 60 Minutes episode. The main guest is President of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition.

Edited by merjet
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2 hours ago, merjet said:

Are you trying to say that the probability of the ex-felons' votes is 50% Democrat and 50% Republican or close to that?

I'm saying that no one knows what the distribution is

2 hours ago, merjet said:

Do you really believe that Florida Rights Restoration will put no pressure on the ex-felons they help to vote Democrat?

Right, because you gave me no evidence.

2 hours ago, merjet said:
 
I clearly said 5 days ago and 23 hours ago what would make the offer unconditional -- offer the ex-felons cash-in-hand in lieu of using the money to enable them to vote.

A condition is a condition for receiving the thing, not a condition on what the thing is... 

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1 hour ago, Eiuol said:

I'm saying that no one knows what the distribution is

Right, because you gave me no evidence.

A condition is a condition for receiving the thing, not a condition on what the thing is... 

I didn’t ask what you know or anybody else knows with certainty about something that hasn’t yet happened. I asked you about a probability.

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Definition of "condition." The word “receiving” is not on that page.

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11 minutes ago, Jon Letendre said:

"Ex-felon" is an interesting term.

Felonies are serious crimes and felons were found guilty by juries of their peers.

Does a murderer become an "ex-murderer" after their term in prison for their latest murder?

"In November 2018, Florida voters passed Amendment 4, a measure that restores voting rights to certain felons (nearly 1.4 million people) once they have served their sentences, including parole and probation. Those convicted of murder and sexual offenses remain unable to vote.

In March 2019, a state law was passed that limits Amendment 4. That law requires former felons to either pay all fees that they owe as part of their case or get their sentence modified in order to register to vote. At the time of its passing, this law prevented nearly 775,000 felons from voting."

https://www.findlaw.com/voting/my-voting-guide/can-felons-vote-in-florida.html
 

https://www.brevardcountyduilawyer.net/what-is-a-third-degree-felony-in-florida/ 

Edited by merjet
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6 hours ago, merjet said:

Definition of "condition." The word “receiving” is not on that page.

Dude, do you really not understand what "conditional" means? You know, something like "I will pay your fine if..." as opposed to "I will pay your fine". You are entirely dropping the context if you start talking about "I will pay your fines but not give you cash to do whatever you want" as if it's the same as "I will pay your fines only if you follow my instructions, otherwise you will not have your fines paid". 

I don't care if you disagree, but at least don't be so obtuse...

Anyway, I find the assumption that ex-convicts would vote Democrat by large margins to be pretty stupid. I think the real issue is that people think ex-convicts shouldn't vote or something, not that they actually care about Bloomberg paying their fines.

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8 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Dude, do you really not understand what "conditional" means?

Dude, do you really not understand the difference between "condition" and "conditional"?

Self, ignore him(?). You have seen how much he(?) ignores your questions.

9 hours ago, Eiuol said:

I don't care if you disagree, but at least don't be so obtuse...

Ditto to you.  Bye.

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