Dear Gov. Rick Scott:
First, let me offer some kudos on your efforts to stem voter fraud in Florida, my home state. Then, let me offer my assistance.
I am happy to volunteer my time – you can save taxpayer-paid employees for something else – to go through the voter rolls and cross-check the predominantly Hispanic (read: mostly Democrat) names you flag to make sure they have, indeed, as in most cases, become citizens of the United States, eligible to vote, since the last date of the outdated data you are using. Doesn’t sound too hard and, again, it is a worthwhile and altruistic effort.
In January. December, even. I’ll put Christmas on hold. This is important stuff.
But not now. Not in the middle of what many are calling one of the closest presidential elections in decades. Not in the state that became the focus of another presidential election 12 years ago – and not in a good way. We don’t need that kind of attention again. It already looks bad. It already has the perception of meddling in the election so that your guy, Republican nominee Mitt Romney, benefits.
I offered my services to you months ago, governor, in an email. I tweeted you a couple of times. But I have still not heard back from you or anyone in your office.
So, are you really going after electoral fraud? Or are you going after the Latino (read: Democrat) vote?
Because if you want to stop electoral fraud, Governor, I suggest that you are barking up the wrong ballot. If you want to stop some votes for President Barack Obama, hell, then you are, indeed, on the right track. But if you want to stop voter fraud in Florida, you need to be leading the charge to change our absentee ballot process.
Haven’t you watched the news lately? Absentee ballot fraud is rampant in Miami-Dade, your largest county, where it’s reared its ugly head year after year and candidates who lose on Election Day are ushered into office anyway through their manipulation of the “mail-in vote.”
Let me ask you this: Do you think more non-citizens commit fraud by voting — really? — than U.S. citizens who work the system and pervert the absentee ballot process? Some of whom “help” voters fill in the bubbles. Many of them under the guise of “get out the vote” drives from candidate campaigns and political strategists?
Of course you don’t. But it’s not politically expedient for you to stop the absentee ballot fraud – which is overwhelmingly Republican. After all, Obama may have won Miami-Dade with 65% of the vote in 2008, but John McCain took it in ABs – with a whopping margin of 30,000 absentee ballots more in his favor.
And former President George Bush beat Vice President Al Gore in Florida — and took the White House as a result — with a mere 537 vote lead out of almost 6 million cast in the Sunshine State. Heck, the city of Hialeah alone controls at least four times and possibly six times that many votes through its public housing units.
Still, it looks kind of bad for you to be all gung-ho on voter fraud by non-citizens, which has to be a tiny percentage of the fraud going on, and not do a thing about the two arrests on absentee ballot tampering here and the implications that it involved a county commissioner – whose office was being used by his assistant as a ballot repository – two sitting state representatives, a newly-elected state rep, a state senator, the mayors of two, maybe three cities and several elected council members. All involved up to their eyeballs in the organized running and collecting of absentee ballots.
We need a federal investigation. I think this could be racketeering.
Forgive me if I don’t trust our local prosecutors. Miami-Dade State Attorney Kathy Fernandez-Rundle had to recuse herself from the case of one arrested boletera – after days of a drumbeat for her to do so – because her campaign manager was involved. Her longtime campaign manager, who I believe may have had other complaints against him squashed for political convenience. Besides, they have a long list of close-out memos from over the years because, apparently, unless they get someone to admit what they did and turn evidence, they can’t prove anything. “Sufficient evidence exists that there was some ballot or electoral interference, but nothing that can be brought into court,” is how the investigations end over and over and over again.
I can’t help but wonder if there were conflicts of interests in those cases, too, and the public didn’t know about it and didn’t pressure the state attorney to recuse herself.
Maybe we can reopen those cases? You’re the governor. I bet you can. Again, I will help you go through the evidence. Everyone knows absentee ballot fraud is my pet peeve.
Oh, but wait. Are you already thinking about your re-election?Hmmmm. Then, you might drag this open letter into your virtual trash can, if you haven’t already. See? I know how much you need these and boleteras, apparently.
Why else would your campaign have paid Emelina Llanes, the known favored ballot collector for the former Mayor of Hialeah Julio Robaina – whose uncle Sergio “El Tio” Robaina is one of those that was arrested – and current Mayor Carlos “Castro” Hernandez a total of $5,000 on Aug. 26, 2010 for “contract labor”? It’s right there in your campaign finance report. The Republican Party of Florida paid her $450 more. What did she do to earn that kind of dough?
Llanes does not sit at precincts or polling sites with signs. She does not make repeated calls from phone banks. Llanes does one thing: She collects ballots.
And Sweetwater Councilwoman Isolina Maroño, mother of your buddy Sweetwater Mayor Manny Maroño, got $1,500 from your campaign for “contract work” on Aug. 23. The same day that three of her family members each recieved another $480 for theirt “contract labor.”
Is that why you issued statements early on in this absentee ballot fraud matter saying you would take no position on it?
So, you want to take the right to vote away from thousands of Democrats months before the election based on the possibility that they may not have become citizens, as indicated in your years-old drivers’ license database, but you won’t interfere in a matter where a woman was caught carrying 31 ballots in one day and depositing them in the mailbox? Where two of those voters said they don’t know who they voted for and that the woman filled out their ballot? Where an aide to a county commissioner is caught taking 164 ballots to the mailbox and is later exposed for having provided ballot runners with favors from her county office throughout the year?
And, yet, nothing happens? How is that even possible?
There is a climate here that is interpreted as tolerance for this kind of campaigning.
Now that I see how you are may have benefited from the AB vote-gathering process, I think it’s more than tolerance.
Please take a moment to consider what I am presenting and, perhaps, reconsider your position. You want to stop electoral fraud, Gov. Scott? This is where the fraud is. I guarantee it.
Please let me know what you plan to do. You should announce something now, since I hear the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office is getting involved.
Maybe my next letter should be to the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office. If you won’t intercede, perhaps they will. They might be especially interested once I show them your campaign finance reports.
Thank you for your valuable time and attention to this matter. I will await your reply and continue to collect evidence on the boleteras and boleteros in Miami-Dade.