A plan by billionaire and failed presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg to pay off fines imposed on tens of thousands of convicted ex-felons in the critical swing state of Florida was made possible due to a large-scale, Soros-funded initiative involving a slew of progressive movements seeking to oust Trump this November.
Amendment 4, a Florida state amendment passed last year that restores voting rights to felons who had their fines and fees paid off, has provided an opportunity for wealthy Democrats to virtually buy votes.
The amendment, also known as the Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative, launched as a ballot initiative that would restore voting rights to as many as 1.4 million ex-felons who have completed their full sentences.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Brennan Center for Justice based in New York, both heavily funded by left-wing billionaire George Soros, served as consultants in drafting Amendment 4 and prompting its passage.
As reported by Axios on Tuesday, Bloomberg raised over $16 million to help 32,000 felons in Florida pay outstanding fines and fees to regain their voting rights.
On the same day of the report, the Washington Post released a key memo by Bloomberg’s advisors that revealed his aim.
The memo detailed a well-calculated plan to manipulate the election outcome by utilizing data that determined that among the nearly 775,000 former felons who still owed money related to their convictions, there were 32,000 Blacks and Hispanics who — if their fines were to be paid off — would almost certainly vote for Biden.
“We have identified a significant vote share that requires a nominal investment,” the memo read.
“Working together with the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC), we are determined to end disenfranchisement and the discrimination that has always driven it,” Bloomberg said via a spokesperson.
The FRRC is a project of Tides Advocacy, a group funded primarily by Soros’ Open Society Foundation (OSF) which congratulated FRRC head Desmond Meade, a grantee of theirs, for being among the 100 Most Influential People selected by Time Magazine in 2019.
The magazine praised Meade’s efforts in leading the charge to adopt Amendment 4, describing it as “the largest expansion of voting rights in a half-century, and Desmond made it happen.”
The FRRC lists numerous allied and coalition partners, which include Soros-backed groups Alliance for Safety and Justice, the Leadership Conference, and the Southern Coalition for Justice, as well as several radical prison reform organizations, including:
Voice of the Experienced (VOTE) which seeks to cease immigration detention and deportation, stop extortion and slavery in prisons, and to free “our” political prisoners; Legal Services for Prisoners with Children which aims to fight racism and economic injustice as a means to ending mass incarceration, and Live Free which denounces “our country’s legacy of racism, violence, and economic exploitation.”
FRRC’s Fines and Fees Program, which Bloomberg contributed $16 million toward, helps “returning citizens” vote despite financial obligations that arose from a felony conviction. The program states its goal to raise $25 million to enfranchise 32,000 voters before the Florida voter registration deadline of October 5.
FRRC partnered exclusively with the Soros-backed League of Women Voters (LWV) — which proclaimed that President Trump’s 2016 win was rigged and attacked “voter suppression” laws such as requiring an ID to vote — to provide pro bono assistance to help the ex-convicts navigate the legal process to regain their voting rights.
In addition to being head of the FRRC, Meade is also the chair of the Floridians for a Fair Democracy PAC which received tens of millions of dollars in funding and support from a slew of Soros-backed entities to spearhead the effort to pass Amendment 4 as early as 2016.
“[I]t reminds me of the days of slavery when all a slave had to do was cross an imaginary line to get to freedom,” Meade said, comparing the ex-felon registration drive to the fight against slavery.
Meade himself is an ex-felon whose past criminal convictions include domestic violence against his ex-wife, a court-martial for grand larceny that resulted in a dishonorable discharge from the Army, third-degree felony for cocaine possession, as well as resisting arrest and carrying a concealed weapon.
Meade is also the chair of another Soros-backed PAC, Our Vote Our Voice PAC, which was created in July and which received $1 million from Meade’s FRRC and another million from Democracy PAC, a committee funded by Soros.
The PAC has spent large sums to promote the candidacy of individuals who align with FRRC’s mission to restore voting rights to felons.
As part of a larger effort to influence the criminal justice system, Soros has been funding local races country-wide in hopes of reinventing law enforcement at state, county and district levels.
The restoration of voting rights to ex-felons comes alongside larger efforts by the Democratic Party and progressive organizations to deploy a massive ground game to Florida to register voters, increase turnout and lobby Floridians against President Trump, as Breitbart News reported.
With its 29 Electoral College votes, Florida is the nation’s biggest swing state and is critical to Trump’s path to victory in the upcoming race. If statewide 2016 voting patterns are repeated, the Democratic candidate for president would be able to win the White House by capturing Florida and one other swing state — Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, or Michigan.
Democrats seek to transform Florida’s voter map of 4.98 million registered Democrats, 4.76 million Republicans and about 3.6 million voters with no declared party affiliation.
In 2016, Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by 113,000 votes in Florida, but 500,000 African Americans were unable to vote. African Americans who did vote in Florida favored Clinton by a 76-point margin.
In a state with 29 electoral college votes and where merely 537 votes decided the presidential election in 2000, Bloomberg’s actions could determine the presidency.
Meeting with Soros in May of 2018 in Beverly Hills, Former Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum (D) sought financial support to turn out progressive and non-white voters and further Democrat aims including, eventually, helping them win the crucial state in 2020.
“The road to the White House runs through Florida,” Gillum remarked.
Although heavily financed by Soros and other liberal mega-donors and endorsed by Sen. Bernie Sanders, former president Barack Obama and many progressive figures, Gillum lost the governor’s race to Ron DeSantis (R) by a slight margin, a fact not lost on Bloomberg.
Despite the loss, Soros’ multi-faceted efforts to win over Florida, including those which allowed for the adoption of Amendment 4, may very well pay off as Bloomberg attempts to “buy” a Democratic win this November.
Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.