Monday, April 9, 2012

Votes and Hot Pink Chicks

From the land that sparked the infamous Bush vs. Gore decision, let there be no doubt about where the current Governor's priorities lie: voter suppression and pink chicks.

A must read Op-ed in the NYT...
Last spring, Florida made some changes to its election law. Cloaked as technical tweaks, the new laws have the potential to swing the 2012 election. The changes enacted include severe restrictions on groups that register new voters, cutting the early voting period nearly in half and rolling back voting rights for those with criminal convictions in their past... 
...Under the new rules, even people with nonviolent convictions must wait five years after they complete all terms of their sentences before they are allowed to apply for restoration of civil rights; the clock resets if an individual is arrested, including for a misdemeanor, during the five-year waiting period. In some cases, people must wait seven years before being able to apply, and then they must appear in person for a hearing before the clemency board in Tallahassee. Remember: all of this has to happen just to have the opportunity to ask for one’s right to vote back. After the waiting period, the application and the hearing, you could be denied restoration with no reason or explanation. And if that happens, you have to wait another two years before starting the process all over again. 
In May 2011, Governor Scott signed an omnibus election law that makes it more difficult to register and to vote in Florida. The new law imposes severe restrictions and penalties on nonpartisan groups that register voters and slashes the number of days allowed for early voting, including eliminating the option of voting on the Sunday before Election Day.

Then there's this from HuffPo...
Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill ending a 45-year-old ban on artificially dying fowl and other small animals. 
The language - which also permits chicks to be sold before they are four weeks old - was inserted into an agriculture bill at the urging of a dog groomer who wanted to compete in pet beauty contests. 
Animal welfare advocates and other lawmakers said allowing dying of chickens, rabbits and ducks to look like holiday toys will mean higher sales at Easter and more abandoned or mistreated pets later. Animal rights groups petitioned Scott to veto the bill to allow baby birds to be dyed while still in their eggs.

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