“By any means necessary” is a battle cry of the far left, coined by a Marxist philosopher on the Caribbean island of Martinique in 1960.
Fast-forward six decades, and the far left in the U.S. has embraced that end-justifies-the-means credo with monomaniacal gusto in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election.
How other than “by any means necessary” can you characterize billionaire plutocrat Michael Bloomberg’s plan to shovel — or bulldoze — a staggering $100 million of his own money into a crucial swing state, Florida, in the final weeks of the campaign to drag an enfeebled Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, over the finish line?
Mr. Bloomberg, whose net worth is north of $50 billion, likely regards that $100 million as little more than a rounding error, and he’s not stopping there.
Separately, the media mogul has raised millions more to pay off the fines, court fees and restitution expenses of tens of thousands of Black and Hispanic ex-felons in Florida so they can have their right to vote restored in time for the Nov. 3 election. The deadline to register there to vote in the upcoming election is Oct. 5.
“We have identified a significant vote share that requires a nominal investment,” Mr. Bloomberg explained in a memo cited by The Washington Post. “The data shows that in Florida, Black voters are a unique universe unlike any other voting bloc, where the Democratic support rate tends to be 90%-95%.”
As of last week, his fundraising on behalf of the nominally nonpartisan Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC) had topped $16 million.
That could buy a lot of Florida votes for Mr. Biden. According to TampaBay.com, “Most [ex-felons] owe between $500 and $5,000” in fines, fees and restitution to fully complete their sentences after prison and probation or parole.
The FRRC’s fundraising campaign drew an 11th-hour in-kind contribution from CBS’ Lesley Stahl on “60 Minutes” on Sunday night. Ms. Stahl’s sympathetic report strongly implied that the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature was somehow racist for insisting that the terms of a felony sentence be completed in full before the restoration of voting rights.
Never mind that the stipulation applies to all ex-felons on a colorblind basis.
On “60 Minutes,” the Black ex-felon leading the effort was allowed to characterize the preconditions as unconstitutional and being “like a poll tax.” Never mind that the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on Sept. 11 rejected that argument in upholding Florida’s requirements.
On Sept. 23, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody asked the FBI and state law enforcement officials to examine whether Mr. Bloomberg’s scheme constitutes “potential violations of election laws.” Other Florida Republicans described it — less charitably — as “vote-buying.”
The 11th Circuit ruling and Ms. Moody’s actions provide a standard for managing other shenanigans that might cloud the upcoming race. And they clearly affirm that, in this case at least, the end does not justify the means.
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