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Prominent Florida Republicans: Yes, GOP Trying to Suppress Black Vote

Mugshot of former Chair of the Republican Party of Florida Jim Greer

Most Republicans will deny fiercely that their ALEC-fueled efforts to ram through voter ID and other voter-suppression laws aren’t about suppressing the votes of black Americans. But recently (h/t Meteor Blades), two prominent Florida Republicans have come forward to state, on the record, that this is exactly what the GOP is trying to do.

First off, here’s former Florida Republican Party chair Jim Greer:

In a 630-page deposition recorded over two days in late May, Greer, who is on trial for corruption charges, unloaded a litany of charges against the “whack-a-do, right-wing crazies” in his party, including the effort to suppress the black vote.

In the deposition, released to the press yesterday, Greer mentioned a December 2009 meeting with party officials. “I was upset because the political consultants and staff were talking about voter suppression and keeping blacks from voting,” he said, according to the Tampa Bay Times. He also said party officials discussed how “minority outreach programs were not fit for the Republican Party,” according to the AP.

Greer’s charges are being pooh-poohed by Republicans quick to point out that he is in deep legal trouble, as if that by itself somehow totally disproved what he said. But they can’t use that gambit against former Florida governor Charlie Crist who went on MSNBC recently and blasted Rick Scott, his fellow Florida Republican and his successor as Florida governor, for pushing “shameless” voter-suppression tactics such as photo ID laws, preventing former felons from voting, and heavy-handed purging of voter rolls — and agrees with US Attorney General Eric Holder that the intent of these tactics is to suppress the black vote, Jim-Crow-fashion:

Mitchell noted that Attorney General Eric Holder had recently compared voter photo ID requirements to Jim Crow laws, telling the NAACP that they were the equivalent of “poll taxes.”

“He’s on the right track,” the former governor agreed. “Anytime that you put more impediments into a citizen’s right — a legal citizen’s right to vote and make that more difficult, you impede the natural right of democracy and a citizen’s right to have their voice heard in important elections.”

By the way: Aren’t you wondering why, instead of seeing this news in your local paper or on your evening broadcast TV news, or hearing about it on drive-time radio news programs, you’re probably hearing it first from me? Yeah, me too.

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