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U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney tells feds to butt out of Florida voter purge

by Dara Kam | June 6th, 2012

U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney told Attorney General Eric Holder to stop meddling in Gov. Rick Scott’s effort to clean up the voter rolls in Florida, accusing Holder of “blatant politicization” of the non-citizen voter purge.

The Justice Department last week told Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner the voter purge may violate two federal laws and gave Detzner until today to respond to its request to drop the scrub.

Scott has given no indication he’s going to back down, and Detzner insists that the law requires him to ensure the voter rolls are accurate.

Rooney, a Tequesta Republican, is the latest official to wade into the political fray over the purge, which has sparked a national partisan dust-up. Democrats blame the Scott administration of trying to keep minorities and Hispanics – who dominate the list of 2,600 flagged voters given to elections officials in April – from going to the polls in November. Republicans accuse critics of the purge, including Holder, of wanting to break the law by allowing ineligible voters to cast their ballots.

Rooney’s letter mirrors a legal analysis by a former Justice Department lawyer who says Holder is wrong.

“Your actions further demonstrate that the Department of Justice, under your leadership, is more concerned with protecting the reelection prospects of the President than with upholding justice and enforcing the rule of law,” Rooney wrote in a letter sent today.

The News Service of Florida reported that Scott earlier today defended the purge, which he initiated last year, and said he hopes to have a response to the Justice Department today and defended the purge.

“Not a single eligible voter as far, as I know, has been removed from the voter rolls,” Scott said in an interview with WNDB radio in Daytona Beach, where Scott was Wednesday. “Not one. And we’re working to keep it that way.”

Scott insisted the purge is necessary to maintain voters’ confidence in the elections process.

“Their vote should not be diluted by people who don’t have the right to vote,” Scott said. “We need to be reviewing our voter rolls and making sure only those individuals who have the right to vote … are voting.”

Meanwhile, the state’s elections supervisors have dropped the voter purge because the data they received was too flawed and they want to wait until the issue is sorted out by Scott and the feds or the courts. The 67 supervisors are the only ones who can actually remove voters from the rolls.

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10 Responses to “U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney tells feds to butt out of Florida voter purge”

  1. Joe Balke Says:

    I suspect U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney and Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner will be getting a phone call from the IRS shortly.

  2. Go Dems Says:

    Republicans are acting more and more like fascists every single day.

    It is astonishing the level of disdain they have for the simple rule of law.

    But then, this is their strategy.

    To them, any law that they are breaking, it must be a problem with the law and not their actions… because, again to them, the GOP can do no wrong and should not have to obey any law.

    It is simply astonishing how little regard they have for the laws of our county and how openly they violate the law.

  3. Sheila Weinstein Says:

    Does it bother anyone besides me that Secretary Detzner was a beer lobbyist before he was secretary?

  4. Shan Says:

    At least we know what too many Floridians voted for – a bunch of wolves in sheep clothing. The key now is whether we’re going to channel enough of this disdain into the next elections to get this repulsive representation out. I know I’ll be voting for anybody who promises to revisit all of the legislation Rick Scott and the Republicans have passed during his tenure in office. Many of their actions border on treason and is are an assault on the middle class. I fail to see how anybody sane person can’t see beyond their rhetoric. Very sad!!

  5. the truth hurts Says:

    I say we purge the voter rolls of snowbirds to prove that they are not registered to vote in another state. Oh, 95% of them are the white folk. Can’t do that!

  6. Tea Party Member Says:

    The Florida Tea Party is sending faxes and emails to support Scott. You can check it out:

  7. All that said Says:

    Eric Holder is a criminal and I suppose all in opposition to the Florida Voting cleanup are also. The right to vote is protected by law for legally registered “citizens!” That is the key.

    Illegal aliens and criminals do not have the right to vote.


    “All that said” is proof that Republicans are living under a propaganda-induced MASS HYSTERIA!

  9. Thomas Kopett Says:

    Go Dems:

    What law is being broken by Republicans?

  10. Go Dems Says:

    “What law is being broken by Republicans?”


    For starters, Rick Scott is violating his oath of office by illegally purging Florida citizens off the voter rolls.

    After that, there are a whole cavalcade of laws that were broken. See the DOJ’s letters.

    This whole illegal voter purge is the reason why Kurt Browning resigned rather than move forward with the illegal voter purge.

    * Rick Scott personally launched noncitizen voter hunt in FL *

    Florida’s quest to identify and remove non-U.S. citizens from the voter rolls was started at the direct urging of Gov. Rick Scott, the state’s former top elections official said.


    But Browning said he decided against telling local election supervisors right away because he wanted to make sure the information was accurate in order to avoid a “firestorm of press” and criticism. Florida then spent months trying to get access to a federal database that tracks non-U.S. citizens in the country, but the U.S. Department of Homeland Security would not allow it.

    “We were not confident enough about the information for this secretary to hang his hat on it,” said Browning, who resigned after the Jan. 31 presidential preference primary.

    Read more here:

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