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

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012 by Dara Kam

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.

Scott stumps in WPB one day before election

Monday, November 1st, 2010 by Dara Kam

Just one day before the crucial vote that will decide whether his $75 million investment paid off, Rick Scott included West Palm Beach in a last-minute appeal to Republicans.

U.S. Sen. George LeMieux climbed on the stage with Scott, also joined by Palm Beach County homeboys U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, outgoing Senate president and chief financial officer candidate Jeff Atwater, and a host of other local officials.

Mark Foley, who once held Rooney’s Congressional seat, also showed up in the crowd at Park Avenue BBQ Grille.

PBC businessman and longtime GOP donor Llywd Ecclestone, who escaped the restaurant parking lot heat under an awning, said he supports Scott’s plan to get the state’s economy back on track.

“He will create jobs and that’s what we need,” Ecclestone said.

But Scott’s pledge of 700,000 jobs is an ambitious goal, the developer acknowledged.

“It’s going to be difficult. It’s not going to be easy,” Ecclestone said.

(more…)

Game on: Crist orders python purge

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009 by Dara Kam

A python posse armed with clubs and machetes will start combing the Everglades for the supersized serpents this weekend.

Gov. Charlie Crist ordered the python bounty hunt Wednesday at the urging of two Florida congressmen who were in an uproar after one of the exotic snakes strangled a 2-year-old girl July 1 near Ocala.

That python was a pet and didn’t live in the Everglades. But the case called new attention to the plague of the oversized reptiles that have spread throughout South Florida’s marshes, gobbling wading birds and posing a danger to native wildlife.

Estimates of the python population in the Everglades range between 10,000 and 150,000. They can reach up to 20 feet in length and have long, curved teeth, along with the ability to squeeze their prey to death.

(more…)

Snakes alive! Rooney joins python posse push

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009 by Dara Kam

U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney has filed a bill to blacklist Burmese pythons and other unwelcome animal immigrants from entering the country.

The Tequesta Republican has joined the movement, led by Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, to rid the River of Grass of the perilous pests after a pet python strangled to death a two-year-old Florida girl.

python1About 150,000 pythons, not native to Florida, have taken up residence in the Everglades, threatening other endangered wildlife there, including Florida panthers and wood storks.

Rooney’s backing two bills to crack down on bringing invasive animals into the country.

One McCarthy-esque proposal would create a black list of nonnative species would create a black list of nonnative species barred from being brought into the United States and a green list of creatures that would be welcome.
The other would add Burmese pythons to the list of dangerous animals, similar to a measure Nelson filed several months ago.

Rooney’s hunting proposal is similar to a Nelson made today asking U.S. Department of the Interior Ken Salazar to approve a python-killing season in the ‘Glades to rid the national treasure of the invaders.

Read Rooney’s press release here.

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