Three anti-lockdown protesters in North Carolina, including ReOpenNC founder Ashley Smith, were arrested outside of the mansion of Governor Roy Cooper on Tuesday morning.
The protesters were arrested for violating police orders when they stepped on the sidewalk outside of the governor’s mansion. A fourth person was put into a police vehicle but ultimately escaped charges.
“This is how Nazi Germany started,” said Ashley Smith’s husband, Adam, who was given bail money by other protesters. He called each of the officers enforcing the unconstitutional orders a “little piggy” with a bullhorn as they hauled his wife off.
Not every government official in the Tar Heel State is on the side of lockdown tyranny though. State Rep. Michael Speciale, a Craven County Republican legislator, joined the freedom protesters while dressed for the part. He was dawning a colonial-era suit with a tri-cornered hat atop his head.
“This is the governor’s show now,” he said. “He’s got to fix it. We can’t just come in and override it. We don’t have the votes for that.”
Speciale admitted that Republicans “bit our tongues through Cooper’s order” at first despite his belief that it is unconstitutional. However, more Republicans are finding their spine as the lockdown continues and absolutely devastates the state economy.
Rep. Keith Kidwell, a Republican from Beaufort County, has recently filed legislation in the state assembly to make sure that something like “this could never happen” again. His bill would require the governor to get explicit approval from the Council of State before he could deploy emergency measures.
Gov. Cooper is doubling down on the economic shutdown despite the push back. He said that he knows that it is “frustrating to be at home so much” and displayed sympathy for “people with families that are hanging by a thread.” However, he refuses to relax his restrictions that are destroying the economic security of thousands of families throughout his state.
“The thing we have to put first and foremost is the public health and safety of North Carolinians,” Cooper said. “We have to make sure that things are safe. I’m very eager to move into our phases of reopening. We have a way to look at the indicators to tell us how fast we are going to get there. I hope we move through these as quickly as possible.”
Before her arrest, Smith gave an impassioned speech from the back of a pickup truck about the need for resistance against the governor’s tyrannical orders.
“We’ll all go to church, we’ll open our businesses and we’ll buy what we want,” she said. “We will not go down gently. … If you feel the need to stay home, it is your God-given right to do so. But we want to live!”
Smith was arrested with activists Wendy Kath Macasieb and Lisa Marks Todd and charged with violating an executive order and resisting a public officer. Their arrests are only expected to galvanize the freedom protesters further as they continue to battle against Cooper’s edicts.
Billionaire Mike Bloomberg Pays $16 Million in Fines of Black and Hispanic Felons to Enable Them to Vote
Billionaire and former New York City Mayor has raised $16 million dollars to pay off outstanding fines of Black and Hispanic felons in Florida, according to reporting from Axios on Tuesday. Florida restricts the voting rights of convicted criminals until they’ve paid off fines levied for their crimes by the criminal justice system.
It appears that Bloomberg’s fine repayment initative was only available to Black and Hispanic felons. Axios reported that to qualify for Bloomberg’s money, applicants had to have outstanding fines of less than $1,500, be already registered to vote, and to be Black or Latino.
White felons need not apply.
The program has reportedly already cleared the fines of 32,000 felons in the state, enabling them to vote in the election. It erases the punitive aspect of the court system’s fines, which were levied in the first place in order to require convicted criminals to personally make amends for their actions.
Bloomberg’s felon bailout giveaway is legally questionable, and Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz has requested that Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody investigate what he’s doing. If he’s paying felons to vote for any one specific candidate, Bloomberg is in violation of campaign finance rules and could be liable to serve jail time .
#BREAKING: I'm calling on the Florida Attorney General to launch an investigation into @MikeBloomberg for potentially engaging in bribery and vote buying in the state of Florida. pic.twitter.com/2pAjZlAwSh
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) September 22, 2020
“The right to vote is fundamental to our democracy and no American should be denied that right,” said a Bloomberg spokesperson when asked about the fine repayment initiative. But it doesn’t seem as if the failed Democratic primary candidate is willing to buy back the voting rights of individuals who might be less inclined to vote for Joe Biden in November.
Bloomberg already tried and failed to buy the nomination in the Democratic primary, and now he’s trying to buy the crucial swing state of Florida for Joe Biden. Corrupt oligarchs should not be allowed to abuse the political system with impunity.
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