The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a ballot initiative that would strip almost $1 billion in funding from the county court system and law enforcement, giving the county’s voters the option of enacting a defunding of police that possibly outpaces anything enacted by any city in the country.
The “Reimagine Los Angeles” ballot initiative strips the courts and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department of around $890 million in funds, distributing ten percent of the city’s unallocated budget towards jail alternatives, social work, mental health treatment and other alternatives to the justice system.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva slammed the proposal of the ballot initiative, likening it to a defunding of the sheriff’s department that would recreate the apocalyptic atmosphere of the ‘Mad Max’ films.
The @LACountyBOS just pushed forward agenda item 51-C, advancing the campaign to cont. defunding @LASDHQ & change public safety forever. Do YOU share their opinions? If you don’t want your streets to look like a scene from Mad Max, use your VOICE to tell the board what you think pic.twitter.com/Rzzh9nGo6l
— Alex Villanueva (@LACoSheriff) July 21, 2020
The sheriff later explained that he’d have to close police precincts and cut back on personnel available for police patrol in the event the initiative passes.
Supervisor Kathryn Barger was the only member of the county board to vote against placing the proposal on the ballot, citing the large personnel cuts its approval would force the county to make, the questionable legality and vagueness of Reimagine Los Angeles, and her general opposition to defunding the police.
Supervisors Hilda Solis, Sheila Kuehl, Mark Ridley-Thomas, and Janice Hahn all voted to approve it, and it’ll be up to Los Angeles County voters to determine its fate in November.
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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