© 2022 All Rights reserved WUSF
News, Jazz, NPR
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Politics / Issues
What you need to know about the 2020 elections across the greater Tampa Bay region.

Florida Attorney General Asks FBI To Investigate Bloomberg For Elections Fraud

Bloomberg sent money to a fund created by the group behind 2018’s Amendment 4, which cleared the way for most felons to vote after completing their sentence.

Attorney General Ashley Moody wants the FBI and Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate whether Michael Bloomberg violated any election laws. It’s in response to the former New York Mayor raising $16 million to help pay for felons fines and fees.

The letter sent from Moody highlights a Washington Post article that claims the donation would go toward an effort aimed at boosting turnout for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. Bloomberg sent money to a fund created by the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, the group behind 2018’s amendment four which cleared the way for most felons to vote after completing their sentence.

Coalition President Desmond Meade denies the fund targets any specific demographic.

"FRRC’s number one priority is ensuring that every one of the 1.4 million returning citizens have an opportunity to vote," said Meade. "When we were campaigning we explicitly said that we are fighting just as hard for that person that wish he could have voted for Donald Trump, as well as that person that wish they could’ve voted for Barrack Obama."

Florida law says it is a felony for someone to either directly or indirectly offer something of value to impact whether someone votes. Northwest Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz recently blasted Bloomberg’s donation in an interview on Fox News.

"The memo that the Bloomberg team used to go and get other people to contribute to this effort literally says we are doing this to impact whether or not these people voted," said Gaetz. "It’s not for any felon, it’s not for any circumstance there specifically targeting African Americans because they believe in Florida, African Americans will vote 90-95% for Joe Biden."

More than 44,000 people have donated to the FRRC’s fund. To date, it has helped more than 4,000 returning citizens satisfy their legal financial obligations. MTV, VH1, the Miami Dolphins, and more have all contributed to the fund.

Copyright 2020 WFSU. To see more, visit .