Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody called for a criminal inquiry into former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg's backing of a $16 million donation to restore felon voting rights, Politico reports.
Moody, a Republican, said in a letter to top state and FBI officials, that she was asked by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis to review the donation.
“After preliminarily reviewing this limited public information and law, it appears further investigation is warranted,” Moody wrote to Michael McPherson, the FBI special agent in charge of the Tampa field office and Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Richard Swearingen. “Accordingly, I request that your agencies further investigate the matter and take appropriate steps as merited.”
Bloomberg pledges $16M:
Bloomberg announced earlier this week that he has raised $16 million for the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition.
Florida voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment in 2018 that automatically restored rights to former felons but Republican lawmakers passed a bill requiring all fines and fees to be paid off before rights are restored.
"The right to vote is fundamental to our democracy and no American should be denied that right,” Bloomberg said in a statement. “Working together with the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, we are determined to end disenfranchisement and the discrimination that has always driven it.”
Bloomberg rejects GOP claims:
“This transparent political ploy is just the latest example of Republicans attempting to keep Floridians disenfranchised,“ a spokesman for Bloomberg told Politico.
Bloomberg also pledged to spend $100 million in the state to help elect Joe Biden.
“At the end of the day, what we are witnessing is an all-American thing,” Florida Rights Restoration Coalition head Desmond Meade told the outlet. “It’s not a Mike Bloomberg thing. Mike Bloomberg is one of over 44,000 people that had donated to help these people resolve their legal financial obligations.”