People For the American Way

People For Notifies DeSantis: Legal Action May Follow in Open Records Request

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 24, 2021

Contact: Press Department at People For the American Way

Email: [email protected]

Phone Number: 202.467.4999

Washington, DC—People For the American Way today sent a formal letter to the office of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, demanding answers relating to DeSantis’s bill signing event for the state’s voter suppression law, which he conducted as an exclusive appearance on Fox News Channel.

Today’s letter follows the organization’s May 7 filing of an open records request for records relating to this event. That Open Records Act request has received no response. People For notes that if there is no response to today’s letter within a week, the organization will proceed towards legal action. People For the American Way Right Wing Watch Director Adele Stan and President Ben Jealous released the following statements:

“We are not going to wait around forever while Governor DeSantis continues to ignore our official request for records relating to the political publicity stunt he pulled on Florida citizens earlier this month,” said Stan. “DeSantis trumpeted the state’s new voter-suppression legislation in an exclusive appearance on ‘Fox and Friends,’ a wholly inappropriate use of taxpayers’ time and money. He even barred the taxpayer-funded Florida public television outlet from covering it. Since then the governor has refused to respond either to our Open Records Act request or numerous follow-up phone calls to his office. We are asking for a response this week; otherwise, we will pursue legal action.”

“Governor DeSantis is flouting Florida law and the will of Floridians by covering up the real reasons for his decision to sign Senate Bill 90 during an exclusive ‘Fox and Friends’ appearance,” said Jealous. “Not only was this a cheap political stunt, it was centered around a horrific piece of legislation designed to strip more Floridians of their voting rights. We are demanding that DeSantis comply with Florida’s open records law and respond to our request. If he doesn’t, we will file a lawsuit to compel him to comply.”

Read today’s letter here: https://www.scribd.com/document/509141845/PFAW-Florida-Signing-FOIA-Request-May-24-2021.

About People For the American Way

People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and build a democratic society that implements the ideals of freedom, equality, opportunity and justice for all. We encourage civic participation, defend fundamental rights, and fight to dismantle systemic barriers to equitable opportunity. Learn more: http://www.pfaw.org.