In defense of democracy and First Amendment rights, People For files FOIA request for specifics
Washington, DC—Following yesterday’s signing by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis of the state’s massive voter suppression law at an event closed to all press except Fox News’ morning talk show, democracy organization People For the American Way filed a FOIA request for all records and communications leading up to the planning and execution of this event. Adele M. Stan, director of the organization’s storied Right Wing Watch project, notes that even FLORIDA Channel, the state’s taxpayer-funded television station, was excluded from the event in favor of a live feed to Fox and Friends. Stan and People For the American Way President Ben Jealous released the following statements:
“The people of Florida have a right to know if their governor is deliberately using his office for a self-serving publicity stunt at the same time he is signing away his constituents’ constitutional rights,” said Stan. “And the timing can’t be ignored; DeSantis is expected to announce his bid for re-election soon, and the governor is believed to have presidential ambitions. So he chose a very specific and national audience before which to display his bona fides in advancing the false narrative of widespread voter fraud in order to disenfranchise Floridians. We look forward to finding out more about how and why this event was planned.”
“It’s bad enough that Ron DeSantis and far-right politicians in Florida are trying to rob Floridians of their right to vote,” said Jealous. “But in making the signing of a voter suppression bill the highlight of a Fox News morning talk show, DeSantis’s antics went from deplorable to disgusting. Depriving people of their voting rights is a deeply vile attack on civil rights, and DeSantis turned it into a sleazy publicity grab. We filed this FOIA request because the people of Florida deserve to know the rationale behind DeSantis’s actions, including the reasons why other press were excluded from the event. We, and they, could make a pretty good guess, but we’d rather just know the facts.”
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: https://www.pfaw.org.