DeSantis leads Trump defense fund and mystery clouds voter registration website shutdown

Opinion leads warn DeSantis about going too far in defending Trump, saying it will ruin his political career.


TALLAHASSEE — Governor Ron DeSantis announced the launch of the “Presidential Protection Fund” designed to raise money to fight the impeachment of President Donald Trump. In an unusually partisan move, DeSantis has moved himself out of the Republican Governor mode to the Florida Governor, who will use his bully pulpit to raise money to defend an unpopular president.

DeSantis says Democrats are “scared to death that Americans will support President Donald Trump in 2020.” He is sending out fundraising emails in support of a Trump defense fund.

But polls show that Trump has dropped 22 points in Florida since elected in 2016. He has lost his huge lead among Floridians and struggles to regain that 20 points critical to his winning the White House.

A clear majority of Americans want the impeachment inquiry and Trump’s removal to move forward. A deeper look into the polls shows that Americans are exhausted by Trumps’ erratic and unhinged behavior that has failed to resolve issues.

Meanwhile, a few days before a national voter registration hotline mobilization effort was to begin, the state shut down the website. The Florida Democratic Party immediately cried foul.

“Governor Ron DeSantis knows that the Florida Democratic Party strategy of registering and turning out voters will result in victory in 2020,” said Terrie Rizzo, chairwoman of the Florida Democratic Party. “Shuttering the online voter registration site for ‘maintenance’ as we kick off our largest voter registration week is the latest act of voter suppression from a governor who has doubled down on voter suppression tactics during his short tenure.”

The Sunday before the national voter registration hotline mobilization was to begin, the website was shut down for maintenance, according to DeSantis’s Division of Elections. “The Division of Elections is conducting routine maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your patience,” the site said.

Floridians who wanted to register could download an application form or contact their county supervisor of elections, it said. But within hours of complaints from Democrats, the website was restored.

The Democrats say DeSantis has a distinct record of voter suppression during his short time in office and is currently trying to keep non-violent felons from registering to vote as dictated by the passage of Amendment 4.

DeSantis is also trying to thwart funding efforts for ballot initiatives that have become popular ways to change the constitution when the Republican-controlled legislature fails to act.

For voter assistance, call the Voter Protection Hotline at (833) VOTE-FLA or (833) 868-3352.

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