A Republican lawmaker is trying to change the political landscape of the Sunshine State.
Following Democrats’ widespread losses in Florida during the 2020 midterms, Republican state Sen. Blaise Ingoglia has filed a bill to eliminate the party entirely.
According to The Hill, “The Ultimate Cancel Act” (SB 1248), sponsored by Ingoglia (R-Spring Hill), would cancel the filings of any political party that supported slavery during the Civil War.
“The Democrat party adopted pro-slavery stances in their party platforms and this bill says that if you have done that in the past, then the Secretary of State shall de-certify and get rid of the party,” Ingoglia said.
Any “canceled” party would have the opportunity to register again, however, the name of the organization must be substantially different from the name of any other party that was previously registered with the department.
The proposal is expectedly drawing widespread criticism from Democrats.
“Shame on the Republican Party for initiating legislation of this magnitude. This is what a dictator does,” newly elected Florida Democrat Party chair Nikki Fried said.
“It’s a complete and absolute abuse, and it’s unconstitutional. This bill will go nowhere. It is meritless. It deserves zero airtime and frankly, it’s a distraction from the Republicans’ failed policies,” House Minority Leader Fentrice Driskell said.
Ingoglia said he has not spoken to the governor or legislative leaders about the bill.
The governor’s office has not commented on the bill. Legislative leaders in the House and Senate have also yet to express interest in taking up the bill during the upcoming session. If this were to become law, it would take effect in July 2023.
“Florida Democrats are lucky I’m not asking them to return all the political contributions that they got in years past for their Jefferson Jackson dinners since they want to cancel everything. They were raising money based upon two people that, by their own admission, should have been canceled,” Ingoglia said.
On Wednesday, the Florida Democrat Party issued the following statement:
“Presenting a bill that would disenfranchise 5 million voters is both unconstitutional and unserious. Under Ron DeSantis, Senator Ingoglia is using his office to push bills that are nothing more than publicity stunts instead of focusing on the issues that matter most to Floridians, such as reforming property insurance, addressing housing affordability and combating climate change.
“The sooner DeSantis and his puppets in the legislature learn that Florida is a Democratic Republic and not a Banana Republic, the better it will be for all Floridians.”