More Than Half a Million Jobs Were Created in October; Republicans Claim Voter Advantage; Venezuelans on Rubio; Elections Police; University of Florida Case

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Florida Democratic Party Chair Hails Robust, Ongoing Biden Recovery As New Jobs Report Reveals More Than Half a Million Jobs Were Created in October

New data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released today indicates 531,000 jobs were created in October, 2021. The new report also reveals the unemployment rate dropped to 4.6 percent, down from 6.3 percent at the start of the year. Thanks to Democrats’ economic agenda, the economy has grown at a record pace, adding 620,000 jobs a month on average over the course of the year. 
In response to these positive figures and what they mean for the country’s ongoing economic recovery, Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz issued the following statement:

“Today’s jobs report makes it clear: the Biden recovery is very much on track and America is getting back to work. The figures for October, coupled with the revisions to the August and September reports, points to a surging economy that is steadily recovering from both the effects of the pandemic and its mismanagement under the Trump administration.

“Despite the expected naysaying and obstructionism from Republicans at every level, the Biden administration is successfully implementing its plan to get the American people vaccinated, bring the pandemic under control and drive job creation as we work our way through this recovery to build a better economy than ever before.”

Florida Democratic Party Chair Denounces DeSantis’ Politically Expedient Call for Expensive, Unnecessary “Elections Police”

On Wednesday, November 3rd, at a “press conference” that felt more like a political rally, Governor DeSantis called for the creation of a statewide law enforcement office dedicated to combating election crimes. According to a document obtained by POLITICO, the new agency would carry a price tag of almost $6 million.

This comes in spite of the fact that the Governor himself stated in February of this year that: “The result of 2020, from an administrative perspective, was that Florida had the most transparent and efficient election anywhere in the country.”

As a result, Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz issued the following statement:

“Once again Governor DeSantis proves that he is not governing for the people of Florida, but for a radical group of conspiracy theorists and extremist provocateurs in the GOP base. These people are hell bent on keeping Donald Trump’s Big Lie alive and pushing for ever more restrictive election laws that will make it more difficult for constituencies that are not aligned with their far-right agenda to make their voices heard at the polls.

“It only took a threat from Roger Stone to run for Governor to get DeSantis to call for this expensive and unnecessary boondoggle of a new agency. 

“If he was truly interested in improving elections in our state, he would push to direct funds to the Division of Elections, which is so underfunded and understaffed that they are currently reporting voter registration numbers more than 3 months late.

“Unfortunately, in DeSantis’ Florida, funding and policy is being driven by the Governor’s political ambitions and his desperate desire to appeal to his party’s radical base, not by the needs of the state’s residents. 

“Spending almost $6 million on this clearly political stunt is truly outrageous. Perhaps he should be required to declare it as a campaign contribution from Florida’s taxpayers. In the final analysis, that is all this is.”

ICYMI: Venezuelan Leaders From Across Florida Call Out Marco Rubio For Abandoning Their Community

Recent polling and news coverage shows that Venezuelan voters in Florida are turning against Senator Marco Rubio. After President Biden granted eligible Venezuelans, most of whom are in South Florida, Temporary Protected Status, Venezuelan leaders in Florida have urged Rubio to support a pathway to permanent residency for those with TPS. 

Not only has Rubio cowardly refused to step up, he recently went a step further and outright opposed permanent status for TPS recipients, stating that he wanted them to return to Venezuela. 

Venezuelan leaders have since called out Rubio’s abandonment of their community, calling it a slap in the face. Yesterday Florida Democrats joined Venezuelan leaders from across the state to discuss how Rubio has put his own self-serving political agenda ahead of the needs of their community.

See highlights from the press call below and watch a full recording here
“TPS is a victory for our community. With so many Venezuelans in Florida, TPS not only protects our community, it’s a boost to our state’s economy…Even as he made repeated campaign promises to support a path to permanent status, Rubio has been too weak to follow through…Rubio’s cowardly refusal to support giving the same opportunities and protections to Venezuelan families that his own family benefited from is a shameful example of him putting his political agenda ahead of what’s right for the people he represents,” said María Antonieta Diaz, a business owner from South Florida. 

“We are not props, we are human beings and we have suffered already a lot. Many Venezuelans believed that Senator Rubio was honest about his empathy towards our suffering. He was not. He used our pain, our desperation, and our hopelessness…That’s something that we won’t forget in the midterms. Marco Rubio of all people knows exactly what it’s like for these [Venezuelan] families…That makes it all the more appalling that Marco Rubio refuses to support us. His weakness on immigration issues, inability to get things done, and refusal to support a path to permanent status for TPS recipients is a complete betrayal,” said Ade Ferro, a Venezuelan community organizer. 

“My family came to this country escaping the Maduro regime, the same way Marco Rubio’s family escaped Cuba a few decades ago. Since day one, the only thing my family has done was work hard…It is scandalous that one person can say, ‘you know what, you don’t deserve to be here, you should go back and work hard in your country and rebuild it’ when what we’re doing here is building a stronger and better America,” said Cecilia Gonzalez, a TPS recipient from Central Florida. 

“Senator Rubio…is very poor at the time of action. And right now the Venezuelan community is suffering from the need of his voice in our favor…He hasn’t sent even a single tweet [about] work permits that have been delayed…delayed due to what the Trump administration did to the immigration [system]…The Hispanic vote is fundamental in Florida…Senator Rubio, you need to listen to us,” said William Diaz, founder of Casa De Venezuela.  

Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz Comments on the Supposed Voter Advantage Republicans Claim

Stories published today on the number of registered voters did not say that Republicans are playing shell games with the actual figures. Registrations are coming predominantly from Department of Motor Vehicles registration, not an actual Republican effort as they want the public to believe. Further, Republicans are moving an outsize number of Democrats from active status to inactive.

However, those voters are still eligible to vote. In response to this, Florida Democratic Party Chairman Manny Diaz issued the following statement: 

“These are nothing more than attempts by Republicans to get a press release and a headline, when in fact the numbers show other patterns, including a disproportionate number of Democrats being reclassified as inactive. Let’s be clear here, these voters are still eligible to vote and there are still more registered Democrats than Republicans in Florida. 

“No one is denying that over the past several years Democrats have neglected to register voters at a rate that would maintain our edge. However, the changes that we have been seeing recently are due more to a suspicious pattern where many more Democrats are being moved to inactive than Republican voters. Ron DeSantis seems to be proud of how many people they have kicked off the voter rolls. The rate of voter purges has skyrocketed under this Governor. Remember, they control the Department of Elections and most Supervisors of Elections offices. 

“Whether it is fielding straw candidates to win elections, suppressing the right to vote, and now the smoke and mirrors they are playing with these figures, the Republican Party will stop at nothing to hold on to power. Despite what they would have the public believe, Florida is a swing state with a commonsense voting public that in the past has approved by convincing margins Democratic priorities such as a $15 an hour minimum wage, access to medical marijuana, and reinstating the right to vote to returning citizens who have already paid their dues to society. 

“These figures are nothing more than a convenient reporting of the numbers designed more for public relations purposes than informing Florida’s public.”

ICYMI: University of Florida Professors Sound Off in the Washington Post on Being Banned from Testifying in Voting Access Case

Three University of Florida political science professors wrote in a Washington Post opinion piece their response to UF’s silencing them as they seek to testify in a court case challenging Florida’s controversial voter suppression law, Senate Bill 90.

Read key excerpts from the opinion piece below:
The Washington Post: Opinion | We’re political science professors working for Florida’s people. That’s why we can’t let the University of Florida silence us on a voting rights law. – The Washington Post

Key Points: 

“As political science professors, each of us teaches, writes and speaks every day on issues of voting and democracy. For years, our expertise has been valued by our employer, the University of Florida. So we were stunned to learn last month that the university was barring us from testifying in an upcoming legal challenge to Florida’s new voting law, S.B. 90.”

“The university’s move is a gross violation of academic freedom; more importantly, though, it’s an undermining of our mission to serve the people of Florida — all of them — as employees of a state research university.”

“We have worked on cases like this before without objection from university officials. But with S.B. 90, a piece of legislation that Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed into law live on Fox News, the university has offered a series of shifting rationales to justify blocking us from testifying. In our view, all the rationales reveal is a fear of retribution from political actors for our testimony.”

“First, the university tried to block our participation by claiming our testimony would be ‘adverse’ to Florida’s interests. We do not understand how identifying racial and ethnic discrimination in voting laws could possibly harm the state.”

“As an institution that ‘strives to foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for all students, employees, partners, and visitors,’ shouldn’t the university be pleased with our efforts to examine whether voting discrimination exists in Florida?”

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Florida Democrats believe in effective and efficient government that prioritizes quality education, affordable health care, and an economy in which anyone who works hard can succeed.

Most importantly, we believe that we are stronger together. We believe the fundamental American promise — that you can go as far as your own hard work will take you — should shine brightest in Florida.

That is why we champion the middle class and cherish the principle that all Floridians should have the opportunity to work hard and succeed. That is why we will never stop fighting for better public schools, because education is the surest path to a better life for millions.

From standing for affordable health care and better schools to fighting for civil rights and access to the ballot box, Florida Democrats are leading every day to move our state forward.

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