Republican Senator Blaise Ingoglia, from Spring Hill, has filed SB (Senate Bill) 1248, seeking to “cancel” the Democratic Party as a political institution for past bad acts. Ingoglia points to Democrats efforts over the recent past to “punish” the South in pushing for the removal of statues and memorials and renaming buildings named after Confederate supporters of slavery.
The bill does not mention the Democratic party by name. Instead it directs the Florida Division of Elections to “immediately cancel the filings of [any] political party, to include its registration and approved status as a political party, if the party’s platform has previously advocated for, or been in support of, slavery or involuntary servitude.” Roughly five million Florida voters would be immediately reclassified as having “no party affiliation.”
Nothing would prevent party leaders from re-organizing the party, but they would have to use a different name– effectively doing away with the “Florida Democratic Party.”
Former Democratic State Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith told reporters that “Republicans in Florida are so drunk with power that they are expanding their censorship agenda to even include abolishing the Democratic Party of Florida. If Floridians are not alarmed by what is coming out of Republican leadership in Tallahassee then they are not paying enough attention.”
The Florida Democratic Party responded to the filing of the bill by saying: “presenting a bill that would disenfranchise 5 million voters is both unconstitutional and unserious. . . . 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.”