The effort by billionaire Michael Bloomberg to pay the fines of convicted felons so they would be eligible to vote appeared to go "well beyond an altruistic donation," according to Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody on Newsmax TV on Thursday.
Moody told "Stinchfield" the reporting of the former New York City's mayor's scheme resulted in raised eyebrows and eventually a referral to the FBI and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement – a statewide investigative agency – for a closer look.
"Well, I think the reaction in Florida was . . . this went well beyond an altruistic donation to try to help people," Moody said. "This was targeting a particular segment of folks to give over something of value for a vote. After doing a preliminary review of the law at the request of our governor here in Florida, we felt it best to refer it on for further investigation."
Bloomberg's efforts to pay the fines, fees, and penalties of felons to restore their voting rights comes after a federal appellate court ruled the Florida legislature's requirement of "all terms" of a convicted individual's sentences included fines and fees.
Moody said Florida voting law indicates one cannot provide "something of value" or single out a specific group.
"In addition to the law, we attached some opinions previously that talked about that, if you're targeting a particular group and handing over something of value to influence that vote, that may be a problem that goes against Florida law," she said.
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