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The Politics of Bigotry: John Ward is Unfit to Serve in Congress and Must Go

June 4, 2018 - 11:00am

When people tell you who they are, believe them.

Recently, video surfaced of congressional candidate John Ward telling us exactly who he is.

"Puerto Ricans shouldn't be allowed to register to vote in Florida,” he confidently told the crowd at a campaign event.

These comments, suggesting that certain American citizens shouldn’t be allowed to vote in Florida, caused an uproar both in Florida and nationally. While Floridians are making tremendous efforts to welcome our fellow citizens to the Sunshine State, John Ward is working overtime to strip them of their right to vote. Incendiary talk like this is meant to score cheap political points and leaders on both sides of the isle are standing up for our fellow Americans by denouncing this clown.

John Ward’s bigotry toward certain American citizens with a different accent and skin color than his own does not represent the values of hardworking Floridians of either political party, or the people living in Congressional District 6. He stands alone in his call to prevent these Americans from voting this year, receiving harsh rebukes last week from Governor Rick Scott, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and Congressman Ron DeSantis, among numerous other conservative Republican leaders across the state.

When a second video surfaced, Ward doubled down and took his loathing of these American citizens to a whole new level: "We should be looking to put the Puerto Ricans back in their homes.” Anyone who believes American citizens living in Florida should not be allowed to vote and the priority of our government should be to send these citizens “back in their homes” is unfit to serve Florida in Congress. Period. 

John Ward is part of the hypocritical elitist class in America, earning his degree from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and self reportedly a multi-millionaire, which makes his blatant bigotry all the more disgusting. He knows exactly what he’s saying. He didn’t misspeak, and he wasn't taken out of context. The irony appears to be lost on John Ward, a Massachusetts carpetbagger who doesn’t even live in the district he is attempting to represent in Congress, in trying to prevent American citizen from voting merely because they didn’t begin the election cycle living in Florida.

As his high-priced campaign consultants move to deflect from his words and control the damage to his candidacy, don’t let them fool you. His words have already shown us that he believes in his heart that certain American citizens are second class. 

John Ward is telling us who he is, and we should believe him. It’s time for him to withdraw his candidacy. 

 

Julio Fuentes is the president and CEO of the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 

Comments

Puerto Rico is a US territory, and Puerto Ricans are US citizens. They do NOT have dual citizenship, as Puerto Rico is neither a federal state nor has constitutional status that could provide a national citizenship to its population. On the Island, Puerto Ricans do not pay personal federal income tax, but they do pay personal income tax to the Puerto Rican commonwealth that equate to the federal rates we pay here. When Puerto Ricans move to the US Mainland, they may establish residency in Florida, simply by getting local employment or signing a lease, establishing a local utility bill and eventually obtaining a Florida driver's license. That's it. That is true for all US citizens wishing to establish residency in most US states. I understand that arrival of 800,000 Puerto Ricans to the state of Florida may have political and economic consequences to the state; however, Puerto Ricans have been arriving in the hundreds of thousands to the US Mainland for decades in New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and since the 1980s by the thousands to the Orlando area (and other hamlets in central Florida). They already vote in US elections, and once established, they usually stay. So why this ridiculous debate?

The racism, ignorance and bigotry on this blog is amazingly large. But then the Repub party has been using it for 5 decades now, the Southern Strategy playing up to racist and spewing bigotry, …………………….. Of course the biggest result of pandering to these scared pitiful lowlifes is Trump himself...………………….. Ironic the fear, racism the repubs have promoted to gain power so they could make so much corporate welfare and drive down wages has taken over the party. shrinking it greatly as the decent people leave the party...…... See you in November. ;^)

Ward will reap what he sows...

Julio is a horse's a$$. NO vote in FLORIDA RESIDENT elections, unless these Americans meet Florida residency. Many of them will return to PR - many will not. Residency is the teeter-totter.

The simple question is ... are these previous citizens and residents of Puerto Rico now in Florida permanently? If they've fulfilled the requirements of 'Florida residency' ... they should obviously be given the right to vote. It's shameful how the Trump administration and the rest of America in general have essentially ignored Puerto Rico after last fall's devastating hurricanes ... and given the existing situation there nine months later ... it's pretty safe to assume that those residents of the island who have migrated to Florida are now in this state permanently.

Ikia, there is no residency requirement for Puerto Ricans to register/vote in Florida, just as there is no residency requirement for people moving here from Alabama because they are US citizens both when they lived in PR and when they move to the mainland.

US citizens can be residents in only ONE state so if they move they give up residency in the state from which they moved. Puerto Rico is a territory and not a state. Puerto Ricans are US citizens so presumably they can become Florida residents and start paying Federal income taxes and vote. But if they do not become legal residents of a US state they should not vote - that is not bigotry it is the law.

A "harsh rebuke" from top tier Florida Republicans to a low level Republican, but not a peep when the Bigot In Chief holds rallies where he deliberately stirs folks up by appealing to their worst instincts. Oh, how bout the pardon for Dinesh D'Souza, a racist even Florida Republicans have shied away from? What is it about the GOP that attracts these people? It's exactly what you think!

The "Bigot-In-Chief" ONLY "peeps" in his own self-interest ... as all narcissists would be expected to do. if it ain't about him, his money, or his off-the-wall ego ... he ain't interested!

So should snow birds from the north east be allowed to register to vote in Florida,? How about families visiting Disney; should there be a voter registration booth set up on the Disney grounds? The point about registering guest from the PR is not racist unless you want to make it racists, which reveals the true prejudice. As a Floridian for 50 years and active in my state and community at all levels, I too believe wholeheartedly that registering visitors (still citizens) to vote to turn an election, is wrong. It is a misuse of the laws for residents, not passers through. You are representing you base, but on this issue try to think like a Floridian.

Sean, it isn't your place to determine if people are voting simply to turn an election, or if Puerto Ricans, who are US citizens, are 'misusing' FLA law. Suggest you call your local Supervisor of Elections if you have concerns..................Puerto Ricans have dual citizenship, being both Puerto Rican citizens and US citizens, although US constitutional rights don't apply until they reach US soil. Google it - US citizenship was conveyed on Puerto Ricans in 1917 under the Jones–Shafroth Act. BTW, they were not asked if they wanted to be citizens of the US.

Dah, As US citizens they should know,as you should, that you cannot be a legal resident of two states at the same time. and to that end I feel that you should only vote where you reside ( permanently) lest you tilt the scales when the results do not apply to you.

PLENTY of those snowbirds have fulfilled the requirements of establishing Florida residency ... and they get to vote here ... and they get the benefits of the homestead exemption ... and they take advantage of the fact that there's no state income tax in Florida! If the snowbirds can do these things ... so can Puerto Ricans displaced by Hurricane Irma ... even if they do go back to Puerto Rico periodically to help out or to attend to personal affairs there.

Puerto Ricans don't pay federal income tax. Are you aware of that? That trumps state income tax any day of the week! Are they returning to retain that priviledge or to help out? If they own property and reside here for a majority of the year like the snowbirds who are only back home from March to October, then they should be able to register. They are actually residents who are NOT getting public assistance but rather contribute positively to Florida's economy! So don't dis the SNOWBIRDS! In order to vote in Florida elections they should adhere to the rules of residency and other requirements.

The Commonwealth government has its own tax laws and Puerto Ricans are also required to pay some US federal taxes, although most residents do not have to pay the federal personal income tax. In 2009, Puerto Rico paid $3.742 billion into the US Treasury

Sean, You're right. Maybe when my cruise ship pulls into San Juan I be allowed to vote in Puerto Rico. You think? Al

Al, considering the lingering destruction from 'Marie' I would cancel that cruise to Puerto Rico. Just sayin'.

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