I never really harbored distaste for Charlie Crist. The fact that he failed the bar three times actually endears him to me (I never failed one, but some of my best and smartest friends have). It’s also nice to have a bachelor in the governor’s mansion — cuts down on the hypocritical “family values” rhetoric.
But Gov. Crist has truly impressed me this time. He bucked the party line, and has supported returning ex-felons to the voter rolls. Charlie Crist has, so far, been everything his buffoon of a predecessor was not. Crist appears, thus far, to be a thoughtful, thinking, practical Conservative, who seems to have a genuine respect for the Constitution. Could it be that conservativism is coming back, and neo-conservativism is on the decline?
The revocation of rights laws were passed in 1968, as this state (along with its former confederate bretheren) struggled to keep the black vote suppressed. It was wrong to impose a blanket revocation of the rights of citizenship to those who have paid their price, and the system was so rife with error (and fraud) that rights were denied to many more than the law targeted.
Crist’s plan still keeps murderers and sexual predators in a disfavored category, and I think that even the most madcap liberal activist could live with that – especially since even those worst of the worst can still get their rights back by using the old, slow, difficult procedures. Under Crist’s plan, all other felons get their rights back if they pay any court-ordered restitution. This is not only completely fair, but it gives former felons a strong incentive to take that all-too-ignored leap back into society.
Nice work Charlie. Think for yourself. Respect the Constitution.