Suppressing the vote is typically a charge aimed straight at the Republicans and any candidate…
Suppressing the vote is typically a charge aimed straight at the Republicans and any candidate that ever so slightly leans in that direction. Progressives, on the other hand, like to show themselves as the great accepter of all, a true party for the masses, which makes an allegation made this week against Team Biden odd, indeed.
According to reports from the Miami Herald, over 90 members of Biden’s own team have signed a letter that accuses the campaign of voter suppression among Hispanics in Florida.
Among other things, the chief complaint is that the campaign has left southern and central Florida without any Spanish speaking campaigners, thus leaving the Hispanic groups that reside there without a voice or recognition.
As the Herald says, “Over 90 field organizers for the Florida Democratic Party signed a scathing letter Friday to the party’s leadership, claiming among other things that the campaign is ‘suppressing the Hispanic vote’ in Central Florida.” Apparently, the allegations include “mistreatment of field organizers, relocating trained staff members without explanation, lack of organizing resources, and taking on volunteers who are then left in limbo.”
As the Herald explains, the biggest issue is the recent relocation of several Spanish-speaking organizers to Northern Florida, where Hispanic populations are rather small in comparison to the central and southern portions of the state. Specifically, the I-4 corridor, which is known to be densely populated by those of Puerto Rican descent, is mentioned.
The letter claims that “Four of five Spanish-speaking organizers along the I-4 corridor who were moved to North Florida were Puerto Rican.”
Now, this information is interesting not just because of what it claims has happened but also because of the specifics that it mentions.
You see, as I mentioned before, the I-4 corridor is indeed largely populated by Hispanics. And when I say largely, I mean it. Four or five Spanish-speaking campaigners would hardly be adequate for the task, which begs us to ask why Biden or anyone in his leadership team would have assigned such a measly number of Spanish-speaking organizers to the area.
And then to only move them to an area where Spanish is not a predominant language such as North Florida?
It makes no sense at all.
Furthermore, the region is not just difficult because of the language barrier. Among the Hispanic populations, there is also great diversity. While a vast majority of the population comes from Puerto Rico, there are also large numbers of those from other South American countries such as Venezuela and Cuba.
Even among those nationalities, there are differences. Take the Batista-Cuba migration and the Castro-Cuba migration, for example. They left for very different reasons and still today hold very different political beliefs.
Understanding those differences is key to understanding the region and holding sway over voters there. Yet another reason why the decision to pull not just Spanish-speaking operatives but Puerto Rican and Cuban ones is not a good one.
Now, one could easily claim that Biden isn’t exactly in his right mind these days, and so maybe he just doesn’t understand. However, it’s unlikely that those in leadership under him wouldn’t. Besides, it’s not like Biden himself is making staff relocation decisions himself.
It is this lack of sense that begs us to ask if these allegations are even true.
And as it turns out, they very well might not be.
According to the reports from the Hill, this might be less about “voter suppression” and more about negotiating for unions, as the campaign is unionized and the time to renegotiate contracts is up.
The outlet reports, “The organizers discontent comes amid negotiations between the Coordinated Campaign in Florida, the Democrats’ Florida campaign, and the field organizers’ union, IBEW Local 824, a Democratic official told the Hill.” And according to the Biden campaign, no relocations have been made of late due to these “ongoing discussions.”
In fact, according to the Hill, the Biden campaign’s Florida state director, Jacki Lee, no staff members within the state have been transferred in the past six weeks. In addition, Lee noted that the campaign has “an open-door policy” that allows campaigners to voice concerns whenever need be, making the need for such a letter nearly moot.
Not that his campaign has been known of their integrity and honor as of late.
Whatever the case, it isn’t a good look for Biden to be accused of voter suppression by more than just a few of his own. But, hey, that’s union life for you.