The sun shines just a bit brighter today in Florida for 515,000 citizens.
Chain Gang Charlie did the right thing.
Thursday, April 5, 2007, he and the Florida Cabinet, sitting as the Board of Executive Clemency, voted to restore civil rights, including voting rights, to non-violent felons who have served their sentences.
The only dissenting vote was cast by-and so aptly described by the Frog's buddy Blast Off-as
"I believe in appropriate punishment. I'm Chain Gang Charlie," said Crist, as McCollum shook his head. "I believe in justice. But punishment should never be confused with revenge. We should be able to find it in our hearts to forgive. Our Creator does."
I'm not certain about the Creator comment by our Democratic-acting Republican Governor, but the revenge statement works for the Frog.
The powerless in this state have been disenfranchised from their civil rights for way too long.
The return of the vote by those whose civil liberties have been impacted the most by the government, now truly walk the Road to Second Chance.
Those soon-to-be-the-former civilly stripped will find themselves with a voice and the vote. With that power in hand, legislators will have to face a very important and very personally effected-new voting block in a State with a nasty little habit of criminalizing and 'felonizing' under the CYA policy known as zero tolerance.
And AG Bill McCollum knows it....involved voters vote. No one is more involved than someone whose rights have been directly impacted by the state or federal government.
The Powerless have become the Powerful....and they usually vote Democrat.
I'd like to know more about the "automatic restoration" process but I'm with Vox Populi over at Tampa's Back Door Ways, who states, "Before I laud Governor Crist on this action, I'll have to know more. At least I call him Governor. That's more than JEBO666 ever got from me."
I believe the times-they are a'changin.