Republican Sen. Blaise Ingoglia has introduced a bill in the Florida Senate that would require any existing political party that supported slavery in its official party platform to reregister under a new name.
The legislation, filed on Feb. 28, 2023, does not mention any party by name but it is obviously directed at the Democratic Party because of its long history of enshrining the right to own slaves as personal property in its platform during the 1800s.
The bill requires that the new name must be substantially different from the party’s existing name.
Voters Can Reregister
The Division of Elections must also provide notice of the party’s cancelation to every Floridian currently registered as a Democrat.
Under the terms of the bill, the voter’s designation as a Democrat would automatically be switched to “No Party Affiliation” and a simple procedure would be made available to the voter to reregister with the renamed party or any other active political party of his or her choice.
Officials of the canceled party would be able to continue in their positions in the renamed party.
A filing of reregistration must be submitted to the Division of Elections no later than six months before any election in which the political party seeking to reregister wants to nominate candidates for public office.
If passed by a simple majority vote of both houses of the legislature and signed by the governor, the law would take effect on July 1, 2023.
The Republican Party has comfortable majorities in the State Senate and House of Representatives.
The Florida Democratic Party was quick to respond to Ingoglia’s proposal with a statement ridiculing the idea saying, “Presenting a bill that would disenfranchise 5 million voters is both unconstitutional and unserious.”
In their statement, the Democrats called the proposal a “publicity stunt,” and urged Republican Governor Ron DeSantis and his party to concentrate their attention on “reforming property insurance, addressing housing affordability, and combating climate change.”
“The sooner DeSantis and his puppets in the legislature learn that Florida is a Democratic Republic and not a Banana Republic, the better off it will be for all Floridians,” they said.
In a press conference, the chairperson of the Florida Democratic Party, Nikki Freid, continued to zero in on DeSantis, describing the bill as the actions of a “dictator.”
Ingoglia, who was elected to the Florida State Senate in 2022 after serving eight years in the State House of Representatives, told reporters that he authored the legislation himself and doubted DeSantis was aware of its recent filing.
The Florida Legislature is presently not in session and won’t be until March 14.
In a press release, Ingoglia defended his bill as a fitting response to left-wing activists for their years of canceling individuals and businesses for things they have said and done in the past.
He said it was “hypocritical” for Democrats to be defacing and removing statues and renaming buildings that have any connection with slavery.
The hardball, hyper-partisan, atmosphere of Florida politics was further illustrated by recent online remarks by Chairman Chris Ziegler of the Republican Party of Florida.
Ziegler posted on social media, “I believe we need to keep every Democrat out of office until they stop pushing socialism, the defunding of the police, open borders, and targeting my children with indoctrination, woke concepts, and sexual content.”
The Governor’s Office did not respond to a request for comment by press time.