Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz called for an investigation Tuesday into former democratic presidential candidate and billionaire Mike Bloomberg for allegedly paying off outstanding debts of convicted felons in exchange for votes.
“I will be calling the Florida attorney general to launch an investigation into Mike Bloomberg for potentially engaging in bribery and vote buying in the state of Florida,” the congressman said in an interview with Fox’s Lou Dobbs.
#BREAKING: I’m calling on the Florida Attorney General to launch an investigation into @MikeBloomberg for potentially engaging in bribery and vote buying in the state of Florida. pic.twitter.com/2pAjZlAwSh
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) September 22, 2020
Bloomberg had already committed $100 million to help Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden win the state and has raised approximately $16 million to help pay court fines and fees of nearly 32,000 Black and Hispanic convicted felons unable to vote due to outstanding restitution fees, according to Fox News.
In Florida convicted felons may only vote if all of their court costs, fines and fees are paid off.
An anonymous Bloomberg adviser told The Washington Post Bloomberg had two motives for paying the fines.
“One, because it’s the right thing to do for the democracy. And two, because it immediately activates tens of thousands of voters who are predisposed to vote for Joe Biden.”
A memo showed Bloomberg targeted 31,790 voters, 25,548 who are black, according to The Washington Post.
“We know to win Florida we will need to persuade, motivate and add new votes to the Biden column,” the memo read, per the report. “This means we need to explore all avenues for finding the needed votes when so many votes are already determined.”
The group Bloomberg is working with, The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, is a non-partisan group. Desmond Meade, the president of the group, said they do not share the same partisan goals as Bloomberg, according to The Washington Post. (RELATED: ELECTION DISSECTION: It’s Not Just Hispanics – Former Florida Rep. Explains Why Trump Is Edging Out Biden In His Home State)
“Different people may give for different reasons, but we are in this for one reason, and that reason is to place people over politics,” Meade said, per the report. “We are concerned with people from all walks of life, from all sorts of politics.”
Gaetz said Bloomberg’s actions could amount to bribery.
“Mike Bloomberg … is creating a politically motivated way to retire the debts of these felons in exchange for their votes and it’s not every felon. It’s just those which they’ve specifically identified as the Biden voters.”
Gaetz called Bloomberg’s actions “probably the worst waste of money” in the interview.
The Daily Caller reached out to Rep. Gaetz for comment but did not receive a response at the time of publication.