FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
MAY 24, 2022
Sarah Harris, firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Stand Up America’s President and Founder, Sean Eldridge, issued the following statement after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced his intention to run for president in 2024.
“Ron DeSantis wants voters to believe that he’s the respectable, more moderate alternative to Donald Trump, but his record shows that he is a danger to our freedoms and our democracy.
“For years, DeSantis has stripped away Floridians’ fundamental freedoms in an attempt to appeal to the most fringe elements of the Republican Party and advance his presidential ambitions. Last month, he led Florida Republicans in a new assault on democracy by targeting organizations that help people of color register to vote and granting his election police force even more power to harass citizens.
“From creating a modern day poll tax to signing Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, DeSantis has shown himself to be a political bully who is willing to sacrifice the well-being of the most vulnerable Americans to score political points. Americans deserve a president who will defend our democracy and our fundamental freedoms. Ron DeSantis’ record shows that he is not that leader.”
DESANTIS’ ABYSMAL RECORD ON DEMOCRACY AND VOTING RIGHTS
Ron DeSantis’ has a long record of undermining democracy and the freedom to vote:
- He was one of the first Republicans who suggested that state legislatures could select alternative slates of presidential electors to overturn Biden’s 2020 victory.
- He spread conspiracy theories about the election process in Georgia in 2020.
- He instituted a modern-day poll tax to block returning citizens from accessing the ballot even after Florida voters overwhelmingly approved rights restoration.
- He deployed an election police force to intimidate and harass voters–particularly voters of color–harkening back to Jim Crow voter suppression tactics that weaponized law enforcement against Black citizens attempting to vote.
- He threw his full support behind election-denying 2022 candidates, including Kari Lake and Blake Masters in Arizona, Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania, and Hershel Walker in Georgia.
- He redrew Florida’s congressional maps to advantage Republicans in the 2022 midterms, including by splitting up a Black-held district.
- He refused to admit Department of Justice election monitors to three Florida jurisdictions to ensure voters’ civil rights.
- He backed Trump’s claims that the press are “the enemy of the American people.”
- He signed anti-voter legislation that creates new barriers for community-based organizations that help register voters of color, makes it harder for Floridians to vote by mail, and expands the authority of his election police force.
Instead of focusing on the issues that matter most to Floridians, like the economy and health care, DeSantis has waged a culture war to appeal to Republican primary voters:
- DeSantis banned books with LGBTQ+ themes, protagonists of color, and about race and racism, including Nobel and Booker Prize winners.
- He signed the controversial “Don’t Say Gay” law prohibiting classroom discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity, which stigmatizes LGBTQ+ students and families.
- He banned AP African American Studies from being taught in public high schools.
- DeSantis barred transgender student athletes from participating in women’s and girls’ sports, and created an environment where high school students are forced to report their “sex at birth.”
- He directed the roundup of Venezuelan asylum seekers in Texas and sent them to Martha’s Vineyard under false pretenses on Florida taxpayers’ dime.
- He recently signed a 6-week abortion ban to replace the 12-week abortion ban he enacted last year.
- He waged a war against Disney, one of America’s most beloved brands, that cost Florida thousands of jobs.
- He signed a bill prohibiting public colleges and universities from spending on diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.
- He refused to expand Medicaid, making Florida just one of 10 states not to do so.
About Stand Up America
Stand Up America is a progressive advocacy organization with nearly two million community members across the country. Focused on grassroots advocacy to stand up to corruption and voter suppression and build a more representative democracy, Stand Up America has driven over 1.7 million calls to lawmakers, registered over 100,000 voters, mobilized thousands of protestors, and contacted tens of millions of voters.