Opinion

Ashley Moody: Dismantling Democracy

How did we get here? How have we sunk so low that our Florida attorney general is connected to an open rebellion of a democratic election? The unfortunate answer is that we have been submerged since 2018. Since her election, Attorney General Ashley Moody has flaunted her ignorance of voters’ requests in Florida and has acted as an opportunist and careerist under Governor Ron DeSantis.

She is a step in the wrong direction, a further step from reality than even former Attorney General Pam Bondi. Moody is more brazen and more extreme in her subservience to the Republican Party’s bidding, specifically Donald Trump’s bidding. The bottom line: We knew who Moody was the moment she announced her candidacy.

We knew who Moody was and what she would be the moment she, along with the Florida Legislature and DeSantis, made horrifying changes to the mandate the Florida voters gave them to introduce felon voting reform. She supported creating a modern-day poll tax, which is offensive to both the rule of law and to Florida residents. After these laws were created, she provided “no guidance” on prosecuting or enforcing the new tax. Moody failed to do her job. Twice.

We knew who Moody was when she called for an investigation of Michael Bloomberg for paying off this poll tax. She invented this controversy instead of investigating why almost half of the Florida prison population is Black and why one in five Black Floridians cannot engage in democracy. She knew what she was doing, attempting to further restrict the Black vote and maybe prevent the Democrats a win in Florida, a win that could point to a future without Moody come 2022.

This brings us to the insurrection, which has stained the peaceful transition of power to President Joe Biden. Moody is complicit in this. The direct cause of these riots and the storming of the Capitol was not a political policy, it was not a cause for good. It was a power grab. This power grab has been in the works since the Republican Party realized they would lose in the early morning hours of Nov. 4. When Trump came to the stage, it was obvious to even the most politically apathetic that he would be working to use legal challenges to prevent his loss of power.

Moody decided that this challenge was worth the Florida voter’s time. Mind you, Moody joined a lawsuit filed against four other states, not the state that she represents or works for, which is another failure to do her job. These lawsuits only alleged that Democrat winners were cheating. The Republicans on the same ballot and counted by the same machine were not only not suspicious but would now act as co-conspirators against elected Democrats in the same states.

Moody is also a member of the Republican Attorneys General Association and was very proud of her appointment to the board of directors of the Rule of Law Defense Fund. Predictably, this board position seemingly vanished from most of her record. It should be noted that her association with the RLDF is still on her RAGA web-page, further implicating her in the actions of the attempted coup.

The RLDF encouraged supporters to attend the action at the Capitol. The violence did not achieve the intended goal of reversing a free and fair election, and thus Moody could no longer safely be tied to the attempted coup. She then, according to numerous sources, removed the reference on her state website.

Moody claims that she left RLDF a year ago, which if true, would not exonerate her. RLDF was always very clearly aimed to instill far-right Republicans into power no matter the cost. Much before the election, they were castigating liberals as “lawless” and throwing out dog whistles about mobs who would work to destroy communities. RAGA, through RLDF, funded robocalls to Americans to motivate turnout on the Jan. 6 insurrection.

As soon as this insurrection failed in the court of popular opinion, they immediately feigned innocence. Our ‘top cops’ operate outside of the bounds of their offices, out in the open, and then are surprised when they are caught. Former Democratic nominee Kim Mangone, D-CA., puts it best when she says, “A lot of Republicans are like arsonists pretending to be firefighters right now.”

Moody, as a member of the board of directors, has some part in this fire, whether she left last year or not. The sentiment, which helped fan the flames of insurrection, has been in the works for over four years and now it has failed and been condemned almost universally.

Moody is a dangerous careerist; she has failed to do her job numerous times. She will work to subvert and damage our democracy out in the open until she leaves office. When she is caught doing so, she will deny it, and the Trump establishment will look the other way, aiding and abetting her delinquency.

She is not working for the citizens but rather her own political alliances. She is not an ally of the Florida citizenry. Rather she is a self-identified Trump loyalist, and like Trump, should be removed by the voters. It is a tragic day when an open enemy of democracy could serve as a representative of the rule of law in that democracy.

Featured image: Florida’s Attorney General Ashley Moody. Public record image.

Check out other recent articles from the Florida Political Review here.      

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