Florida’s attorney general asked law enforcement officials on Wednesday to investigate recent fundraising efforts by billionaire and former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg to pay off court fees and other fines so people with felony convictions can vote. The same effort has been championed by high profile figures, including the NBA megastar LeBron James.
The basis for an investigation was not immediately clear, but it came a day after Bloomberg announced he had raised $16m for the effort. The Republican attorney general, Ashley Moody, said she began reviewing the matter at the request of Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, also a Republican. Her letter, addressed to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the FBI, includes a Washington Post article that frames the $16m haul in the context of Bloomberg’s efforts to boost Joe Biden in the state. She also included several state and federal statutes making it clear that someone cannot pay someone for their vote.
“After preliminarily reviewing this limited public information and law, it appears further investigation is warranted. Accordingly, I request that your agencies further investigate this matter and take appropriate steps as merited,” she said in the brief letter.