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Whats the Deal With Florida? (Episode 22)
I'm Lee Roland, welcome to at liberty the podcast where we discussed today's most important civil rights and civil liberties topics today, what's the deal with Florida? Florida. It's the third most populous state the nation's fourth largest economy and the earliest European settlement in the continental United States. It also seems to perpetually exist at the epicenter of the national conversation and new cycle. Our guest today. Howard. Simon has had a front row seat to the Florida show as the sale of Florida's longtime executive director after twenty one years in the sunshine state and another two plus decades at the ACLU of Michigan before that Howard is the sale use longest serving state director. He's retiring this month on the heels of yet, another eventful election in the state of Florida and despite having left damn near half a century ago. Howard, still proudly sports and unmistakable New York accent, which you are about to hear Howard. Welcome to the show were delighted to have you here today to discuss. What makes Florida tech? Are. You believe always pleasant. To speak with you. So I want to just ask you first for your reaction to this recent election in Florida. What do you make of what we saw in the midterms while it was this being Florida? Of course, it's puzzling. Very very very insane. People on the same Florida is several different states squeezed together within one boundary lines. I mean, we got the old sows in the mid west and retirees and the refugees from peyote politics economy and central and South America and northeastern retirees and so many different states quiz together. And it makes for a very very hustling state, one of the things I was puzzling is we may have had a Republican governor elected, and they Republican Senator elected those votes were virtually fifty fifty at the same time about sixty five percents of the voters voted for a constitutional amendment that we have worked on for years and years and years to end the system of lifetime fell. Just Mun so way more people voted for the constitutional amendment to restore the rights of haute, then voted for the candidates who were the champions of the restriction on the rights of the real story here. I think is Florida is just such an ideologically divided and polarized state. It's virtually fifty fifty one of the comedians quipped that if there was a measure on the ballot in Florida between a free scoop of chocolate ice cream and a kicking the head the chocolate ice cream. Free scoop may win by about fifty point one to forty nine point nine. So okay, I buy that. How the hell did the ballot initiative restoring voting rights to people with only convictions get sixty five in that environment? What what are your thoughts about how that resonated? With two-thirds of the electorate. Well, I feel really good about that. Obviously I've worked on this issue for urine Florida for eighteen years since the disputed two thousand election, and I think the real reason is that we would not have won without conservative votes. How the Asli and we got those conservative votes by making this campaign only around a single moral issue the issue of second chances, and because it was restricted to that we weren't supported by the Christian Coalition coke brothers freedom or the conference of Catholic bishops. This was the broadest coalition coming to support any measure that I can recall in history. Do you think there is a lesson there or hope on the horizon for other criminal Justice issues or even beyond that? It really focused on this kind of message of moral clarity. Oh, yeah. There is a lesson. Here. There's a lesson about finding a message that appeals across the board and have the discipline to stick to it. And so that you don't Haley eight allies who you really need. I mean in Florida as I said, the Republican governor ran for the US Senate. He was the champion of the atrocious status quo that led to the lifetime voting banned for maybe one point five million people. He got about fifty percents of the vote, but the number of people who voted to reform that system, essentially, repudiating what the governor is responsible. For was sixty five percent of the electorate can only win by a broad base. Cross the aisle ideological coalition. And then I think is a message in here. What comes next Howard? Are there concerns about how state officials are going to actually apply this constitutional amendment now that the voters passed it will? That's a really good question. I mean, it was not twenty four hours until the next controversy. Saw the next controversy was about whether the legislature was going to try to insert itself. Whether state officials the secretary of state that the vision of elections any public official directory is so here's the problem. The problem is that state leaders namely twenty years of of conservative governors and twenty years of a legislature hostile. So the extension of voting rights have opposed this measure, but the measure was written. And I was on a committee of three people that spent a year and a half crafting this language. The measure was written to be about as self ex. Executing as possible. It does not need. In fact, it is intended to it's fluid any role for the legislature any role state officials people who have a felony conviction, and who have completed all the terms of this ends on January eighth when those new measure goes into effect should be able to go down to this provider of elections and affirm that their rights have been restored because on Tuesday election dates thousand eighteen rights worries toward now that's all physician hunt show, the legislature will push back, and we'll see how that unfolds and that may now move from the electoral arena to the legislative arena to maybe Altima leave a cost assuming that this does result and Rian franchise -ment of a significant number of people up to the one point four million eligible. How do you think that's going to? Change the nature of elections going forward in Florida. I do think this is a France fomative things in Florida. It will change Florida forever. The system of lifetime felon does franchise Mun which has been invented in our constitution for hundred and fifty years. It's embedded in the constitutions was enforce states. Now, just three, but I o of Kentucky Virginia and Florida. But no longer in Florida. It is going to transform her state. Exactly how it will transform us. They I wanna say nobody really knows because nobody really knows what the political leanings are of the one point four million. Who may be refrige- is if you read the newspapers, you noticed Florida has close elections if only ten percent, I think. Live in America. You know, learn and rice. It's just ten percent of the people who are newly refranchising decide the petition bait in democratic elections. That's one hundred forty thousand new voters, but I think it'll be much larger than that. But nobody knows what the political leanings are anybody? Who does I think is pretending? I do think it'll play a role cod. I hope it'll play a role in the next general election, which is two thousand twenty so to say that they're close elections in Florida is probably a comical understatement. As we're sitting here talking both the races for US Senate, and Florida governor are still being tabulated. I've seen many ellegation in the media that elections are not running as they should right either. Because of ballot design easer because of manual counting problems. And and the sound so familiar spit, especially for those of us who are alive and paying attention in two thousand. Thousand this is a very similar refrain are Florida elections fundamentally administered in a dysfunctional manner. Or is it only because it's so close every time in the nation's always watching that we kind of get a view of how the sausage is being made in the days after elections has Florida changed at all since the two thousand buckle. Yes. Oh my God. It has this much say about this. First of all number one. You have to factor in there. Maybe a good deal of incompetence, you reference that ready, but you also have to reference the fact that some of this is normal and not the fault of election ministers. Meaning by that that when people voted provisional ballot or when peoples mail in ballot has a signature problem. Those have to go to a what's called the board of canvassers county by county, and they have to make a individualized judgment about whether every ballot counts that's part of the system that that's part of the law. I have to say that this is exposed because the elections in Florida also close because the population and Florida's audio logically divided. I would bet you if used Francis surface in any state that are going to be problems in election administration problems in election administration are. -sposed when you have very close elections. I do want to say this as bad as it may sound now it has gotten so much better. I think in the two thousand eight election was the first time that everybody far voted using the same technology that two thousand election was done by the flawed punchcards system in that hanging chads that was replaced by the papal as ATM type machines in which recount is impossible. And we went to the legislature after so many problems with the papal as ATM machines that we got the legislature and the governor to fund the transition to what is a kind of paper based fill in the bubble obstacles scan readers system. So there are far fewer pry, this may sound a believe, but far fewer problems with Florida election. Fans now than there were many years ago. Well, I suspect we could fill up the entire podcast easily talking about dysfunction in spectacle of Florida elections. But you had such a kind of rich view of far more than just elections in your time at the CEO, we've mentioned Bush v gore that was obviously a gang busters case that riveted the nation. But it's by no means the only standout you guys had the high profile right to die case involving Terry. Chevaux the Elian Gonzales case precursor family separation. You know, the onion has a recurring character named Florida man to embody I think one of the most ridiculous political stories about America and America's particular dysfunction. It feels to me that Florida has an above average percentage of the American news cycle. Does it feel like that there too? Oh my God. Yes. So many journalists have written books about collecting all the. Crazy stories of Florida that yes, there are many of them, which means that the fight for civil rights and civil liberties is just essentially are because there is so much a crazy stuff, you know, phone governor, Jeb Bush, outrageously using the machinery of government to sustain someone on officially against her wishes as was shown by the court, and it's recyclable case that you mentioned can you tell folks a little bit about that case. It's been a while. Now, we may have listeners who who don't know who Terry chevaux as tell us about her kinda of straffic accident collapsed essentially was in a vegetative state for years. There was a family dispute basically between the brother and the husband and parents and after six years litigation six years, a conservative Republican that as judge in. In the Saint Peter's very area, the Termine from her express statements that she would not have wanted to be sustained heart officially, and they persistent vegetative state and allowed for the machinery to be was drawn and allow hearts of die peacefully at that point governor, Jeb Bush exercising. I think what is some combination of political and religious ideology got a thority from both the Florida state legislature and the United States Congress and his brother was then President George Bush to use the machinery of government to essentially sees her and insert a feeding to then I mean, it is a say at horrible tragic story. The autopsy wholesomely revealed that she had been brain dead for quite some time. This was just maybe the worst abuse of governmental power, I can read. Call but look at that's a sad saga. There are a lot of things to celebrate here in Florida. We were I think the last state that have a ban on dump Sion's by the wise qualified lesbians and Damon. We ended that we ended the ban on same sex marriage. Six months before the US supreme court recognized that as a right of people nationwide. I think might be surprised to hear that Florida was the last state to maintain a ban on adoption by same sex. Couples will Florida was where political homophobia begin it began in the nineteen. Seventies with Anita. Bryant the orange juice clean in the late nineteen seventies. I think it was nineteen seventy seven maybe the Miami Dade County commission was one of the first jurisdictions to enact a comprehensive human rights or. Thence extending civil rights protections to the LGBTQ community, Anita. Bryant led a movement to overturn that by referendum went to the legislature and got the legislature to impose a ban on dons. And it's more than twenty years. So overturn the the Miami Dade board of county. Commissioners to reenact the oven Rights Ordinance, and it's what the ACLU about five lawsuits and eight years of litigation so overturned the adoption ban. I would never have guessed that Florida was the place we can pinpoint kind of the birthplace of political homophobia. Where does the state sit generally on other social Justice issues? Well, it's it's firmly up for grass forty nine point nine to fifty one. Know what I mean by that is we have a strong state constitution where one of about. I think dozen states that have a separate free. Standing constitutional right of privacy. That privacy was written and drafted by state Senator who was of an Fulmer ACLU board number, and it was adopted by the people in nineteen eighty and that right of privacy has been used by us for ears decades to strike down restrictions on women's access to abortion. We have a strong separation of church and state clause. Maybe about thirty six days have this about prohibiting monies for searches and sectarian is the Sion's. And the Florida Supreme Court has been the one institution that has been a bulwark. Against inference by governors and their first by the legislature to essentially ignore the right of privacy and the state requirement of separation church and state. Whoever is the new governor will be appointing three new members of a Florida Supreme Court, which is going to change the Florida Supreme Court, and maybe changed maybe change the understanding of Florida constitutional issues for generation. That's why I say we're in the camp of totally up for grabs. What about immigration? I seen some studies that indicated in this past midterm election that immigration was ranked as a number one or number two issue for a majority of Floridians, but I presume that immigration feels a little different in Florida. How do people think about immigration given Florida's complex makeup? And you know, how have you heard people respond to the immigration debate Larr? Slee centering on wall across the southern border. Well, I have to tell you all honesty. It depends on where Iran's getting that question. If you're asking that question in north Florida. I think those been a lot of exploitation of this fear of immigrants coming take our jobs, and we do our wages and things like that. If you're talking central Florida, you know, the businesses are dependent upon immigrants. If you're talking about south, Florida, especially Miami Dade County with so many people Abormals for many of them are born in other countries, an interesting political battle within the Florida Republican party because when the Florida public embody tries to repeat some of the hateful things of about immigrants and Gration that come out of this White House, this some resistance to it in south, Florida. So we have not been one of those states that. Have passed really horrible anti immigrant so laws mainly because of the resistance to that by the south, Florida and Miami Republican caucus and all legislature. There's another moment from two thousand that feels really current in. This moment that involved the separation of an immigrant child from his parent. Can you tell us a little bit about who Elian Gonzalez is and what happened to him in Florida while that was a worldwide story to that that happened here found so many of them have thousands of immigrants from Cuba respell lines, and, you know, a mall abodes with an overturned and killed in this rates of Florida, and so on, and that's what happened to Elian Gonzales says mother, and he was found by people out fishing, and he was in an inner tube. And he had relatives in Miami. He was put in Bova supposed to be the temporary care of his Miami relatives 'cause he had a father back in Cuba. And this was all symbolism about whether he was going to be returned to his father, which many of the Cuban community here in Miami saw has victory for Castro or whether you would stay in Miami. And would be victory for the exile community. Ultimately because they relatives refused to surrender him the attorney general than general no had to essentially rate at the house of the relatives. And sees the trials and reunite Elian Gonzalez, his father who than so came back to their home in tuba did the take any position or planning role in that case. Yes, we did desisting the. Saliou? I wanna say with a great amount of pride that we came down squarely on both sides. Let me say what I what I mean. By that. The first issue is doesn't unaccompanied minor have access to the courts, so Seco Silom that was illegal issue that was in the federal courts the attorneys for the family argued that way. Don't quickly return him to his father and send the back that you. This is an unaccompanied minor company. Minor should have access to the federal courts in order to be able or with with help and someone on his behalf Sika Silom in this country. And we argued that of course on the company minors should be able to cert- asylum. But once the asserts asylum, the issue is though the rights of parents intervene, and there was no evidence whatsoever. That this father was a bad father. They did not abandon him than not abuse him and should not. Be deprived of his right to his child. So yes, the child should have access to the core. But the father should be reunited with the trial. Because there was no evidence of abuse abandonment on the thoughts that we we came down squarely on both sides. What was that public reaction? At least in Florida about what should happen to this little boy Eliane and d think now in retrospect, they were any omens or echoes of our current family separation crisis. Well, I wanna say I think the Elian Gonzales saga changed Florida in many ways, I am the last persons try to pretend to speak for the Cuban American community in Miami. So I am please. I'm not doing that. But I do know that the major organization for representing the exile community, Miami the American National Foundation. Shen essentially imploded after the leeann Gonzales case because they came to realize from the polls that the overwhelming majority of non Cuban community, the black community the non who've been Hispanic community overwhelmingly thought that the child should be reunited with his father and the Cuban community in polling showed that Elian Gonzales should be allowed to stay in this country and essentially separated from his father this came as shock waves. I think that the Cuban American community here in my AMI, and they realized how how touched they were with the rest of the community and the rest of the country and that organization went into several years of rethinking. And your question is interesting, and I have to confess, I don't know the answer. And I was love to know the answers to whether or not it. It reverberated with the Trump cruel and mean trials separation policy that is going on right now. How would you describe Florida as a bunch of states, mashed together, I'm paraphrasing? I hope that's pretty fair. Yes. I think that's true. There's no way in the world to be one St. right? I mean, hey, it's a goal state and eastern seaboard state there. No other states that do that. Right. It's actually tied with Ohio as the state that has most frequently matched the national pick for president at least since the beginning. Twentieth century since folks started keeping these stats, and then I think Florida's don't for president has differed only twice from the national pick since nineteen twenty eight. That's a pretty good run. Do you think of Florida as a bellwether predictor of how the rest of the country is going? I think you make a very good point because Florida's Awadhi lines polarized and the country so audio allegedly polarized. But Florida I think is many respects the face of the emerging America, especially Miami. It is it is. Such a diverse stay that may be the most of her state. I think so Florida may be competing with Los Angeles. Not even New York has maybe the most diverse area of of the country. It is the face of the emerging America. And in that respects, Florida does reflect I think the rest of the country. Howard. You are retiring after your twenty years of service to the CEO Florida is there. I mean if I can step in. Twenty one years in Florida and twenty three years prior to that has executive director of the ACLU of Michigan Michigan because I actually want to ask you you spent twenty plus years leading the in both states. How would you compare those gigs? Do civil liberties look the same in Michigan and Florida I realized they were in different time periods to so I don't mean to compare apples and oranges. But what would be your main takeaway doing civil liberties advocacy in those two jobs Michigan? You know, like a lot of the upper midwest Wisconsin in soda, you know, they come out of the progressive tradition. The labor union for dishing the ACLU actually Michigan grew out of the UAW. And so they are some deep progressive roots there in the labor union, Florida is a new state. It's an invented state you walk around Florida. And it's fine. People who are born in Florida. And Florida is like a newly emerging state without that kind of history. And it is a far more conservative say you go north of Orlando, and you are back into the deep south. I know Michigan has rural areas that are pretty conservative. But there is no part of Michigan. That is the remnants of the of the south, you know. You know, let's take what we thought it talking about on restoration of owning rights. I don't think it would have been contemplated in Michigan that people would be blocked for voting for the rest of that lives, Florida was a confederate state and Florida had a figure out how to rob the freed slaves of any political power. There's significant differences between Florida and Michigan is there. A standout career highlights for you. Oh, my God is so much just saving the right of privacy by one vote in the constitution revision commission. That means only every twenty years that happened this spring, I think constitutional Brigadier it only meets every twenty years every twenty years constitution revision commission meets and they have the power to place constitutional amendments directly on the ballot. There was a proposal to essentially radically shrink the right of. Privacy. And that proposal lost by one vote on my I was so shocked and elated at the same time. But I'm lucky because the very last thing I worked on maybe changing Florida forever by ending the system of lifetime felon just franchise van and restoring the rights of haute firs, many as one point four million people are you looking for to most in your retirement Howard, figuring out how to stay as politically active as I can the monk proce- around the world and here in the United States is onto defensive this scapegoating of immigrants. I mean, this wasn't dreamt up by our president. He took a page out of the playbook from European politicians where it's working in, Hungary, and Poland and Italy and places like that democratic values are on the defensive. And I'm gonna try to figure out a way to be politically active as I can't be to defend the values of the mock Racine that brought me to the Hugh maybe fifty years ago suspiciously. Unlike retirement Howard, but I suspect that the people have are lucky for your view of for tire -ment. Thank you so much for joining us today. Howard and giving us your your bird's eye view of life in Florida. Thank you so much. Appreciate it. Thanks for listening to add liberty Bahir to subscribe wherever you listen to your podcasts. And if he can write a review we love to hear your feedback.
Aired Last month 46:33
#EERS S8 Ep29: Emergency!!
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This is Atlanta's evening news on WSB, light rain in the area drizzly, particularly south of the city in the north of the city right inside the metro area. There's some light drizzle and sprinkling out there and nothing major the phone number here. Four zero four eight seven two zero seven five zero one eight hundred WSB talk. The Atlanta Journal running a story today following up other David Rolston story that there really hasn't been much blowback on David Ralston this legislature. In fact, you guys are getting a sense of this. If you wanna call your state Representative and find out where they stand on David Ralston for those you not familiar with story. The JC has really devastating piece on Roulston. This is the third scandal of his tenure as speaker of the house. Let's not forget that the state bar complained in other things that also has largely swept under the rug. And now we have. This. He's been a basically allowing criminals to hire him. And then they paint him up upwards of twenty thousand dollars to hire him, and he uses his credentials as speaker of the house to ensure that their case never goes to trial. The speaker of the house in Georgia is allowed as many continuances. He wants to say I can't be there. So if you're a lawyer in the state legislature, you're allowed continuances while the legislatures convenient even though the legislature only meets for forty days Rolston continues to take convenience continuances. And in some cases has had cases go on for years. A one person. Victim. She was raped when she was fourteen years old by pastor her. Parents let stay at her home. The pastor is out weighed awaiting trial paid Roulston money to be his lawyer. And this is five years ago. These still hasn't come to trial because Roulston keeps getting the case continued another person is repeatedly beaten a series of girlfriends and admits on the record he paid David Ralston twenty thousand dollars and Ralston had the case ensure that it never goes to trial. And that's why he paid Roulston. It's amazing. And when you consider the rush of Republicans in the state to try to pass the equal rights amendment because they wanted to suck up to the suburbs. You would think that the suburban voters in Georgia would be outraged by the speaker of the house of representatives in Georgia allowing sex predators and child molesters to never have to stand trial by using and abusing his power as speaker to make sure they never go to trial. I it just seems like every member of the state house representatives should be held to account for this. Because they are the ones who made David Rawson speaker, particularly the Republicans. They are the ones who put David Ralston there. You would think that Jan Jones from up in Milton would be taking action on this would be speaking out on this. She is one of the ones who is deeply concerned about the suburbs. She had a tougher race than she expected to get reelected in. And there's no public statement here. Now, I'm told that there may be something happening behind the scenes, but actually the Democrats are telling me they're going to make the Republicans on this. They're not doing anything. We had one person Email in said they reached out to their state Representative who's Mary Margaret Oliver and the staff they did not talk to the Representative directly talk to the staff. Staff said that all of her and the Roulston have a friendly relationship, which is not prepared to take issue here and would have to talk to him. We had another person reached out to Kevin Tanner. Kevin Tanner is a state Representative. Give we're is Kevin hundred from Dawson Ville district nine Kevin Tanner told this person that he doesn't believe everything he reads in the newspaper and would have to talk to Roulston that that seems to be where it is. Pam Stevenson, also someone reach out her office. Pam Stevenson state Representative from the Decatur area. Also, we gotta talk to Roulston everybody. We gotta talk to Rawson. We gotta talk to Roulston this situation. Is it going to get any better? And what I would like to encourage you all to do her listening right now is text the word speaker two three four five three four five. I will send you back a link. And if you click the link all you have to do is put in your cell phone number and push the button, and I will connect you to your state representatives office. We're not gonna do emails. We're not gonna do tweets. We're not gonna do Facebook messages. This is something you need. To pick up the phone and deal with it you need to call your state Representative and find out and then report back, and we're going to keep a list are they willing to stand behind speaker who's helping keep child molesters out of jail. If they are. I think every single person who listens needs to know that these state representatives are willing to stand behind demand who's helping keep child molesters from ever having to see Justice. And if they're not I think they need to be commended here's the problem, though, is that the speaker has the power to punish people. So if the Republicans are willing to hang onto David Roulston, then they need to also be held accountable by the voters because if Republicans are so busy and focused on acquiring power. Then perhaps they need to lose power. Now, it pains me to say that because I don't want the Democrats to take over. But I won't all of you have children right now to understand the situation. The speaker of the house of representatives of Georgia is used. His power to ensure someone who raped a child never has to see Justice ask yourself if that's right or wrong. And then tech speaker two three four five three four five and pick up the phone and make sure that meme your state Representative finds out you're not happy about the situation, we need to move on to the budget deal. It's bad. This entire situation is bad. Let me give you the state of play Republicans in the in the house of representatives in Washington, we've moved from Georgia to Washington in the house representatives there. They found some provision in the budget deal that are deeply troubling. It is been department of homeland security policy in the past to never arrest. Individuals who live in the homes of sponsors or potential sponsors for unaccompanied minors. Now, what does the unaccompanied minors situation? We'll remember under the Obama administration. Not the Trump administration under the Obama administration. When they began to separate children from adults to make sure that children are not victims of human trafficking, and they need sponsors for those shows. Are they need to place them somewhere, preferably with friends or family? They allow people to come forward and volunteer for sponsorship in sometimes the sponsors are not legal at sometimes people living with the sponsors are not legal. So what the department of homeland security has done is they've made it strict policy that individuals who want to be sponsors or potential sponsors will not get deported by being willing to sponsor and unaccompanied minor. Well, it was policy and not law because the department of homeland security found on occasion that there were nefarious people living in some of these homes MS thirteen gang members among others. And in those cases, when they were found out, they would waive the policy, and they would deport the people. The Democrats have decided that this should be put into law, and this is part of the proposal that the president is signing into law is no one who lives in the home of a potential sponsor or a sponsor will be deported. So if you have an MS thirteen gang member who lives in the home of a sponsor or a potential sponsor, they won't get deported. They may go to jail, but they're not going to get removed from the country. That's a real problem. Here's another problem. The Democrats may have preemptively prevented the president from building his wall with his emergency declaration. There is a provision in the. In the deal that allows local governments to block the building of the wall. There is a separate provision in the deal that restricts where the wall can be built along the border. You will not be surprised to learn that the areas where the wall can be built wit for Clinton over Trump eighty twenty. In other words, the Democrats gave local governments the power to stop the wall, and then insured the wall could only be built in areas where Democrats control the local government, the president has been played badly on this issue, an emergency declaration isn't going to get him far. But I will tell you what their legal theory is. And why they make it further than some Democrats think when we come back. Eric Erickson here the full number four zero four eight seven zero seven five zero one eight hundred w SP talk. I need to just be very honest and open with you all I think it is a terrible terrible precedent for President Trump to do his emergency declaration. I think that we will see a democrat to the same with climate change. Remember, there was a joint chiefs of staff declaration that it was a national security threat during the Obama administration, and it was actually I had a listener call in or Email in rather and say that will these were Obama's politicized joint chiefs. No at the time the joint chiefs were hold over from the Bush administration. And there they were willing to do that. I think it's a terrible terrible precedent for the president to have done the emergency declaration. I will embolden future presidents. However, let me give you their working theory for doing it, the working theory from those in the White House is that article four section four of the constitution requires that the federal government defend the states from invasion. It is considered non justifiable. That's a fancy word for. Meaning. It's not something you can go to court and fight. If there's an invasion the government must protect and so the president is defining these caravans that are coming up as invasions as a result. They believe this keeps it out of court. Now that is not actually going to be what happens. What's actually going to happen is Democrats are going to try to file suit? However, the Trump administration is handling this, very cleverly. Now, I some of the people who are putting this policy together are very dear friends of mine, and I disagree with them on this. But I've got to admire their savvy and putting this together they knew if this affected California. That California would find a liberal federal judge to immediately enjoying it. So the president's executive order an emergency declaration, largely only covers Texas. Where the president's done a pretty good job of filling the bench. So the odds are it will go to a George W Bush or Trump appointee not an Obama appointee in the federal court which improves its odds. But again, the danger here is that they build a legal framework by which Democrats in the future. Do the same thing on guns or the environment. Global warming climate change abortion, you name it. And I think that's a that's a very dangerous thing. I think it's a deeply deeply problematic issue. And I think it's a it's just something the president shouldn't do when you don't get your way with congress doesn't make something national emergency. Marco Rubio, Cathy, McMorris Rogers, and several other Republican members of congress have come out and said they are opposed to the urgency declaration, and they are looking to work with Democrats to actually overrule the emergency declaration, a we're going. It's going to be very interesting to see the state of play here because this could divide up the Republicans others like Mitt Romney have come out, and they're taking a very interesting tact. With the president will tell you what that is. When we come back. Why? Hello there. It's Eric sin. I the gets time for Sapone calls. Don't you four four eight seven zero seven five zero one eight hundred WSB talked very interested in. What you guys are here in from your state representatives. Let's go to the phones on this Andrew in Athens. You're up. I welcome. Hey, how's it going? Good. Are you? I'm doing good just cold Doug Collins office, and I spoke to a man named Dave. And he acted like he didn't know what I was talking about. And well, I can step there. Doug Collins is in congress in Washington. He's not in Atlanta. So you gotta call your state Representative not your national Representative. I and then another no Isaac cities. Your US Senator and Collins is your US congressman. So you need to call either depending on where you live in the Athens area. It's either Spencer fry or Houston gains. Make it really easy for you. Andrew is. If you text the word speaker two three four five three four five I'm gonna send you back a link to your phone, and you just putting your full number. And it'll show you who not only who your state Representative is. But also connect your phone to them. You'll hear my voice, I'm going to connect you. And I'll connect you into your state Representative make it very easy for you. Let's go back to the phones. Judy griffin. Your next welcome. Hey, how you doing good? Are you great called Representative David night? And the first answer. I got was the lady said that he had changed offices and she boarded me to the correct place. Talk to a lovely woman there who she totally agrees with us. And she gave me the correct number for him. If you if you have a way to correct that I can give you that number. Okay. I I'm sure I will track down. Don't don't give it to me over the air was everybody will call. But I I will out get it. Thank you for that though. That's very helpful. Yeah. I just I just told her, you know, it was totally unacceptable. You know that this just was wrong for people that are trying to get their cases heard a done. I mean haven't been through any type of court service. You know, where it just keeps getting back Bernard by judges. Or lawyers? It's crazy. You're really isn't. Would you think about it as as well? Judy the having someone to hold onto those memories for years after after being victimized. It's just it's it's painful to think about so thank you very much for taking the time in in actually call in. And I hope everybody else calls as well. And just make some squirm another else. I think it's unacceptable. You would think that that the Republicans would offer up Jan Jones. If they're worried about the suburbs. Putting her in a speaker, a conservative female from Milton far more conservative than Roulston, by the way that it would be good. But for those you weren't here yesterday. Add texted one of the the Democrats in leadership in the house, and they said a couple of things one they're afraid that a more conservative speaker would be on tap if they pushed for Allston to go to they're worried about Jan Jones becoming speaker, and they don't like her, and they think they can beat her. But probably can't if she speaker and then three if Roulston stays around they can use this against Republicans next year. You would think the Republicans would be strategic about that back to the phones we go for four eight seven two zero seven five zero one eight hundred WSB talk David and coming you're up next. Welcome Eric longtime listener first time caller, thanks show. Thank you. My Representative is Representative Keith Tanner and watch I'm right on the border between his Representative Gilligan's district votes. Kevin Tina, right, Kevin. My my mistake, sir. My mistake anyways. From what he said, he does not particularly like Rawson he wants. But he doesn't really have too many high high positions to exert any influence on this particular issue. But you imagine if this is a doctor dealing doctor doctors get the chance of a doctor speaker would he be able to delay saving someone's life for this. No. So this is not I don't know like Rawson abusing power in this manner in pledge. You said that about tenor because I had somebody Email earlier who went through the the actions they said they talked to Tanner tater said he didn't leave everything in the paper one or two to Rolston. So that's that's good to know. So put Tanner down for wanting him gone. It doesn't feel like he has the power to do it. Frankly, you know, there are a number of conservatives in the state legislature in my guess is that they're they don't want to speak out because Roulston will stop any of their stuff from ever being able to pass. Fluence sets for sure. And also, I know Representative Gilligan personally to see I I'm been I haven't talked to her about this particular issue this. So you may want to look at that. You know to be quite honest with you. I'm I I'm I'm trying to get people to coal across the board, Democrats and Republicans and and just do a list and do a shout up. But I'm kind of protective of some of these conservatives because I know how vindictive Rolston is. And frankly, it's it's his his friends who have been doubling down to protect him on this. And they're the ones who need to be found in asked in see what they think I think we need to call Ralston's moderate Republican friends on deck who have been protecting him and keeping him aboard. Say are you really, okay? Keeping this guy in power. So he can get child molesters from ever facing Justice. Folks, what I'm gonna do is. I'm going to prepare a list of all of these people. So that you can find out where your state Representative stands on it. And at least get these people on record and let the voters hold them accountable. If need be on this issue, they need action. If they don't want to it. The speaker they need to change the loss of the speaker can't get continuances after the legislative session is over. If they wanna keep him Maki MAC like the rest of the of the state house of the state Senate where he can't he can't keep getting continuances. Once the legislature has occurred. Brian acworth, you're going to be up next welcome. How you doing Eric good? How are you? Really good talk. My Representative is Ed subtler. And when I talked to him this morning is people said, we know they've been getting bombarded. So they're very aware of it. And as I told them, we have voted no confidence if you do this as a Representative. You're gonna end up screwing up the Republican party here in Georgia, and it's going to end up flipping democrat like they did in own right came from and it's gonna run the state into the ground. This is just nuts. People have to be held accountable. Nobody wants to do anything about it seems that you know, it's been going on for a while. And this is the first we're hearing about it. You'll listen in. I appreciate it. Brian very much. And this is I think the Atlanta Journal and WSB TV really really need a lot of credit here for blowing up the story blown it wide open. And exposing it this has been happening for a while. And frankly, there are a lot of people in the state. Legislature? And even the judges who refused to go on record in the story. They're scared of the speaker, they know he's very vindictive, very petty, very thin skinned. And they're they they would love for something to change. But they don't feel like they got the power. It's going to take a a mass of people swelling up with outreach to get anything done, Pat and powder springs. You're up next. Welcome. A long time listener first-time caller. I just wanna let you know I called Jimmy Earhart's office. And it was interesting because there was a message recorded message. And then when I waited for a minute it connected me directly to David Roulston office. And they routed the phones. Yeah. That's what it sounds like. And he wanted me to leave a message. I didn't just because I want to get in touch with my Representative, you know, first and get hurt kind of us. So, you know, just thought it'd be good information. And I appreciate it would not surprise me at all Roulston routed the full system at the state puddle him. So none of the representatives can hear that people are outraged by that would not surprise me at all. But guess what? Maybe some of you will see your state reps in church this weekend. I'm back. How 'bout we used them? We're phone call to your before we move on. Rebecca is calling. Rebecca you click the button. There you go. You're up next. Welcome. Hi there. Hi there. Thanks for taking my call. Sure. Yeah. When I heard the story today about often, I slow to anger because this I'm a victim of domestic violence. And if it weren't for the deep pockets that he has and his connections. You know, he he had he had the whole thing exonerated, and he was arrested after it happened. And with testimony of my daughter who witnessed it. And I just can't believe that. Not long after that even even with the DUI after that he violated his the circumstances in he can oh out small like a fresh cut rose. And I just I that's just infuriates me infuriates me and the system. No even told me that he was out in exonerated. And it's just it's it's awful. And you've got a speaker of the house who's helping keep people from ever even going to trial. Yep. And I called Jan ginger. Oh, yeah. But she's she's mountain Representative and. She probably getting phone calls because went right into a smooth. So, but I just some something has to be done because it just I feel for that that young girl who's still waiting for her day for prevent her. Vindication. And I I don't feel like I'm never going to get this indication at all. I just some has to be done. This corrupt system is just it's failing our families the same system the same Coney. It was force. I've county failed. My my daughter who at nine years old. She was molested. After after this happened to me, so needless to say her faith in in in the system and men have have just been crushed. Well, hopefully, hopefully, the state legislature listening, Rebecca, I've got a here. I gotta let you go. Thank you very much for that y'all listened to Rebecca here. He in the Republicans are worried about the suburbs. The worried about what are the political implications of not fixing this of leaving the speaker where he is? So these people can continue to void Justice. It's terrible. When we come back. We gotta move on. We go shift gears. We got other stories to talk about. All engine. We have. It is your the second hour of Atlanta's evening news underway. The full number four zero four eight seven two zero seven five zero one eight hundred WSB talk. I'm feeling charitable tonight. So I think I'm gonna start the show with phone calls people still wanna talk about the real situation, we do need to get more into the budget and the the Justin small situation if you haven't heard so this is the guy in Chicago who claimed a bunch of Trump's supporters beat him up and poured bleach autumn and put a noose around his neck turns out, that's not the case at all police if arrested two in charge them with battery turns out their friends of small it's in all the stuff the bleach and everything was in their apartment. And now, they're allegations in suggestions that perhaps this was all something to save small. It's career. His character was getting written out of impact of the TV show. This story still developing let's though, let's keep the Rolston conversation going 'cause you guys want to we've got people on. Who want to talk about it? I don't wanna keep everybody waiting all night to talk about the subject. So let's go next to David in Carter's Ville, welcome to WSB. Thank you, Mr. absence. Finally, it's a pleasure to speak with you. Thank you. I would I would like to know right up front when you and your wife are ready to go ride up in the mountains break. Okay. Okay. Let's be David. Let's be clear weaned she 'cause I ain't going when she is. Okay. When she gets ready, y'all I'll follow along in my Yukon. Okay. You gotta have the support vehicle. Absolutely. Just on what you just said about the the Jesse small. You know when that whole thing came down. This is Clark. I don't know how it's gonna turn out. But it just seemed a little too good. Yeah. I'm sorry. I don't know any white guy who's going to stand around at two AM in Chicago when it's negative fifty degrees too. You know? And then one other thing the whole as a citizen because I'm not us up there. Any tax payer on the whole Roulston issue because I truly do value your opinion as citizens and taxpayers. What do we do? How how can we rectify this or and I hate to use -nology is that above our pay grade down. That's an excellent answer. We'll listen, I it's an excellent question. And I'll give you as best interests Qian. This is an issue for the state house of representatives. This is not a Brian Kemp issue. This is not a Jeff Dunkin issue. This is not a state Senate issue. This is the Georgia house representatives of the Georgia house representatives voted to make David rose to the speaker. It is on them. That's why I'm not telling you to call Brian Kip. That's why I'm not saying anybody should be outraged. Whether he says something or not this is known him. This isn't about him. He has no power over the situation had several people text me and say shouldn't shouldn't go to the speaker. And the speaker of this point because the governor is new the speaker, arguably has more power than the governor right now can stymie his agenda in the legislature by blocking it. The chairman of committees have all been hand picked by the speaker to block things for the speaker at the speaker's request until you get the chairmen of these committees to take a stand. There's really nothing anybody can do even more. So than the average rank and file member. You gotta get the Democrats involved. Here's well, but the Democrats love the situation having Rolston speaker is going to be the gift that keeps on giving for the Democrats because they can get him to block conservative things and then turn around against him in the suburbs. And say why are these Republicans keeping this guy here he's keeping child molester from ever having to go to jail? So the Democrats are gonna do anything the chairman and the Republicans in the house of representatives. Must be made uncomfortable in the situation. If you're not willing to pick up the phone and call your Representative and demand action. Nothing's going to change. And I do think it's very interesting we've gotten three other phone calls from people saying they tried to call their state rep. And the the phone got routed Rolston office. I don't know what's going on the system we use legit. I don't know. I don't with it or what? But you got to be persistent. You gotta call your state Representative. You've got to find out where they are on this issue. And you gotta make sure they understand that this is unacceptable. Let's go back to the phones. David in Monroe your next. Welcome. Eric is from talk to you. Thanks very much. I had a chance to meet you at the election night in Athens. Well, that was a fun night. Yes. I never indie night. But a fun night. I didn't get the vegetal five AM me to that aside. The point. I so are we stuck with of David Rawson as the speaker of the house for the next two years, if the Republicans in the state legislature, don't do anything. Yeah. Discussed disgust me. And that's probably one of the reasons I called you. Because my niece was a victim of a job molester. Who was defended by someone who is connected with David Ralston. I wanted to correct myself from the guy that answered the phone, but he ended up firing him. But the guy who did this my niece to turned out to be her dad got what he deserved and it was put behind bars, but it's people like him, you know, if we as Republicans and our governor and state officials are saying we want to protect our children. This is nothing kind of guy we need in our state legislator, or at the top of our, you know, at the under the gold dome representing our children's wanted to that. And hopefully, I just moved him in rows. So I don't really know who the state Representative is here. But I'm surely gonna find out will look I'll make it easy for David things with phone call. If you take the words speaker two three four five. Four five. I'll spit you back link you click that link and all you gotta do is put your phone number in and connect, you it'll connect you you push the button after patrol number in, and I will call you back and you'll hear my voice, and I will connect you to your state Representative. It's an easy system to use. An I have never used it like this before. But I think we need to use it like this. Now, listen, I'm going to shift gears here real quick as I stick with phone calls 'cause Ashir he's been waiting real patiently ins Melville about the budget. People talk about that too. Welcome sherrie. Hi, eric. It's a pleasure to speak with you. Thank you. I have a question. I think this is a bad budget Bill, but I was curious. I can see how the Democrats can attach. These offer restrictions to the one point four billion that is in the Bill, but how can they do that on the other six billion? That's already been allocated at the president will be moving around will you because the language in the statute takes precedence over emergency. Declarations the way it's written an emergency declaration has to find other legislation by which it can attach to an emergency declaration by its own does no good. The president has to draw power from other legislation and the president is drawing power from this budget resolution that authorizes him to fund the wall and this budget resolution, actually says local democratic counties can block construction of the wall. Now, they can find other legislation. I'm sure they're going to be looking for it. But since this legislation is more recent. It's going to take precedence over. Prior legislation when it goes to court. We'll we'll see if they can if they can build their entire argument under the constitutional invasion clause of article four section for they got a pretty good way to deflect the Democrats arguments, but will adjudge actually by that given the situation I'm not so sure what to step out real quick take a quick time out when we come back. We'll keep taking your phone calls for four eight seven zero seven five zero one eight hundred WSB talk. Full number here for four eight seven two zero seven five zero one eight hundred w SP talk to the phones we go Kathy, Colin from Dallas genetics. Welcome. Poser? I just wanted to make come in. It's just where the speakers gone. Our our granddaughter. He will Justice to be known, and he wouldn't want it on the back over and Igwe Wall Street's to get someone from. And I just don't think it's fair as doing with this way. I'm a twelve year. Employees previously. And it's hard on the kids and young adults when they say happened too. And he doesn't need to be doing this too. You know, the only way to get this. Correct. It is to get the members of the state legislature to to stand up on this issue and have them go on record. Honestly, it's an issue of of making it about them Roulston only stays in place by keeping the Republicans in charge. And if the Republicans feel threatened they feel like their jobs are going to be in jeopardy because they're having to defend Roulston. Then they'll do something it. It's a matter of self preservation. You know, a buddy of mine sitting text on this in. We actually we had a caller, and I was hoping to engage with him on this issue. And he's not there in it's largely, you know, this is a character issue. And I've gotten a number of friends of mine who were very disappointed with me, supporting President Trump say in how can you how can you be calling for Roulston to be ousted? And now, you're you're defending Trump support and Trump well. Here's Mike thinking on this, and it may not satisfy those of you who are upset with me for deciding that I'm gonna vote for Trump in twenty sixteen. I said character counts planted my flag in the character counts camp, and I didn't vote for the president much to withering criticism from Republicans much withering criticism from this radio audience in my family was threatened. I was threatened lost TV contracts. Lost money lost friends over it. And and stuck to my guns because I thought it was the right thing to do. And now, I I'm finally I'm at the conclusion that we're in a post Christian society here, and we're all trying to make our way through I still think character Kelton, it's obvious to me that most people don't and given the character of Trump versus the character of Democrats. I think I'm gonna go with the guy in Washington who you may not like you mean like his demeanor. But he's not out there willing to kill kids. And the Democrats can do it with a smile, but that doesn't mean they have better character here in Georgia. I'm hoping that Republicans still care about character and still care about their officials in are still willing to stand up and be heard on these issues and still will say this is bad. Good more light rain in the area removing out of the the drizzly just kind of misty phase into actual rain. We're taking your phone calls. Now, we got a long list, folks. I'm not gonna give out the number right now. See if I can get through these phone calls with folks Harley ear or Knicks. Welcome. Hey, how you doing? I welcome you to the fold. But now, I'm upset. I heard something today about that that go through. I heard something today about that legislation. The Bill was defacto amnesty in art of it. Because it's not going after anybody that was doing any child trafficking or human traffic that true. Yes. Well, yes. And no so one of the provisions in the legislation early is that if you are a sponsor of in an unaccompanied minor a potential sponsor of an unaccompanied minor or live in the house of a sponsor or potential sponsor of an unaccompanied company. Minor you cannot be deported and many of the people who are trafficking. The kids are working with people in this country who would sponsor than this one of the reasons to separate them. So yeah, conservatives have been telling the president all day, this is actually going to bold and human trafficking because of the way they put this provision in. They have their basically legislating a department of homeland security standard operating procedure that even the department waves on. On a case by case basis. They find out there. Someone is tied to MS thirteen or human trafficking. It's it's not a good situation to have this put into law. But that's what the Democrats wanted deeply unfortunate situation lorry in Atlanta. You're up next. Welcome. Hello. Hi there. Hey, as a member of the automotive industry that was going to be affected several years ago by the no not allowing cars turned into race cars are company went to bat, and we inundated the representatives offices with physical mail, and they came back and said when they rescinded that build that that was one of the biggest reasons was that it wasn't an Email. It wasn't a voicemail. It was physical mail, and they couldn't ignore it. They had to deal with so instead of calling instead of emailing them we need to inundate their offices with physical males to get Rawson out of that position. I will tell you what I will spend the weekend investigating to figure out if there's a way I can make it easy for people to do that. It's kind of hard for me. I can give you guys a texting number where you can then connect in on the on the switchboard, which appears by the way, it appears. All the all the poll numbers are being routed to Roulston office this evening. I don't know if it's because it's after five on Friday, but we're getting a lot of people call and say, and they they called and said it was connected with their state legislator and suddenly it redirected to Ralston's office. I'm assuming it's because it's quitting time. Even even under the gold dome, by don't know. But he I listen, I love letter writing campaigns but needed to be handwritten letters, and I'm trying to make it easy for folks. And that means I don't know how many people are gonna go to bat with an written letters. I wish everybody would you know? It's one of the funny things actually had a meeting yesterday on this. The people say all the time in in talk radio give solutions gives solutions. Give us lose. What you're I am. Speaker two three four five three four five. I'll send you a link you click the link at pops a blue window putting your phone number you putting your phone number. You click the inner button and suddenly it re your phone rings. And it's me saying I'm going to connect you to your state rep. And I do and your you'd be amazed at the number of people who don't want to do that. They they wanna solution to fix the problem, and they don't even do it. So that's the frustrating part of all of this, the the the passive nature of folks who want everyone else to pick this fight. I gotta tell you if you are not willing to find your state Representative and tell your state Representative this is unacceptable. This situations. Go on that poor girl in David Ralston's district who has been raped and has to remember in detail every day because Roulston keeps putting the trial off a that. It's going to keep going on in. It's going to be more of them. So you guys have to be active on this. I can't do it. It's gotta be. It's gotta be constituents. Reaching out to their own state representatives, making them fearful that they're gonna lose their jobs or lose control. If they don't do something about Roulston. You guys have to do this. I can't by the way, just I'm going to hijack Mon program here in say, something one of my favorite bands. These days I listened to all the time is the glorious sons, and I found out last night that they're going to be in Atlanta. On winds day at vinyl, which is actually just Ella street from our office, and I cannot go, and I love this band the glorious sun. So if you're in the Atlanta area and wireless to a great band on Wednesday night at vinyl centerstage vinyl that facility there on on west, Peachtree street. Check out the glorious sons, I'm really upset now that I found out they they are going to be in town. I'm not so somebody go to the concert for me back to the phones we go James your next. Welcome. Hey, eric. Hi there. I tried contacting angry welts, and apparently even angering Welch won't still. Void this Ross and issues because I got redirected to Tom prices off some how on earth are redirected the Tom prices office that it just it gave me a voicemail message and said this is office of Tom Price. And that's all I got. That's weird. That's weird. I'm gonna have to check into this. So many people are having problems and Masuba it better. Not be the system I'm paying for because that will make me really mad. But we'll figure it out and make sure everybody can connect their to their state representatives by Monday. I'll have a solution because this story goes away. James? Thanks very much for that. This story is not going to can't let the story go away that poor grill of their though about the woman whose whose boyfriend beat her up, and she's got a hang on all the details in its. Been so long now she's afraid she's gonna forget, and he's going to get off as done this to multiple women. And she she wants him to face Justice enroll Ston keeping him from facing Justice. Can't let the story go has just not not the right thing to do is to let this go. We got to engage it. Back to the phones, we go, Vince. Welcome to WSB, Vince. Hey, eric. It's a great tall to you been listening to you changed over evenings. And thank you. I I can't think of anything. I've disagreed with you on. Well. That that being said, I'm not disagreeing with you. Is there a way that there could be a media blast in in Roulston district to go after him with the people that put him there, will you? So there are a lot of their campaigns that have tried, and they have been very successful in part of it is you've got I don't know that you have a daily newspaper of there. I think it's a weekly newspaper. I don't know how they would go after David Ralston. He's got the big law firm in the areas. Well, he's just he's got so many ties there makes it very difficult. What is his district which district? He's up in Blue Ridge. Okay. He's implement. Yeah. Another thing. Could we organize day of rages for to go to the capitol and have bad idea? The people that are that that Arkan -servative that are sick of events. I I gotta let you go there that that's not a bad idea on we may have to something like that. You guys have a great weekend. Hurry into old navy one day only tomorrow all jeans are fifty percent off. That's right. Get fifty percent off all genes for the family, even your favorite rockstar styles. But hurry, it's tomorrow only it'll Davey and old navy dot com. Valla to sixteen excludes in store clearance. I'm Jay Farner, CEO of Quicken Loans, America's premier home purchase lender. We've created a new way to protect you from unpredictable interest rates are exclusive rate shield approval. I we lock your interest rate for up to ninety days. Then if rates go up your rate stays locked. But if rates go down your rate drops either way you win. Call us today at eight hundred quicken or go to rocketmortgage dot com, racial approval. 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