Hey, Joe, That Letter from Field Organizers in Florida Could Show a Very Serious Problem For You 100 Days Out

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Posted: Jul 26, 2020 6:54 AM
Hey, Joe, That Letter from Field Organizers in Florida Could Show a Very Serious Problem For You 100 Days Out

Source: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

We’re 100 days out from Election Day and in the in the key state of Florida, there appears to be some trouble brewing for Joe Biden. It’s from inside the ship too. Nearly 100 Democratic field organizers in the Sunshine State have accused the Biden campaign of “suppressing the Hispanic vote.” That the top concern. The rest reads what appears to be a total train wreck regarding how staff and field organizers are treated. These folks also allege that there is no actionable plan to mobilize Hispanic voters in the state as we speak. The letter notes that there are clusters of Latino voters along the critical I-4 Corridor, mostly new folks from Puerto Rico. That is true. Some 500,000 Puerto Ricans have come to Florida, but they’re not registering to vote. It just shows that not every group is totally lost in American politics. If these folks are not gung-ho about registering to vote, they’re probably don’t have the same feelings about Democratic Party politics. Maybe they do—but that lull period is also an opportunity for Republicans as well, any unmotivated voter is at least. Still, the Biden campaign reportedly having no plan to reach Latino voters 100 days out and treating their field staff like trash doesn’t bode well. It sort of undercuts all of those supposed polls showing Joe with a solid lead. It means nothing if these folks don’t vote and in Florida, it looks like he doesn’t have a plan to do so as of now. I know it’s trite, but there is that saying, “the only poll that matters is the one on Election Day” (via Miami Herald):

Over 90 field organizers for the Florida Democratic Party signed a scathing letter Friday to the party’s leadership, claiming among other things that the campaign is “suppressing the Hispanic vote” in Central Florida.

The seven-page internal letter, obtained by the Miami Herald, contains eight allegations from field organizers about what they say is a lack of a “fully actionable field plan” from the Biden campaign as it transitions into the Florida party to coordinate voter outreach efforts.

This letter comes 100 days out from the general election and as recent polls show enthusiasm about voting among Latinos in battleground states like Florida could be waning in light of the COVID-19 pandemic

Among the claims: mistreatment of field organizers, relocating trained staff members without explanation, lack of organizing resources and taking on volunteers who are then left in limbo.

In a battleground state where elections are historically won by thin margins — and as presidential campaigns ramp up outreach efforts in Florida’s Hispanic communities — organizers claim that the Coordinated Campaign lacks key infrastructure and perpetuates a “toxic” work culture that is hurting morale among on-the-ground staffers.

One big issue is that at least a handful of organizers were recently transferred from a heavily-Puerto Rican part of the state to counties with a small percentage of Hispanics.

[…]

“The [Coordinated Campaign of Florida] is suppressing the Hispanic vote by removing Spanish-speaking organizers from Central Florida without explanation, which fails to confront a system of white-dominated politics we are supposed to be working against as organizers of a progressive party,” the letter adds.

[…]

Jackie Lee, Biden for President Florida state director, said in a statement the campaign has an “open-door policy” and its leadership in Florida is consulting with IBEW Local 824 on “many of the issues” discussed in the letter.

Okay, now some of this reads like it’s from the very active and vocal wing of the party that probably wanted Bernie Sanders to be the nominee. It probably is, as the Herald piece notes allegedly that this lack of communication between the camps is due to the “generational gap,” but if you’re a Democrat who wants to beat Trump and delivering that by taking away Florida, this drama 100 days out isn’t the best news.