Sunday, April 22, 2018
Politics

City worker improperly blocked at polls twice, lawyer says

ST. PETERSBURG — Angela Owens had stopped into Kissin' Cuzzins' for banana pancakes Tuesday morning when she heard about the man they wouldn't let vote.

Owens, a 44-year-old Tampa attorney, had spent all morning at the polls helping people: a new citizen voting in his first election, a Spanish-speaking woman who needed a translator.

She calls herself a voter protection lawyer. Her Facebook group is "Stop Voter Suppression Now." She volunteered to help anyone who had issues casting a ballot.

At 11:30 a.m., Owens was meeting the Rev. Manuel L. Sykes, the president of the local NAACP chapter, to see what other cases she could address, when a young woman got up from her booth to greet them. Sykes asked whether she had voted. The young woman told them about her boyfriend.

"We went downtown to early vote on Saturday," Kenyata Golden explained. "And they told him his address didn't match the one on their rolls, or something. Then they brought up a probation violation from 1999."

Her boyfriend thought that was behind him. He had voted in 2008. "It doesn't make any sense," Golden said.

Owens looked up the man on her iPad and found his conviction (for stealing sneakers at a K-mart in high school) and his probation violation (for being in a park after hours when he was in college).

Then she found a Certificate of Restoration of Civil Rights. "He got his voting rights back," she told Sykes. "We can fix this."

Owens got the clemency office to fax the paperwork to her.

"Good news," she told the man on his cell. "You can vote."

Adul Yates had been so angry since Saturday. Yates, 35, had just been promoted by the city of St. Petersburg, where he cleans parks. He helps coach wrestling at Boca Ciega High. He had passed background checks, had voted since he was 18.

So when Owens called Yates Tuesday afternoon, he was ecstatic. "I so appreciate this."

"I'm just so happy to end the day like this," Owens said.

Yates walked into his Coquina Key precinct — then walked back out. "They said my name isn't in their book," he told Owens.

On the phone, Owens learned from elections officials that Yates had been removed in 2010.

"Did you send him any notification?" asked Owens. A notice was sent, said the official — to an address in Gainesville where Yates hasn't lived since 2007.

He could fill out a provisional ballot, the official said.

"But will his vote be counted?" asked Owens. The official couldn't say.

Comments
Trump says he doesn’t think personal lawyer will ‘flip’

Trump says he doesn’t think personal lawyer will ‘flip’

WEST PALM BEACH — President Donald Trump said Saturday that he doesn’t expect Michael Cohen, his longtime personal lawyer and fixer, to "flip" as the government investigates Cohen’s business dealings. Trump, in a series of tweets fired from Florida o...
Published: 04/21/18

Vive la France: Trump hosts glitzy White House state dinner

WASHINGTON — Now it’s President Donald Trump’s turn to pull off the ultimate charm offensive. Wined and dined on multiple state visits during his tour of Asia last year, Trump is paying it forward and celebrating nearly 250 years of U.S.-French relat...
Published: 04/21/18
Romano: Okay, now who sounds like a hysterical teen talking about guns?

Romano: Okay, now who sounds like a hysterical teen talking about guns?

The writer of the letter sounds hysterical. Perhaps a little desperate. And maybe that’s just who Marion Hammer is these days.Most of the world knows her as the take-no-prisoners maven of the National Rifle Association who directs Florida politicians...
Published: 04/21/18
Ex-FBI deputy director ‘disappointed’ in Comey comments

Ex-FBI deputy director ‘disappointed’ in Comey comments

WASHINGTON — Andrew McCabe, the former FBI deputy director, is "very upset and disappointed" by comments made by his former boss James Comey that contradict his account of a disclosure to the news media, McCabe’s lawyer said Friday. "Andy has at all ...
Published: 04/20/18
Carlton: Mayor’s race: plot twists, meteoric rises, candidate implosions. It’s what we do in Tampa.

Carlton: Mayor’s race: plot twists, meteoric rises, candidate implosions. It’s what we do in Tampa.

The one thing you can say for sure about electing a mayor in Tampa is you can’t really say anything for sure.Historical proof: A couple of elections ago, Harvard-educated hometown-boy-gone-to-Washington Frank Sanchez was going to be our next mayor, h...
Published: 04/20/18
Carlton: Kids, want to make them listen? Vote

Carlton: Kids, want to make them listen? Vote

Today across America, high school students are expected to walk out of class in their latest show of solidarity against gun violence and elected officials unwilling to do much about it. It marks a grim anniversary — 19 years since Columbine bra...
Published: 04/20/18
Castor ends speculation: She’s running to be Tampa’s next mayor

Castor ends speculation: She’s running to be Tampa’s next mayor

TAMPA — For months, Tampa political aficionados have speculated: Will she or won’t she?Does Jane Castor, the city’s first woman police chief and presumed heavyweight mayoral candidate, really want the job? Asked and answered. Castor filed paperwork T...
Published: 04/19/18
Everybody loses in a trade war, Canadian chamber CEO warns Tampa officials

Everybody loses in a trade war, Canadian chamber CEO warns Tampa officials

TAMPA — President Donald Trump has tweeted "trade wars are good, and easy to win."Don’t believe it, the president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce told Tampa business and political leaders on Wednesday."We share more with you than with anybody els...
Published: 04/19/18
Hernando clerk of the court announces resignation to run for judicial seat

Hernando clerk of the court announces resignation to run for judicial seat

BROOKSVILLE — Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller Don Barbee this week submitted his resignation — effective Jan. 7 — to run for an open circuit judge seat.Barbee, who is in the middle of his second term, said he made the move "with a tremendo...
Published: 04/17/18
Poll: Democrats’ advantage in midterm election support is shrinking

Poll: Democrats’ advantage in midterm election support is shrinking

Democrats hold an advantage ahead of the midterm elections, but a Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that edge has narrowed since January, a signal to party leaders and strategists that they could be premature in anticipating a huge wave of victorie...
Published: 04/16/18