WASHINGTON – Sen. Bill Nelson is using the Senate floor to fight political battles with his rival Gov. Rick Scott, and for the second day criticized inaction on part of the state.
Yesterday, it was Scott's decision not to expand Medicaid.
Today it's election security, and news the state had not sought $19 million in federal funding despite widespread concern about cyber-tampering.
"While at least a dozen of other states have taken advantage by applying for and receiving the funding to help them protect their systems from Russian intrusion, my state of Florida hasn't even applied for one single dollar of the $19 million. Not one," Nelson said.
"Why in the world would the state of Florida not apply … ?"
Nelson had seized on a Tampa Bay Times report from earlier today in which Florida's chief elections official, Ken Detzner, said the money wouldn't come in time for this election.
Nelson went on to criticize Scott and the GOP-controlled Legislature for reducing early voting days, in particular the Sunday before the Tuesday election that is popular with African-American churchgoers.
"They made voting more difficult for people," Nelson said, adding that voting on college campuses has been restricted — now the subject of a lawsuit.
Here is Nelson on Tuesday:
Nelson's actions, though directed at policy, will draw criticism that he's campaigning on official time. But so too has Scott, who rarely misses an opportunity to travel the state for ceremonial events.