A Democrat politician exploiting a loophole isn’t all that shocking, when the party does the same for elections.
To this day, we are still dealing with the after-effects of the 2020 election, including the exceptions to the usual way people vote, which were made in the name of the pandemic. Many of the new voting laws the press has been bleating about in states like Georgia, Texas, and Florida were written to roll back the special rules permitted because of COVID outbreaks, keeping those loosened standards from becoming codified.
That tendency for abuse is reflected in another allowance that has been made for the viral outbreak, one in which at least one legislator is leveraging the loophole to benefit his bid for the midterm elections.
Florida Democrat Rep. Charlie Crist is attempting to regain his position in the governor’s mansion in Tallahassee, and in what is regarded as a futile bid to unseat Ron DeSantis, Crist has largely abdicated his responsibility in D.C., and you can thank Nancy Pelosi for this ability.
In the summer of 2020, the House Speaker adopted this new policy, bucking over two centuries of requirements stating that House members must vote in person. The new rule stated that a single member in the chamber could vote by proxy, on behalf of up to 10 other members, in the name of COVID safety. This provision has been allowed to stay in place, despite relaxed policies and in spite of GOP challenges, from as far back as last year. Pelosi recently extended the proxy rule yet again, this time until May, and did so with a nod to something beyond the safety of members; it was done to save their seats.
Crist is a sterling example of why the Speaker re-upped this rule. In 2022, Crist has amassed a rather impressive record – he has not missed a single vote this year in the House, according to the official record. This is made all the more impressive once you consider he is actively campaigning in the state of Florida. But it is not impressive in the least when you see another piece of data. Crist has been in Washington, D.C., for less than one week this year.
Instead of being present for voting in the interest of his constituents, Crist has been campaigning in his own self-interest, spending copious amounts of time in most parts of the state, apart from his district. Of his 125 votes registered in the Congressional record, Crist only voted in person a fraction of times.
Crist was present for 18 votes over the course of March 2, March 3, March 8, and March 9. Crist’s colleagues have cast the rest of the Florida Democrat’s votes on his behalf while he has skipped the trek to the nation’s capital.
Charlie’s office even has acknowledged he has not been ill or is taking precautions as a result of pre-existing conditions. When it was posed as a question, asking if Crist at least participated in committee briefings or hearings, there was even more of a dodge. When asked if a video record of remotely attending hearings by Crist was available, a spokesperson said, “Due to the way the virtual hearings are structured, only members who are speaking appear on the screen.”
Crist’s notable reliance on the convenient, proxy provision in the House is a clear indicator that Pelosi’s moves have been made with a nod to November’s election, and the Democrats facing a dire prospect at the polls. Her decision to continue to allow for this remote voting practice, despite protocols falling by the wayside on the regular, has to be seen as a bid to hold onto as many seats as possible. If bending the rules – or fracturing them – to maintain any level of seats is needed, she will do so.
Looking over those who are taking advantage of this rule, you can easily see the game plan. Of the politicians who have relied the most on the remote vote allowance, the top names are all Democrats. Rather telling that the party that is the loudest opponent to laws about voting is also willing to completely alter Congressional history and practices in order to facilitate its members to campaign — in a desperate bid to retain any control it possibly can.