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Florida Prisoners Type Political Donor Lists

Florida state elections officials are hiring prisoners to type into a computer the names of big-money political donors. Secretary of State Sandra Mortham's office is under orders to make the contributions information available on the internet. Mortham said her office will save tax dollars by paying prisoners 15 to 50 cents an hour to enter the campaign finance reports into a computer. "This is a terrific deal for the people of Florida," proclaimed David Rancourt, the elections division director.

Not everyone agrees with that assessment, however. "It's a nutty idea," said Edward Hennessy of Palm Beach, who contributed $1,000 to Jeb Bush in 1994. "There are too many robberies in Palm Beach now, so why identify these [rich] people?" Mortham claims the prisoners will be supervised so they won't be able to take notes or records to their dorm. And as Rancourt points out, the campaign finance records are public record, so prisoners can already get the information if they want it.

Source: Palm Beach Post

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