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When we last left Brenda Snipes, Broward County, Florida’s heroic supervisor of elections, she was resigning over the fact she was (and likely remains) utterly incompetent.
On Friday, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, soon-to-be-Sen. Rick Scott, announced he was suspending Snipes and appointing a successor in her position, according to Fox News. He apparently didn’t like the fact that she wasn’t resigning until January.
So, what do you think Brenda Snipes did?
a) Decided to spend the next month or two collecting her check and eating Fritos while catching up on episodes of “Drop Dead Diva.”
b) Hooked up with Jeff Sessions for a “Pink Slip Comedy Tour” covering 31 cities in two months.
c) Retracted her resignation because Scott suspended her and decided to fight to keep her job.
If you guessed c), you’re correct. You probably could have gotten it in context, mind you, since it was the last one and, even though Margaret Cho was kind of funny in it, nobody really liked “Drop Dead Diva.”
Mind you, it’s just as silly as the other two, but pretty much everything Snipes has done thus far during the 2018 election indicates the only person who would play her in the movie version of this disaster would be Pauly Shore.
— WPTV (@WPTV) December 2, 2018
The Associated Press reported Saturday that after the suspension, “Snipes responded by rescinding her previous resignation — and will now be ‘fighting this to the very end,’ her attorney said during a Saturday news conference.”
“‘We believe these actions are malicious,’ said Burnadette Norris-Weeks, who said that Broward County voters should be concerned about what Scott is trying to do in the Democratic stronghold by putting in an ally who could oversee the office into the 2020 elections.”
While there is the fact that Snipes replacement — Scott general counsel Peter Antonacci — has no elections experience, that still doesn’t make him worse than Snipes. In fact, you’d pretty much have to actively try to be worse to be any worse.
“In his executive order, Scott said he was suspending Snipes due to misfeasance, incompetence and neglect of duty. His order cited problems during the recount, including reports of more than 2,000 ballots being misplaced,” AP reported.
“She also came under fire in 2017 after she destroyed year-old ballots in violation of law. Shortly after the recount started, Scott himself suggested possible fraud, but never offered any concrete examples.”
However, there were plenty of examples utter ineptitude. Snipes’ staffers couldn’t get the number of voters anywhere near right on election night. As they recounted, it became clear they couldn’t control the process. She mixed invalid provisional ballots with valid ones because, well, her explanation was about as good as mine would be. Her department was hit with multiple lawsuits. A judge agreed she was breaking Florida’s law on election tally reporting.
During the first recount, her office turned in results minutes late, allegedly because of the fact she couldn’t account for 2,000 votes and wanted a do-over during the manual recount. During the manual recount, her department again screwed up by almost counting ballots they shouldn’t have. Oh, they still didn’t find those missing ballots.
Meanwhile, Snipes complained that the complaints against her Broward County office were all the result of racism and got a massive pension. But now she’s coming back because, uh, #TheResistance? I don’t know.
“After a series of inexcusable actions, it’s clear that there needs to be an immediate change in Broward County and taxpayers should no longer be burdened by paying a salary for a supervisor of elections who has already announced resignation,” Scott said in a statement suspending her.
Snipes tendered her resignation for a very good reason: She was terrible at her job. Yes, she gave the usual “I want to spend more time with my family” justification, but we all know why she was going. Now she’s trying to come back to spite Scott.
The thing is that she probably doesn’t have a fantastic argument. We’ll wait and see how this does in the courts, but we ought to keep in mind that even though supervisor of elections is an elected office, the governor can also suspend and appoint people to the position in cases of extreme incapability. Their reinstatement is through the state Senate, not the courts.
Suspension, by the way, is how Snipes originally got the job back in 2003, when former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush had to remove her predecessor and appoint ed Snipes. Bush, by the way, thinks she should lose her job. He’s not the only one, but that should be persuasive enough evidence for Snipes to stop fighting joblessness.
In closing, I’d like to note a bit of prescience in this matter. Writing about her resignation a few weeks back, I noted, “There aren’t any elections between now and Jan. 2 and/or Jan. 5 (the dates reported for her departure), mind you, but just watch. Brenda Snipes will still manage to do something mind-bogglingly awful between now and then.”
I thought the chances of such horrors were 50-50 at best, but I should have known it was basically a foregone conclusion. Good prediction, me.
As for Supervisor Snipes, come on. “Drop Dead Diva” has to be better than this.