Nursing Home That Offered Vaccine to Wealthy Donors
Early last month, the Washington Post reported that MorseLife Health System, an affluent nursing home in Florida, offered Covid-19 vaccines to its board, members of the Palm Beach Country Club, and wealthy donors. The vaccines were provided to MorseLife through a federal program and were intended for long-term-care workers and residents to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus in nursing homes, which have been hit especially hard. We sent records requests to Florida’s Department of Health, Division of Emergency Management, and Office of the Governor for records concerning access and distribution of coronavirus vaccines, including records of communications with MorseLife representatives.
Florida Efforts to Suppress Protest Rights
In recent months, multiple states have proposed measures aimed at curtailing protests, from introducing harsher penalties to making it easier for law enforcement to use force. Such efforts are also underway in Florida, where Gov. Ron DeSantis and state lawmakers are championing proposed legislation that would increase penalties for offenses committed during protests and protect anyone who injures or attacks an individual they deem to be acting unlawfully. Civil rights advocates have said such measures will threaten the rights and safety of racial justice protesters, and that lawmakers are using the Jan. 6 pro-Trump mob attack on the Capitol to garner support. We filed records requests with the Florida House of Representatives, the state Senate, and the Office of the Governor for records related to such legislation.
Wisconsin Recount Funds
Following the 2020 election, President Trump’s campaign spent $3 million in Wisconsin to conduct recounts in Milwaukee and Dane counties. The recount gave Joe Biden a slightly larger lead, and counties expected to be reimbursed by the state for recount costs. But on Dec. 11, the Republican-led state budget committee announced it would be withholding the money from the counties, without any explanation as to why. It took until January for the committee to approve the reimbursements. We filed records requests with the Wisconsin Senate and the State Assembly for communications and records regarding the initial hold.
Pro-Trump ‘Alternate Elector’ Ballots
In December, groups of “alternate slates” of electors met in battleground states won by Biden to cast unofficial electoral college ballots for Trump. The move, which ultimately had no impact on the certification of the 2020 election results, appeared to be orchestrated by the Trump campaign. We sent a FOIA request to the National Archives and Records Administration for copies of these votes submitted by the self-appointed electors.
Georgia AG Carr’s Phone Records
On Monday, the Georgia secretary of state’s office announced it would investigate Trump’s attempts to interfere with the state’s presidential election results. The announcement follows last month’s revelations that Trump had asked Georgia state officials during a phone call to “find” votes to tilt the state’s results in his favor. As part of our ongoing investigation into efforts to overturn the election, this week we filed a request for records or call logs between Trump and Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, who was reportedly warned by Trump not to interfere with the Texas lawsuit seeking to invalidate the results of several battleground states, including Georgia.
FEC Head Communications with Trump Campaign
Trey Trainor, chair of the Federal Election Commission (FEC), continues to make baseless allegations popularized by Trump and his allies that “rampant voter fraud” affected the results of the 2020 election. At the FEC, Trainor plays an important oversight role in campaign finance rules and experts have raised serious concerns over his baseless fraud claims. We filed a FOIA request with the FEC for communications between Trainor and groups affiliated with the legal effort to overturn the election, including the Trump campaign.
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