Say what you will about Florida Congresswoman Corrine Brown, but one thing she knows is her constituency.Â So when it comes to bribing people to vote for her with the lure of a free meal, she knows how to close the deal.Â And you don’t close the deal with bruschetta:
A flyer distributed by U.S. Rep. Corrine Brownâ€™s office promised â€œa complimentary couponâ€ for a meal at an Orlando restaurant to â€œthe first 350 to voteâ€ at an early voting site on Friday, sparking the latest charge in the contentious race in Floridaâ€™s Third Congressional District.
The Brown campaign also used a taped phone message from the candidate to push the offer to people in her district, in which she asks people to â€œearly vote and receive a coupon to have lunch with us at Mama Nems Restaurant.â€
Yea.Â It’s totally illegal to do that but Mama Nems, eh?Â That must be some kind of Eye-talian joint, right?Â Hrm…
â€œFederal law prohibits vote buying in any election where a federal candidate is on the ballot,â€ he said â€œ[Brown] may have a violation.â€
Paul S. Ryan, an attorney at the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center in Washington, came to a similar conclusion.
â€œIf this is tied to the campaign, it would appear to be a violation of federal law,â€ Ryan said. â€œItâ€™s a pretty serious violation. It is illegal to give someone an inducement to cast their vote.â€
The voice recording reviewed by The Times-Union was confirmed by Ronnie Simmons, Brownâ€™s campaign manager, as authentic. And Brownâ€™s Orlando campaign office acknowledged distributing the flyers.
Simmons, who is also Brownâ€™s chief of staff, said he wasnâ€™t sure what all the fuss was about.
â€œAfter they voted, they are welcome to join us for lunch,â€ Simmons said.
Some voters took advantage of the offer. A woman who answered the phone at Mama Nems said a number of coupons had been redeemed, but she wasnâ€™t sure how many.
That would be Corrine Brown, not Nino Brown handing out turkeys at Christmas.
But take a look at Mama Nems menu.Â It’s as pernicious as it is delicious.
Seriously, woman – do you get a carton of Newports with that racial stereotype?
I find the menu’s lack of arugula disturbing.Â Not as disturbing as the braised oxtail or neckbone salad combo but disturbing nonetheless.
The US Attorney for Florida’s Middle District said it’s not his job to investigate this vote buying scheme and that he’d let Eric Holder’s Justice Department handle it.Â Which will be coming any minuteÂ now for a Class X Felony dietary infraction while in the commission of a hate crime.
REMINDER: In case you can’t smell what the Dems are cooking, it’s Election Day, folks.Â We can’t promise you any free fried chicken gizzards or “lip smackin’ ribs” but if you’ll vote for the right candidate the jobs will come back that will enable you to buy all of them that you can eat.Â Â And that’s the quintessential truth, Ruth.