This was actually a difficult list to narrow down to one winner. There are so many dumb governors in these great United States. Helpfully, the horrific coronavirus has brought out the best and the worst in our nation’s leaders, resulting in some truly repugnant individuals rising to the stop of the scum bucket.
But before we announce the winner, let’s look at the runner-ups:
Kay Ivey – Governor of Alabama
2nd Runner Up
For weeks, Ivey resisted a formal stay-at-home order, expressing concerns about the effects such an order could have on the economy. She repeatedly insisted that Alabama was not a state like New York or California, which issued orders to stay at home… and she is correct. Alabama is not California. However, as of today, many parts of Alabama have a higher infection rate per capita than California, which issued stay at home orders weeks ago.
Ivey’s comments echoed President Donald Trump’s insistence that people ought to go back to work to save the economy, even though medical experts have warned that doing so would put lives at risk.
You almost came up as the winner, Kay. But the competition was fierce.
Ron DeSantis – Governor of Florida
1st Runner Up
This genius only placed a shelter-in-place order after he saw President Donald Trump’s “demeanor” change. DeSantis has been criticized for his handling of the pandemic, most notably for his refusal to close beaches in the state during spring break and for waiting weeks to issue a stay-at-home order.
He also said that until the White House recommends a ‘stay-at-home’ order for Florida, he probably wouldn’t mandate the order. This is in spite of the fact that the Surgeon General said that there is a stay at home order from the White House. “These guidelines are a national stay at home order,” he said.
His decision came long after other states had already imposed similar or stricter stay-at-home orders. By doing so, he allowed spring breakers and tourists to clog beaches long after evidence of community spread was documented.
“It’s probably late,” University of Florida virologist John Lednicky said.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, tweeted that Florida is going to be the next hot spot, with Miami as its epicenter.
Congratulations, Ron DeSantis – you are almost the stupidest governor in America!
AND THE WINNER IS: Brian Kemp, Governor of Georgia
Kemp claims he didn’t know until last week that the new coronavirus could be spread by people who aren’t showing symptoms.
When Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp issued a statewide shelter in place order for residents earlier this week, he attracted widespread criticism for saying he and state officials were “just finding out that this virus is now transmitting before people see signs,” despite publicly available findings that have circulated for weeks about such risks.
The statement drew incredulity from many, especially from some of those in the medical and public health community
“It’s just inexcusable,” CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta said Thursday night. “My kids, who go to school in Georgia, knew that a month ago. I can’t even believe that.”
To make matters worse, after the city council of Georgia’s Tybee Island, a tourist hotspot, on March 20 voted to close the area’s beaches as it shut down the area to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Kemp, a Republican, overturned the beach closure with an executive order that reopened all beaches that had been closed by local mandates.
“The health of our residents, staff and visitors are being put at risk and we will pursue legal avenues to overturn his reckless mandate,” Shirley Sessions, the city’s mayor, wrote in an official statement to the press on Saturday.
“As the Pentagon ordered 100,000 body bags to store the corpses of Americans killed by the Coronavirus, Governor Brian Kemp dictated that Georgia beaches must reopen, and declared any decision-makers who refused to follow these orders would face prison and/or fines,” Sessions noted.
“Finding out that this virus is now transmitting before people see signs… those individuals could’ve been infecting people before they ever felt bad,” Kemp said. “But we didn’t know that until the last 24 hours …. this is a game changer for us.”
Health experts and doctors have been warning people for weeks that asymptomatic individuals could still infect others, even if they never felt unwell themselves. Numerous prominent people, including GOP Senator Rand Paul, who became the first member of the Senate to test positive for the virus, have said publicly that they had not experienced any symptoms.
Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, a former Democratic presidential candidate, strongly criticized Kemp for being unaware of the advice of health experts and doctors. She argued that former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacy Abrams would have handled the pandemic much differently.
“If they had better election laws Stacey Abrams would be governor of Georgia,” Klobuchar tweeted. “Brian Kemp’s negligence could cost Americans thousands of lives.”
As of this writing, more than 10,800 people had tested positive for coronavirus in Georgia. Of those, 412 have died. Worldwide, more than 1.6 million people have contracted the virus, while more than 95,000 have died.
But this isn’t the first time that Kemp claimed ignorance.
Kemp became Secretary of State in 2010, which placed him in charge of Georgia’s election-everything; including appointing clerks, guiding election officials, enforcing qualifying rules, and overseeing security. During that time he perfected doing nothing about security and kicking 1.5 million people off the voter rolls. People who, coincidentally, are prone to voting democratic.
Under Kemp, Georgia’s election system was incompetently run and voter data and passwords to the system were hacked. This access allowed records to be changed, according to a federal lawsuit that seeks to move Georgia to paper ballots.
The state’s election officials were notified in August 2016 and Brian Kemp said he didn’t know anything about it, but that the system was totally secure. Kemp then proceeded to reject federal help to shore up Georgia’s election systems before the next election.
You won’t be surprised to learn that while Kemp was doing everything imaginable to discourage authorities from getting a good look at Georgia’s election security, the jaw-dropping security holes reported hummed right along in the background. As federal officials demanded to see evidence of the security flaws, Kemp’s officials wiped the election system server (and a backup) clean of all that troublesome critical evidence.
In the meantime, Kemp worked tirelessly to implement voter restrictions in a way such that would make it harder for minorities to vote.
In fact, he stalled thousands of voter registrations by disproportionately black voters under the state’s exact-match requirements.
A lawsuit filed by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and its partners on behalf of Georgia organizations contends that the “exact match” practice is discriminatory, unlawful and a “voter suppression scheme.” They argue that Georgia’s law holds applicants to a strict “exact match” standard even though election officials’ protocol for matching is “not a model of strict accuracy and is prone to erroneous, inconsistent results that are often not the fault of the applicant.”
Reasons for no matches, the lawsuit said, include: the transposition of a letter or number, deletion or addition of a hyphen or apostrophe, the accidental entry of an extra character or space, and the use of a familiar name like “Tom” instead of “Thomas.”
Minority voters are more likely statistically to have names with hyphens or suffixes or other punctuation that can make it more difficult to exact match their name in databases, experts noted. That makes them more likely to get caught up in the “exact match” law.
“An unrealistic rule of this sort will falsely flag many legitimate registration forms. Moreover, the evidence indicates that minority residents are more likely to be flagged than are whites,” said Barry C. Burden, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and director of its Elections Research Center.
Even if everyone purged from the voting list is eventually allowed to vote, it places more hurdles in the way of those people on the list, who are disproportionately black and Hispanic, said Charles Stewart III, a Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
So maybe Kemp isn’t the stupidest governor after all. He did, in fact, manage to suppress voting and win the governor’s election by the slimmest of margins (ironically he won by almost the same number of votes he suppressed).
So if Kemp is not the most stupid, he is the most evil. Take your pick.
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