Florida lawmaker calls minimum wage amendment a ‘voter turnout trick’ by John Morgan

Tommy Gregory ad
"He's a well known mega-million dollar donor to the Democratic Party."

Rep. Tommy Gregory took aim at attorney John Morgan on Monday, describing his $15 minimum wage push as a  “voter turnout trick” deployed deliberately  during a presidential election year.

Gregory criticized Morgan’s intentions and his proposed wage hike during a Florida Chamber of Commerce press conference. He described the minimum wage amendment as a ploy to lure voters.

“There’s definitely not a coincidence here,” the Sarasota lawmaker said. “This is all a trick. This is a voter turnout trick and it really is insulting for either party to use a ballot amendment to try to sway an election but that’s exactly what I think has gone on here.”

Amendment 2 is a ballot initiative that would incrementally raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2026. If passed by voters, Florida’s minimum wage would bump to $10 an hour in 2021 and then rise $1 each year until it hits $15.

The amendment has drawn sharp criticism from GOP lawmakers and business leaders who say the proposal will do more harm than good, particularly in the era of COVID-19.

While proponents of the amendment argue a higher minimum wage would lift thousands out of poverty and reduce social program dependency, critics counter that a wage hike will create a slew of negative, unintended consequences.

Gregory questioned the famed trial attorney’s motives for the amendment.

“He’s a well-known mega-million dollar donor to the Democratic Party,” he said.

Florida Chamber of Commerce President Mark Wilson echoed Gregory’s sentiment and described it as a “voter turnout mechanism.”

“A lot of people are using these constitutional amendments, again, as a voter turnout mechanism to try to help a particular candidate one way or another,” he said, citing Florida’s narrowly decided elections.

Several hi-profile GOP figures in recent weeks have spoken out against the amendment alongside pro-business organizations. Last week, Republican Party of Florida Chairman and Sen. Joe Gruters and future house speaker Chris Sprowls warned that wage hikes are failed policies that are evident in  “liberal cities” such as Seattle, Washington D.C. and Chicago.

Gregory added his voice to the mix in late September when he launched a political committee in opposition to the amendment.  The committee aims to “educate” Floridians on the dangers of a wage hike ahead of Election Day.

While the amendment has come under concerted GOP fire in recent weeks, Wilson conceded that polling suggests the amendment is positioned to pass on Nov. 3.

“If this were on the ballot today, I think it would pass,” he said.

A survey by St. Pete Polls shows nearly 65% of voters are ready to vote ‘yes’ on Amendment 2. Meanwhile, around 23% of voters would vote against the measure if the election were held today, and nearly 13% remain undecided.

The level of support easily clears the 60% threshold required for voters to amend Florida’s Constitution.

Florida’s current minimum wage is $8.56.

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the state capital for Florida Politics. After a stint with the U.S. Army, Jason attended the University of Central Florida where he studied American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. Throw him a line at [email protected] or on Twitter at @JasonDelgadoFL.


7 comments

  • Sonja Fitch

    October 5, 2020 at 6:00 pm

    Excuse me sir but goptrump cult leaders do everything they can do to STOP VOTER TURNOUT! Vote Democrat up and down ballot!

  • Andy 2

    October 5, 2020 at 6:13 pm

    Morgan also portrays himself as a lawyer. More accurately, he pilots a barge and tries to catch all of the little fish he can in its net. Don’t be fooled folks, he’s in it for himself. To him, it is a numbers game of penny-ante claims and disputes. He’s using the minimum wage issue as a way to get publicity (as though the busses and tacky ads aren’t enough). To real lawyers representing people with real legal issues, law is a profession. Don’t confuse the two.

  • Ocean Joe

    October 5, 2020 at 10:01 pm

    Wouldn’t it be great if the people of Florida had a legislature so they wouldn’t have to legislate via amendments? Wouldn’t it be great if the legislature in Tallahassee served the people instead of the special interests?

    Don’t doubt that John Morgan is interested in making money, but he’s got a philanthropic streak and Mr. Tommy, you’re not fit to shine his shoes. Go get your shine box.

  • Sam

    October 6, 2020 at 8:26 am

    Morgan’s been planning this for years. He announced before med marijuana even passed that this would be his next big project. You people are ridiculous.

  • Palmer Tom

    October 6, 2020 at 8:28 am

    Gee, I thought that silly citizenship voting amendment was meant to get the GOP followers out. These things cut both ways, my friends.

  • Pablo

    October 6, 2020 at 9:44 am

    Maybe this is what the people want? And don’t be jealous because our donations are not used to by yachts, vacations or fund legal defense lawyers for corruption charges. You already have to be a citizen to vote. What a stupid time wasting amendment is that?

  • Darren

    October 7, 2020 at 5:52 am

    What exactly is wrong with higher turnout? What are you people afraid of?

Comments are closed.


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