Controversial Florida Democrat Alcee Hastings succumbed to Stage 4 pancreatic cancer on Tuesday morning, bringing his two-year battle with the disease to a close. The popular lawmaker is remembered just as strongly for the way he beat conspiracy and bribery charges back in the the 80’s as for his “crusading civil rights lawyer” role. He was elected more than a dozen times despite ongoing allegations of sexual harassment and ethics violations. Even though Florida is a strong conservative state, Hastings will probably be replaced by another liberal in the overwhelmingly blue district.
Impeached judge adored by Democrat voters
On Tuesday morning, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported the passing of Democrat Representative Alcee Hastings, noting that over the past two years, “he continued public appearances between medical treatments, but more recently he hadn’t been in public.” Most recently, “he had been in hospice care.”
Before he got into progressive politics, winning election after election, Hastings had the distinction of being “impeached and removed from office when he was a federal judge.” His voters didn’t seem to mind one bit because he was popular with the local Left-wing media who called him a “crusading civil rights lawyer.”
U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings served his constituents as a civil rights attorney, judge, and Dean of our Congressional delegation. He changed the face of politics in FL and brought passion & unwavering dedication to the fight for justice. We are forever grateful for a life well lived. pic.twitter.com/K9mMhAYwrw
— Rep. Val Demings (@RepValDemings) April 6, 2021
Way back in the mist of time in 1981, then federal Judge Hastings was “indicted on charges of conspiring to solicit a $150,000 bribe from an FBI agent posing as a racketeer trying to buy his way out of a prison sentence.”
The Democrat hired some really good lawyers and by 1983, the jury found him not guilty. That wasn’t the end of it though. Congress got wind of some new information and opened the matter back up in 1989.
When Congress dug into it further, they concluded that the only reason Judge Hastings got away with the bribery and conspiracy was because he “lied during the criminal trial.” Standard Democrat procedure. The House didn’t like what they found so they formally “impeached” Hastings.
When the Senate held the trial it didn’t take long before he was convicted on eight of the eleven articles presented. That stripped the word Judge from in front of his name as he was dragged from the bench in disgrace.
Pound me too
Because he’s a registered Democrat, the Senate was nice enough not to “disqualify him from holding future office.” His career as a Congressman was off to a flying start. He managed to keep his nose clean as far as the public was concerned and by championing all the liberal causes in the conservative state, he kept his constituents happy.
Then came the notorious pound me too (#MeToo) movement. In 2017, “it was revealed that the United States Treasury Department paid $220,000 to settle sexual misconduct claims against Hastings, that were made by a staff member.” There were others.
By 2019, the Democrat was back under investigation “over an alleged relationship with another staffer.” That’s a no-no under House rules. The House Ethics Committee scolded, “The Committee is aware of public allegations arising out of Representative Alcee Hastings’ personal relationship with an individual employed in his congressional office.”
They opened a file on “whether Representative Hastings’ relationship with the individual employed in his congressional office is in violation of House Rule XXIII, clause 18(a), and whether Representative Hastings has received any improper gifts, including any forbearance, from that employee.”
Rep. Alcee Hastings has departed us for that great assembly in Heaven.
He taught me a lot about public service and life.
Rep. Hastings loved the people he served and championed the plight of the least, the lost and the left behind.
May he forever Rest in Power 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾. pic.twitter.com/011pgC4nhF
— Hakeem Jeffries (@RepJeffries) April 6, 2021
The taxpayers won’t need to fund that investigation into just how much quid pro quo he got from his staffer, and what the staffer was rewarded with in return. A special election will be held on a date to be set by Governor Ron DeSantis.
Hastings represented Florida’s 20th Congressional District, which “is an overwhelmingly Democrat district” so unless there is a tsunami that wipes Florida off the map, there will probably be a liberal warming his seat in the future too. Maybe this one will keep their hands to themselves and out of the corruption cookie jar.