Gillum: Grifter, Graft…Governor?
Gillum: Grifter, Graft…Governor?
Andrew Gillum – mayor of Tallahassee, fulcrum at the middle of a swirling FBI corruption investigation, and Florida gubernatorial candidate – zoomed around the Panhandle Monday afternoon, trying to motivate Democrats in a reliably red section of the state. Leading in almost every poll and energized by a weekend spent with Democratic luminaries like Barack Obama, Gillum was feeling good.
The strategy behind the Panhandle passage is simple: math. Come the closing of the polls on Tuesday night, there is a chance Gillum will need every one of those 150+/- folks who came out to see him in places like Crawfordsville and Marianna. Most of his base is in south Florida’s big Democratic counties. They vote in Eastern time. From Tallahasse west is Central time, and there are often nasty surprises in store for the Democratic candidate who looks to be winning handily as the evening begins. Then, an hour later, the Panhandle Redneck returns start coming in, and dreams of victory implode. We did it for Rick Scott, Marco Rubio, and, two years ago, for Donald Trump.
You ignore the Panhandle at your peril. Apparently Gillum knows this.
Gillum has pursued a 67-county strategy in his bid to become the first Democratic governor in 20 years. He spent the final day of the campaign in Republican strongholds. Wakulla County is solid red.
Trump carried 70 percent of the vote there two years ago. Gov. Rick Scott won reelection with 58 percent of the Wakulla vote. Gillum headed out of Crawfordville for Madison, a county Trump carried with 57 percent of the vote before heading home to Tallahassee for a late-night rally at the Lawson Center, featuring Sean “Diddy” Combs and other popular actors and musicians.
While Gillum was out glad handing with hundreds of folks on the Redneck Riviera, his opponent – former FL GOP Congressman Ron DeSantis – was wrapping up a weekend that had seen a massive rally with President Trump in Pensacola, huge events all over South Florida and even a visit to hard hit Bay County, devastated by Hurricane Michael.
As of Monday, Gillum had a 7 point lead in the polls. Internal polling has DeSantis even or 1 point ahead. On cue, the Democrats are doing everything they can to paint the Congressman and every associate as racists…
DeSantis’s conduct is emblematic, in many ways, of the contemporary Republican playbook, weaponized with particular success by Trump in his nods to white nationalists, Klansmen, and neo-Nazis. But it is not a product of it. DeSantis’s effort to link a black politician to rampant crime is part of an old and bipartisan tradition in the United States. Starting in the post-emancipation era and picking up dramatically in the 1890s, white Americans who fought on different sides of the Civil War pursued a national reconciliation campaign, the chosen enemy of which — black pathology — gave them shared meaning. Casting formerly enslaved blacks as fundamentally criminal united them in the belief that black people were congenitally unworthy of American investment. This sentiment has proven remarkably resilient over time.
“My grandmother used to say, ‘A hit dog will holler,’ and it hollered through this room,” Gillum said after DeSantis loudly rejected any common cause with Horowitz.“First of all, he’s got neo-Nazis helping him out in this state,” he continued, referring to a white supremacist group that is running racist robo-calls against Gillum in the state (DeSantis’ campaign has disavowed the calls).“Now, I’m not calling Mr. DeSantis a racist, I’m simply saying the racists believe he’s a racist,” Gillum said.
…all in an attempt to duck Gillum’s own serious, scandalous ethical and legal problems.
Let’s start with pay for play.
It starts with money. In the first three months after Gillum announced his bid for mayor in April 2013, the decade-serving city commissioner received $8,000 from a host of companies using that address. And businesses there have received a number of financial favors from the city and the mayor, who, as a member of the Community Redevelopment Agency Board, voted for the subsidies.
Those dealings are receiving heightened scrutiny since the FBI last year issued subpoenas to 38 individuals and companies, more than a dozen of which are connected to the Jennings Street address. Among the names on the subpoenas is Adam Corey, Gillum’s former campaign treasurer. Corey is a local lobbyist, developer and Gillum’s friend since college. Gillum, as part of the redevelopment agency, voted in 2013 to give a Corey-affiliated group $1.3 million in taxpayer money to develop a restaurant.
Stir in some illegal travel, with a tablespoon of lies.
Democratic Florida gubernatorial candidate and Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum may have broken state law by using city funds for a private round-trip flight on a developer’s plane to meet campaign donors, contradicting his previous account of the flight, emails released earlier this week as part of a state ethics probe show.
Add a cup of culture on someone else’s dime and lie about that.
Undercover FBI agents paid for Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum’s hotel room and his ticket to the Broadway musical Hamilton during a 2016 trip to New York City, according to a bombshell trove of records that raises new questions two weeks before the Nov. 6 election for Florida governor.
Among the records released Tuesday: photos, a video and dozens of text messages between Gillum, who is the Democratic nominee for governor, former lobbyist Adam Corey and an undercover FBI agent. They appear to contradict Gillum’s explanation for the expenses, which have been made an major issue by his Republican rival, Ron DeSantis.
A pinch of grift, a smattering of graft, and a gratuitous schmear.
In a FB video responding to this news, Gillum responds by claiming that those calling him out for what are seemingly clear falsehoods are just trying to "re-enforce, frankly, stereotypes about black men": https://t.co/qDBViq5JNt
— (((AG))) (@AG_Conservative) October 23, 2018
YOU, inquiring mind, are a racist.
Let’s leave the ugliness of Gillum’s personal foibles aside for a moment, and attempt some evaluation of his tenure as Tallahassee mayor. That would be fair, right? A tangible, measurable, dispassionate look at job performance. How about, oh, say, crime. How’d he do?
Voters in Tallahassee received mailers in recent days indirectly attacking the Democratic gubernatorial nominee‘s record on fighting crime in the city, where he has been mayor since 2014. The two mail pieces were sent by Dustin Daniels, a mayoral candidate who was Gillum’s top aide until March.
“Tallahassee had the highest number of murders in history last year and we top the state for the highest crime rate,” read one of the mail pieces. “We must do better.”
YEESH. Um, something else. A Florida governor has to be able to handle multiple natural disasters, so any experience with hurricanes, Andrew?
“The ad writes itself,” said notoriously pugilistic GOP message man Rick Wilson. “You say ‘when Hermine hit and Tallahassee needed help, Andrew Gillum said no.”
It’s a reference to the back-and-forth over the city’s rejection of assistance from outside power companies. Last week, the City of Tallahassee Utilities turned down help, including 575 workers from Florida Power & Light. City officials have said they feared that outside crews, unfamiliar with the city-owned utility system, could present “safety” issues.
“I think we should take every bit of help to get the job done fastest,” Gillum said after the Monday meeting. “The experts have to determine exactly about how they go about doing that.”
Others say the explanation does not hold water.
“That’s nonsense,” said an elected Democrat from South Florida. “A tree falls down on a powerline and specifications are set. A sub[contractor] goes and completes those specifications. It is dangerous, but not brain surgery.”
AI YI YI! Okay. Forget the mayor thing. You’re a bright, young, charismatic Progressive and possible governor. Where do you stand on law enforcement?
Andrew Gillum: Police ‘going too far’ if they pull out gun, baton or stun gun
…”Law enforcement society cannot work and, quite frankly, law enforcement cannot do its job if it does not have a trusting relationship with the community,” Gillum said.
“At the time that a law enforcement official has to go to a weapon, to a gun, to a baton, to a Taser,” then they’ve already gone “too far by their very presence,” he added, according to The Beacon.”
WHAT?! How about immigration enforcement?
Andrew Gillum is the first Democratic candidate for governor in Florida to join calls on the left to “abolish ICE,” though his Democratic rivals all agree the Immigration and Customs Enforcement needs reform.
Hey there, now. You know, Gillum, we have it pretty sweet here in the Sunshine State. Reasonable utilities, an economy that’s clawed its way back from multiple catastrophic hits, NO STATE INCOME TAX. Stuff like that. People really, really think it’s a swell place to live, work and invest in. How would you make it better?
Florida’s Democratic gubernatorial nominee, Andrew Gillum, wants to increase the state’s corporate tax rate in order to fund his own pet projects. It’s classic left-liberalism: the belief that government knows best how to invest money productively.
Today, Florida’s effective corporate tax rate is between 3.3 percent and 5.5 percent. But Gillum wants to raise that rate to what he says is a “modest 7.75 percent” corporate tax rate. But while an effective rise of 2.25 points might not sound like much, that’s actually a 41 percent increase!
Gillum’s rationale for why his tax plan is a good idea is also absurd. The former mayor says that his proposed hike is okay because Florida’s corporate tax rate will still be “more than 1 percent lower than California.”
A Left Turn Means a Florida Income Tax
To pay for the free stuff, duh! https://t.co/sXsHEAySxJ
— Lifelong Democrat Strategist (@JammieWF) November 5, 2018
There’s more horrific things in the works if this grifter gets elected tomorrow. Even if he only lasts a year before he’s indicted and perp walked, he has a chance to appoint THREE (count ’em), THREE Florida Supreme Court judges. He plans to resurrect the billion dollar high speed rail boondoggle that Rick Scott mercifully put out of our misery. And his gun control proposals are only the beginning of an all-out effort to ban them.
This is a significant coup for DeSantis, since Democrats usually try to cast themselves as the strongest advocates for the environment. Amid algae blooms and red tide, the environment is more important in this election than it has been in many, and the big endorsement should help DeSantis appeal to voters who mainly know him as a top cheerleader for Donald Trump.
“The Everglades and coastal estuaries couldn’t care less about partisan politics, so the Trust doesn’t. They are in desperate need of a hero – and they found one in Ron DeSantis,” said Everglades Trust Executive Director Kimberly Mitchell.
QUALITY OF LIFE. We have that here.
Oh, my heart is in my throat about Tuesday. The Democrats have edged out the GOP in the early voting by a hair, but Republicans are also awful fond of standing in line at the polls, so there is that. Everybody who’s registered needs to get their tookusses down to their precinct, and vote that straight red ticket if you haven’t already. Truly, this is an “EVERY vote counts” imperative. My Florida man, gator wrestling, white sand wonderful state is on the line.
Sure be a shame if we lost it.
Featured Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images