Andrew Gillum campaign: Florida is ‘f***d up’, ‘cracker state’

Andrew Gillum campaign: Florida is ‘f***d up’, ‘cracker state’
Andrew Gillum (Image: YouTube screen grab)

Andrew Gillum is the Democratic candidate for governor of Florida. He is a radical tax-raising left-winger who beat the sensible moderate Gwen Graham in the Democratic Primary and is now poised to become Florida’s next governor. He is downplaying his radicalism right now, but his campaign staffers reveal just how radical he really is. A campaign staffer for Andrew Gillum said that Florida is a “cracker state” and that the Florida legislature has to become racially black for Gillum’s agenda to advance.

Gillum also attended an event with an anti-semitic group after the massacre of 11 Jews at a Pittsburgh synagogue. As The Daily Caller’s Molly Prince notes, “Florida’s Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum spoke at an event hosted by an anti-Jewish organization the day after the deadliest attack on Jews in American history.”

Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey describes some bizarre statements from Gillum’s campaign: Staffer “Omar Smith, who says he went to college with Gillum, reveals Gillum cannot fulfill his campaign promises even if he wanted to,” because Florida is a “‘cracker state'” that is “‘f***d up.'”

It would not be surprising if Gillum could not pay for his campaign promises: Gillum’s health care plan alone would cost Florida roughly $2 trillion over 10 years, more than doubling the state budget. Even with large state tax increases, the state would go bankrupt paying for all of Gillum’s proposals.

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As video quoted by Morrissey shows,

When asked how Gillum would fund all the programs he says he wants to fund, Smith says Gillum “can’t,” and when asked if voters are aware that Gillum cannot deliver on his proposed programs, Smith says:

SMITH: “That’s not for them to know… That’s not for them to know. Remember our saying, modern day fairy tales start with ‘once I am elected.’”

Smith explains that most of Gillum’s campaign promises could never be implemented, and that the Gillum campaign knows this.

Gillum might be able to get major tax increases imposed on Florida, though. That is because he will be able to pick most of Florida’s Supreme Court if he is elected. The state’s high court recently ruled that replacements for three outgoing justices — all liberals — will be picked by Florida’s next governor. By picking their replacements, and filling future vacancies, Gillum will be able to fill the state Supreme Court with left-wing justices. Those justices could order the state legislature to raise taxes to pay for things left-wing activists believe are mandated by the state constitution. That includes more spending on welfare and on public schools in urban areas.

Many liberal state supreme courts have ordered state legislatures to spend more money on public schools, which has resulted in major tax increases in those states, without any improvement in student achievement or SAT scores. Often, such rulings reward failure and incompetence: The New Jersey Supreme Court ordered that more money be spent on school districts in depressed urban areas than in other areas of the state. In doing so, it effectively rewarded dysfunctional, poorly-run urban school districts by giving them more money per student than is received by schools in other areas of the state that are better run.

Judges appointed by Gillum could also read a right to welfare and other handouts at taxpayer expense into the state constitution. Only one or two states, both wealthy, currently appear to have a state constitutional right to welfare, which is seldom judicially enforced. But Gillum, who is quite radical, could conceivably make Florida — which is much less wealthy — have such a right, just by appointing liberal judges who read such a right into the Florida state constitution through judicial activism.

On the other hand, the Gillum campaign staffer cited by Morrissey seems to admit that Gillum’s promised education proposals “will never happen” if he is elected. Some things may be too extreme even for Florida’s liberal supreme court, which has been aggressive in voiding state laws it dislikes: It has struck down tort reform laws, protections against abusive lawsuits, and laws restricting the admissibility of junk science in state courts, by reading things into the state constitution by judicial fiat.

Gillum’s proposed tax increases, while substantial, would not be nearly enough to pay for his healthcare plan. As attorney Hans Bader noted earlier, Gillum’s policies would lead to increases in the crime rate, inadequate punishment for some murderers, less safe prisons, and unnecessary increases in Florida’s corrections budget.

As journalist Charles Cooke has noted, Gillum has responded to news reports about his corruption by falsely accusing those who highlighted the corruption of racism — even though those who exposed it include liberal journalists for newspapers that invariably endorse Democrats, such as the Tampa Bay Times. As Cooke notes:

Andrew Gillum, the Democratic nominee for the governorship of Florida, is responding to the widely reported news that he has been caught lying about perks he received while in office by accusing those who have noticed the stories of racism.

Per Politico, “documents turned over to the Florida Commission on Ethics” show that Gillum has misled the public in at least two ways. First, by accepting tickets to the broadway show Hamilton from an undercover FBI agent who was posing as a lobbyist, and then pretending that he believed they had been purchased by his brother. Second, by staying at a villa in Costa Rica that was paid for by “Adam Corey, a lobbyist and longtime ally of Gillum,” and then insisting he paid for it himself.

As Legal Insurrection points out, “Democrat Florida Gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum’s money troubles are piling up. A new report from Politico claims Gillum used an official Tallahassee Mayoral office account to pay for a private flight to visit with potential donors to his Gubernatorial campaign.”

As Politico recounts:

Gillum paid for the Feb. 12, 2016, round-trip flight from Tallahassee to St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport with an official mayor’s office expense account, the Tallahassee Democrat reported last year. The newspaper quoted Gillum’s mayoral office spokesman Jamie Van Pelt saying Gillum took the trip on official city business of talking with Tampa affordable-housing developer Peter Leach about wraparound social services in schools and housing developments. Gillum also found time to meet with high-profile Democrats like Alex Sink and now-Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.), Van Pelt had said.

However, the newly released records provided by the lawyer of former Gillum ally Adam Corey under a subpoena issued as part of an investigation by the Florida Commission on Ethics indicate the flight was expressly for Gillum to meet with potential donors to his gubernatorial campaign. Gillum’s 2014 mayoral campaign finance reports show he had moved $10,000 to his official mayoral office account about the time he won the local office in 2014. State law restricts use of the account to only official city business.

As Ed Morrissey points out, Gillum’s problems may grow much larger if the FBI decides to pursue this and related allegations:

The FBI has remained silent on whether Gillum is a target in their probe, but the state can prosecute anyone violating its own laws separately. Violating this law is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison, although a penal sentence would not be a likely outcome; the political damage would be more significant. It might be tough for the Florida Attorney General to ignore at this point, too, given the high profile Gillum has carved out for himself by running for governor.

Jerome Woehrle

Jerome Woehrle

Jerome Woehrle is a retired attorney and author, who writes about politics.