Andrew Gillium, Hamilton, And Race.

Andrew Gillium is the Democrat Mayor of Tallahassee who is running for governor of the State of Florida against Republican Rick DeSantis who served in the House of Representatives.

By most accounts, the race is tight and should go down to the wire.

However, a new accusation has surfaced claiming Gillium illegally received benefits from his job and has lied to the people about it.

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.

Gillum’s campaign has maintained — and continued to do so Tuesday after the records were released — that Gillum’s brother, Marcus, handed him the ticket the night of the show.

But text messages at the time of the trip show Gillum was told the tickets came from “Mike Miller,” an FBI agent looking into city corruption who was posing as a developer.

“Mike Miller and the crew have tickets for us for Hamilton tonight at 8 p.m.,” Corey texted Gillum on Aug. 10, 2016.

“Awesome news about Hamilton,” Gillum replied, according to the records.
The campaign has not said how Marcus Gillum, who lives in Chicago, came by such a sought-after Broadway ticket, or whether Andrew Gillum asked his brother about it.

Okay, so Gillium took tickets for the show “Hamilton” and is trying to say that he thought they were from his brother. If that were the whole story, that would be fine.

The new records go beyond Broadway tickets.

They show that undercover FBI agents posing as businessmen were working for months to get an out-of-state meeting with Gillum, and that Gillum appeared willing to oblige them.

In June 2016, Corey texted Miller, the undercover agent, telling him that he would discuss options with Gillum.

“I just want to make it a good trip and Sweets and B will be booked on something else if we don’t lock something down,” Miller replied.

“Mike Sweets” and “Brian Butler” were the two other undercover FBI agents posing as businessmen.

Corey then followed up proposing to meet in Las Vegas.

“AG thinks Vegas in August is an easier option for him,” Corey texted Miller, referring to Gillum. “He is double checking availability with his office now. Stand by.”

Instead of Las Vegas, they met in New York, while Gillum was attending a conference on behalf of the People for the American Way Foundation, a liberal advocacy group that employed him.

Text messages show Miller paid for the airfare and hotel room for Gillum’s brother, Marcus.

“Send me the mayor and his brother’s information and I will have my girl book their flights,” Miller wrote.

Corey replied that Gillum had already booked his flight, but he would send his brother’s information “ASAP.”

That’s a whole lot more than just tickets for a play. That is Gillium illegally taking gifts from someone he thought was a businessman.

Like far too many cities, the City of Tallahassee has been embroiled in a deep corruption probe. Gillium maintains that he had nothing to do with any corruption and we’d love to take him at his word. However, as Mayor of Tallahassee, the buck stops with him and one has to wonder if he did not know, should he have known?

We can discuss that all day long but Gillium’s latest response to the allegations is even more troubling:

In response, Gillum filmed a Facebook Live video from a basketball court in Richmond Heights maintaining his innocence and attacking Florida Republicans for spreading the story.

“The Republicans obviously want to distract, want to suggest– all along on the trail they’ve wanted the people of this state to believe somehow I haven’t deserved what I’ve gotten, I’m unethical, participated in illegal and illicit activity. I mean, you name it,” he said.

“The goal is obviously to use my candidacy as a way to reinforce, frankly, stereotypes about black men,” said Gillum, who is African American.

He continued, saying his Republican opponent Ron DeSantis was in a “desperation period” and was “going to the gutter of politics in this state.”

“[Floridians] are sick of racist attacks, we’re sick of bigoted attacks, we’re sick of divisive language and strategy…” he said. “We don’t want a Donald Trump look-a-like, we don’t want a Donald Trump act-a-like.”

We aren’t sure how anyone pointing out that Gillium accepted gifts is an attack based on race, but that is the dog whistle of many these days.

It appears to us that Gillium is making the race based attacks and trying to divide Floridians along racial lines

We think that is unacceptable.

We know that there is racism in this world, but every negative statement – especially negative statements of fact – is not raced based. If DeSantis had taken these illegal gifts, we would be saying the same thing about his character and fitness to lead Florida.

Character, or lack of character, doesn’t know or respect race. It is a flaw of people, not their race.

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