Progressive billionaire Tom Steyer has bought in on Andrew Gillum, the Democratic nominee for governor in Florida, to the tune of another $2 million as Election Day approaches – making the estimated total over $5M so far. With polls calling the race against Republican nominee Ron DeSantis a toss-up, Gillum’s radical bona fides have not seemingly damaged his campaign in the eyes of many Sunshine State voters.
Steyer heavily backed Gillum as the Tallahassee mayor pulled off an unexpected victory in the Democratic primary. After winning that battle, Gillum publicly thanked Steyer and a much more notorious billionaire Democrat donor, George Soros, for their crucial financial help.
“I’ll tell you, I’m obviously deeply appreciative of Mr. Soros, as well as Mr. Steyer, both men whom I’ve known for some time,” Gillum said on NBC’s Meet the Press.
Gillum’s ties to Soros are indeed deep, according to reports. Aaron Klein at Breitbart writes that Gillum is a graduate of “an Oakland, California-based training school for progressive revolutionaries” who have become activists in the leftist movement, many at Soros-funded organizations.
Well-known leftists Van Jones and Linda Sarsour are other graduates of the Rockwood Leadership Institute. Klein notes that Gillum called the experience a “major milestone” for him. “I will continue to use the tools and methodology [learned there] in life and as I advance in my career,” Gillum wrote of Rockwood in July 2013.
And that is just the message that the DeSantis campaign is trying to send to Florida voters. Republicans are attempting to paint Gillum as far too radical for Florida; his relationship with Soros and close connection to Trump impeachment-obsessed Steyer are but two examples they are hoping to mine in the effort.
The Republican Governors Association has been running a campaign ad linking Gillum to a radical group called the Dream Defenders. The Tampa Bay Times reports Gillum’s connection to the group goes back to the Trayvon Martin shooting in 2012, when Gillum was serving as a Tallahassee city commissioner. A statement by a Gillum spokesman shows his association with the organization does not particularly trouble the candidate.
“The Mayor and the Dream Defenders, who are one of the leaders in the struggle for social justice here at home, don’t agree on everything,” the spokesman said.
“Friendly to immigrants” is Gillum’s euphemism for sanctuary cities.
The RGA ad spotlights some of the Dream Defenders’ more incendiary policy declarations, such as their belief that “police and prisons have no place in ‘justice’” and that “the United States is the biggest bully in the history of the planet.”
There’s even more police bashing to be found at the Dream Defenders website. “Police were never meant to protect and serve me and you,” a post reads. “They started as slave catchers hired by wealthy plantation owners.” This has been a boon for DeSantis with local police organizations, who have rushed to endorse him as they express their disgust with the Dream Defenders’ statements.
Soft on Crime
President Trump got in a shot on Gillum on Oct. 20, saying he runs “one of the worst & most corrupt cities” in America.
Ron @RonDeSantisFL DeSantis is working hard. A great Congressman and top student at Harvard & Yale, Ron will be a record setting governor for Florida. Rick Scott gave him tremendous foundations to further build on. His opponent runs one of the worst & most corrupt cities in USA!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 20, 2018
Steve Hantler, writing at RealClearPolitics, provides material that certainly backs up Trump on the “worst” part. Hantler devastatingly notes that Neighborhood Scout, a website that analyzes crime rates for cities throughout America, says Tallahassee “has one of the highest crime rates in America compared to all communities of all sizes – from the smallest towns to the very largest cities.”
The site states that “more than 97 percent” of communities in Florida “have a lower crime rate than Tallahassee.” And this is the man who is friendly with the group that sees no role for police in the justice system!
Gillum also sees no role for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in border security. He has called for the department’s abolishment. On his official campaign website, he calls for “a border enforcement agency that treats people humanely and compassionately” and says, “President Trump’s attack on cities friendly to immigrants must end.” “Friendly to immigrants” is Gillum’s euphemism for sanctuary cities. With policy positions like this, is it any wonder Tallahassee is teeming with crime?
Despite all this, polls have the race as a dead heat. Progressive Steyer is enthusiastic as he pours more money into Gillum’s campaign coffers. “If you were going to choose a single race that has the most national significance, it would be the governor’s race in Florida,” he told CNN.
Progressives see this race as a bellwether for their growth in the U.S. Will the Sunshine State reject the machinations of yet another Soros assault on the electoral process in free nations, or will Gillum pull out the victory and give progressives everywhere fresh hope that they really do represent the future in a New America?