Poor Gwen Graham, daughter of legendary Florida Governor and Senator Bob Graham, who spent more than a quarter of a century in those two statewide elective offices. She desperately wants a government job, but not just any government job. In fact, she had one. She once was the House of Representative District Two Congresswoman for two years. From all appearances, she did a competent job. That was until the Florida Legislature gerrymandered her out of it. The district was divided into such a way that the newly created districts mostly favored Republican voters. Gwen didn’t have a chance and didn’t run for any of them. Poor Gwen.
She quietly went back into private life, until she woke up one day and decided to become governor. She ran hard and had the political winds to her back. She had a record to run on, a strong base of support, money, a campaign apparatus still in place and a legendary last name. That was until the lowly upstart Mayor of Tallahassee kept her from it.
Mayor Andrew Gillum had trailed throughout the primary season. In fact, Mayor Gillum trailed a distant fourth place and was in no shape to overcome two millionaires and a billionaire ahead of him. It wasn’t until the final election night that Mayor Gillum did the impossible. He snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. It was a glorious evening for him and his supporters. Poor Tallahassee.
The people of Tallahassee think they belong to an underappreciated quiet metropolis of sorts that belongs on the main stage. The Tallahassee underbelly is many Tallahasseans are liberals and believe in a benevolent dictator-style leadership. They despise rough and rumble (small d) democratic politics where people can say what they think and do what they please. No, instead, the city succeeds in perpetuating group think by using an unlimited supply of taxpayer cash for television commercials reminding people to pick up their pets’ poop, or to recycle. Forget about any discussion of the effectiveness of these programs — I can’t count how many “friends” I have lost because I voted for Trump. This town is bent on accepting whatever mantra is spouted from the DNC or any other liberal organization.
Old and New State Capitol in Tallahassee (Wikimedia Commons)
However, this town is home to Mayor Gillum. Both of which are unfortunately under FBI investigation. He is being investigated for his alleged acceptance of sporting tickets, plane trips, junkets in New York City and, unbelievably, how his close aide landed a nicely taxpayer subsidized contract for prime commercial real estate in a newly developed section of downtown. The City of the Tallahassee is being investigated for its Community Redevelopment Authority (CRA). It is a nice name with a nice mission description, but in reality, it is nothing more than a slush fund for city officials to award taxpayer subsidized contracts to friends, family and contributors, usually three in one. The timing could not be worse for Mayor Gillum or Tallahassee.
Mayor Gillum is exactly the kind of governor this city wants. He is comfortable with handing out political favors and jobs and he seems to see himself as a kind of political lord with a serfdom to manage. He would easily move across the street from City Hall into the Governor’s Office. He would appoint those most loyal to him and will expect favors in return. This is how things used to be run in Tallahassee until Republicans showed up and won elections.
The primary election of Mayor Gillum will shine a spotlight so intense on this town, and I hope that Tallahassee will melt in the glare. It has too many political skeletons in its closet and will gladly accept a Gillum defeat in November. More than anything else, Tallahassee does not want a dose of reality to force it to change its ways. Like most other liberals I know of, they like to live in a world of make believe. Poor Tallahassee.