The Pronk Pops Show 1161, October 23, 2018 — Story 1: Can Radical Progressive Democrats Win Statewide Races? — Florida Should Test The Proposition — Videos — Story 2: Blue Wave Slip Sliding Away — Videos — Story 3: Make No Waves Elections — Two Party Tyranny With Big Government Parties Unconstrained Government Spending — Day of Reckoning — Videos —

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Story 1: Can Radical Progressive Socialist Democrats Win Statewide  Races? — Florida Will Test The Proposition — Videos —

A closer look at Democratic Florida governor candidate Andrew Gillum

Florida’s Socialist Candidate Graduated from Same Training School as Other ‘Soros Revolutionaries’

FULL SPEECH: Ron DeSantis & Andrew Gillum Gets CNN The Florida Governor Debate | CNN Today 10/21/18

How Black Democrats Are Harnessing the Progressive Left | NYT News

Who Is Andrew Gillum?

Andrew Gillum speaks at his rally for governor

Jim DeFede Interviews Candidate For Florida Governor Andrew Gillum

Democrats’ Florida governor candidate soars ahead in polls – but is hit by neo-Nazi group’s racist robocalls and revelations he got Broadway tickets in an FBI sting

  • The Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum has led in every state poll 
  • He currently holds a 5-point edge in a polling average 
  • A racist robo-call ad includes a minstrel impersonation and calls him a ‘negro’ 
  • Documents reveal he accepted ‘Hamilton’ tickets from an undercover agent 

Andrew Gillum, the Democratic candidate for the Florida governorship, holds a continued lead in state polling – but now faces the twin perils of racist robo-calling and revelations he accepted ‘Hamilton’ tickets from an undercover agent.

Gillum opened up a 6-point lead over Republican Trump backer Rep. Ron DeSantis in the latest Quinnipiac University poll.

He leads DeSantis by 52 to 46 per cent, and has led in every pre-election poll in the state – although he held a 9-point margin in the same poll in late September, and his negative ratings have been rising.

Florida Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis (L), shakes hands with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum after a CNN debate in Tampa, Florida, U.S., October 21, 2018. Photo taken October 21, 2018. DeSantis, a Donald Trump ally, brought up the issue of 'Hamilton' tickets in a televised debate

He holds about a 5 point lead in a RealClearPolitics polling average.

He took the tickets after an offer from lobbyist and friend Adam Corey, who in an email mentioned another man, Mike Miller, who is believed to be the agent.

‘Just checking in with you. Mike Miller and the crew have tickets for us for Hamilton tonight at 8 p.m.,’ Corey texted Gillum in August, Politico reported.

‘The question is, did you pay for the ‘Hamilton’ ticket, or did the undercover FBI agent pay for the ‘Hamilton’ ticket?’ DeSantis asked him.

Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum leads by 6 points in a new Florida Governor poll

Gillum would be the first black governor in a state that has seen racial tensions

Gillum would be the first black governor in a state that has seen racial tensions

Documents show Gillum accepted tickets to see Hamilton from an under cover FBI agent after a friend and lobbyist said they were available 

‘I didn’t take free trips from anybody,’ Gillum hit back, without answering directly. ‘I’m a hardworking person. I know that may not fit your description of what you think people like me do. But I’ve worked hard for everything that I’ve gotten in my life, and I don’t need anybody handing me anything for free.’

Gillum told NBC’s ‘Meet the Press Daily’ on Tuesday: ‘Today’s news was no news for us at all. I always knew that if we were able to connect in New York, we would go and see “Hamilton”. When I got to the theatre, my brother handed me the ticket.’

He continued: ‘The idea that I accepted a gift never came to me. What I’ve tried to do throughout this whole process is be as open and transparent as I possibly can be. I understand that my opponent is attempting as best he can to muddy the waters here.’

Gillum, who would be the first black governor of Florida if elected, also has been the subject of racist robocalls.

On the calls, someone pretends to be Gillum and uses a minstrel dialect, calling himself a ‘negro.’

‘Well hello there. I is the negro Andrew Gillum and I’ll be askin’ you to make me governor of this here state of Florida,’ the voice says on the call.

‘My state opponent, who done call me monkey, is doin’ a lot of hollerin’ about how ‘spensive my plans for health care be,’ it continues.

‘These disgusting, abhorrent robocalls represent a continuation of the ugliest, most divisive campaign in Florida’s history,’ a Gillum spokesman said in a statement, NBC reported. ‘We would hope that these calls, and the dangerous people who are behind them, are not given any more attention than they already have been.’

The call says it was paid for by a white supremacist website out of Idaho.

Ron DeSantis and Andrew Gillum Face Off Like Richard Nixon vs. John F. Kennedy Debate

With two weeks left in the contentious campaign for governor, Democrat Andrew Gillum and Republican Ron DeSantis spent their first debate hammering each other on policy and personal fights that have defined the election.

The debate put into focus the differences between DeSantis, a Donald Trump-endorsed conservative Republican, and Gillum, who ran in the primary as a progressive Democrat backed by Bernie Sanders.

The one-hour debate, sponsored by CNN, included a big helping of sharp-tongued rhetoric. Gillum called DeSantis a “stooge” of Trump, while DeSantis countered by saying he would have a better relationship with the White House, which means a boost for the Everglades, transportation, and the military.

Gillum’s jumping-off point was Trump’s most recent tweet in support of DeSantis. He called Tallahassee, the city where Gillum is mayor, one of “worst and most corrupt” cities in America. That came on the heels of Hurricane Michael, which hammered the Florida panhandle, including inflicting damage on Tallahassee, some of which remains.

“He insulted people just as they are trying to get out of harm’s way,” Gillum said of Trump’s tweet. “Congressman DeSantis said nothing about that. Why? Because he is his stooge.”
DeSantis, a former three-term congressman, did not back away from Trump’s support, but noted that he has stood up to him on a handful of issues. That included when the Trump administration added the waters off Florida to a list of those that could see additional offshore drilling, which is hugely unpopular in Florida.

“When the president wanted to do offshore drilling, I opposed him on that,” DeSantis said. “He listened to me, he listened to Gov. [Rick] Scott.”

Trump played a big role in pushing DeSantis over the finish line in the GOP primary and gave him so much help that DeSantis ran a commercial of him reading the “Art of the Deal” to his kids and playing with blocks as he says, “build the wall!”

DeSantis said the ad was intended to be self-deprecating.

“My wife and I were poking a little fun at ourselves,” DeSantis said.

Gillum disagreed sharply with him over whether Trump was a good role model for kids.

“Donald Trump is weak. And he performs as all weak people do,” Gillum said. “They become bullies. And Mr. DeSantis is his acolyte. He’s trying out to be the Trump’s apprentice.”

Race has also played a large factor in the race. Gillum is trying to become Florida’s first black governor, and DeSantis has fended off attacks throughout the general election that he is associated with groups with ties to white supremacist groups, and on the first day of the general election DeSantis said Florida should not “monkey this up” and elect Gillum.

DeSantis said he did not return money from a donor who used the N-word to describe former President Barack Obama because the donor “made a mistake. He apologized.”

Gillum said DeSantis was intentionally trying to use race as part of his campaign strategy.

“The ‘monkey this up’ comment said it all,” Gillum said. “And he has only continued in the course of his campaign to draw all the attention he can to the color of my skin. And the truth is, you know, I’m black. I’ve been black all my life. So far as I know, I will die black.

More broadly, DeSantis pointed to his military service and time as a federal prosecutor as proof that he was color blind. He then pivoted to Gillum’s decision to sign “The Freedom Pledge” from the leftist group Dream Defenders that targets the NRA and private prison companies. The group also opposes police and the state of Israel as currently governed, and DeSantis criticized Gillum for these associations, echoing attack ads from Republican groups that have aired for more than a month.

“The fact is Andrew signed a pledge with the Dream Defenders’ pledging to support this radical manifesto. If you read that, they are so vicious about hating law enforcement,” he said. “They say the police and prisons have no place in justice, and that law enforcement should be defunded, and the money diverted for welfare programs.”

Gillum responded by saying he had “no idea what pledge he is talking about. The only thing I said is that, as governor, I will not see private prisons operating here in the state of Florida.”
Gillum then brought the subject back to race.

“That was a clever attempt to get away from the fact that Mr. DeSantis himself used to moderate a xenophobic, racist Facebook page,” Gillum said.

“That is not true,” DeSantis interjected.

“It is in fact true,” Gillum said. “When you became the Republican nominee your response was, ‘I don’t even do social media.’ You got caught.”

But DeSantis said he was added as a moderator to the Facebook page without his knowledge and when the issue was brought to his attention, he had his name removed.

The race has been tight in most public polling, though trend lines point to Gillum having a slight lead. The Real Clear Politics average of polls has Gillum up 3.7 percentage points, but that includes a CNN poll released ahead of the debate that had Gillum up 12. Most viewed that as an outlier, and has been viewed with a skeptical eye by many on social media.

DeSantis took note of Tallahassee’s crime rate under Gillum, and tried to tie him to an FBI investigation of a Tallahassee economic development agency that has long dogged Gillum’s campaign, even though he has not publicly been accused of wrongdoing. There are pictures of Gillum with lobbyist and longtime friend Adam Corey, a central figure in the probe, on a boat tour in New York harbor. On the same trip, which included an undercover FBI agent, Gillum was given free Broadway musical tickets.

DeSantis called Gillum “corrupt” and said he should “not have gotten the Broadway tickets.”
CNN host Jake Tapper, who moderated the debate, directly asked about Gillum’s association with Corey, who has played a role in Gillum’s political ascent.

“We all have friends that sometimes let us down,” Gillum responded. “I’m not under FBI investigation, and neither is my city.”

On a policy front, the two sparred over health care.

Gillum avoided answering questions about supporting “Medicare for all” — a federal issue that he nevertheless mentioned on the campaign trail — and instead pivoted to calling for an expansion of Medicaid, a state issue.

DeSantis called “Medicare for all” a “euphemism” for a single-payer health system that would dramatically alter the health system, degrade quality and increase costs.

“Andrew’s running away from Medicare for all,” DeSantis said. “Under a single payer plan? Man, that’ll make the VA waiting list look like the Fast Pass at Disney World.”

Gillum struck back by noting that DeSantis repeatedly voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which protected people with preexisting conditions. He noted that DeSantis has yet to release a health care plan in the campaign and once told a cancer patient that he could always go to the emergency room for care.

“Health care is the major issue on Floridians minds,” Gillum said. “We deserve to hear from the congressman exactly what his health care proposal is. He’s been promising one for months. Nothing has come from his office.”

DeSantis accused Gillum of wanting “to take away employer-provided coverage. He thinks it should be illegal.”

“That’s not true,” Gillum interjected.

DeSantis said “Medicare for all” would destroy private coverage. Gillum then asked DeSantis to define “Medicare for all.”

“So you don’t support Bernie Sanders’ ‘Medicare for all?'” DeSantis asked.

“What I support is expanding Medicaid for over 800,000 Floridians who deserve to have access to their own doctor,” Gillum said, ignoring DeSantis’s repeated question about whether Gillum would sign a ‘Medicare for all’ bill.

Florida Democratic activists love Andrew Gillum. They seem oblivious to the investigation.

One Democratic candidate for governor draws big crowds in Tampa Bay. A public corruption investigation looms over him.

Tallahassee Mayor and Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum talks with reporters before addressing a group of gay and lesbian Democrats in Tallahassee on Aug. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Brendan Farrington)

Four major candidates are running for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 2018, and each regularly visits Tampa Bay to court voters and donors.

Only one consistently draws sizable crowds of activists.

“Andrew Gillum is definitely my candidate,” said Sheira Hope, a St. Petersburg homemaker, before an online debate between Gillum, Tallahassee’s mayor, and Republican House Speaker Richard Corcoran. “I like his energy, I like his ideas, I like his honesty.”

Democratic organizers throughout Tampa Bay say it can be a struggle mustering decent crowds when former congresswoman Gwen Graham of Tallahassee, businessman Chris King of Winter Park or former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine campaign here. Not so with Gillum, a charismatic speaker and proud liberal aggressively courting the Bernie Sanders wing of his party.

Andrew Gillum, Chris King and Gwen Graham participate in a Democratic gubernatorial forum in Hollywood, Fla. (Times files)
Andrew Gillum, Chris King and Gwen Graham participate in a Democratic gubernatorial forum in Hollywood, Fla. (Times files)

“That’s definitely true. He is the favorite of the more progressive members of the party,” Hillsborough County Democratic Party Chairwoman Ione Townsend said.

“People are really looking for somebody that is hopeful and inspiring, and Gillum really meets that,” said Women’s March Pinellas organizer Lisa Perry, likening Gillum’s grass roots enthusiasm to the kind generated by Sanders and Barack Obama. “Gillum may have the least funding, but he’s created a really big ground game here already.”

Those sentiments are widespread among liberal Democrats, which is pretty remarkable given that just a few months ago the most common question about Gillum’s candidacy was why hasn’t he pulled the plug. Much of the party establishment wrote off Gillum amid revelations eight months ago that Tallahassee City Hall was the focus of a public corruption investigation.

Fundraising all but dried up as the Tallahassee Democrat spit out ominous news nuggets: A federal grand jury last summer subpoenaed five years of city records related to redevelopment deals and developers, including a longtime friend, lobbyist and political ally of Mayor Gillum’s. … The FBI interviewed Gillum, who stressed that the FBI told him he was not “the focus” of their investigation. … A photo showed Gillum on a boat in New York City in 2016 with his lobbyist friend — Tampa native Adam Corey — and an undercover FBI agent who had been posing as a developer looking to do deals in Tallahassee.

A couple of dozen Democratic activists gathered at St. Petersburg’s Queens Head restaurant earlier this month to watch Gillum’s debate with Corcoran. They talked about Gillum’s youth, his agenda, including Medicare for all and a $15-an-hour minimum wage, and his potential to excite the Democratic base in a way that avowed centrist nominees in the past four gubernatorial races did not.

“He knows what normal people have to go through to make a living,” Ray Kervahn, a retired sales manager, said of Gillum, the African-American son of a construction worker and school bus driver and the first person in his family to attend college.

Asked about the corruption investigation looming over Gillum’s candidacy, person after person called it a non-issue.

“The information I have is that he has been cleared of all charges,” Hope said.

Perry said concerns about that investigation used to be common, “but lately most of those fears have been put to rest.”

Except they haven’t.

Scott Maddox. (Times files, 2005)
Scott Maddox. (Times files, 2005)

Gillum, 38, has not been implicated in any wrongdoing, but that does not mean he has been cleared. The only elected official named in grand jury subpoenas has been Tallahassee City Commissioner Scott Maddox, the former chairman of the Florida Democratic Party and unsuccessful candidate for attorney general, agriculture commissioner and governor. Earlier this month, the Democrat published a search warrant mistakenly posted on the Northern District of Florida Court’s website that revealed Maddox is suspected of bribery and mail fraud.

The FBI does not issue press releases declaring politicians innocent of wrongdoing they might be looking into, and public corruption investigations can plod along for years without an indictment or announcement.

Fairly or unfairly, this investigation could loom over Gillum well past election day.

He has not helped himself by refusing to discuss almost anything about the matter.

The Democrat reported in August that an undercover FBI agent may have invited Gillum to attend Hamilton on Broadway and a Mets game. Gillum last week would not even say whether he attended either.

“All I can confirm is I never did anything that I didn’t pay for,” he said, explaining that the FBI did not want him to discuss the case.

“All I would ask people do is follow the facts. I have not been mentioned in any one of the subpoenas so far that have been issued, not the public, not the private, not anybody who works for me.”

Not a terrific campaign slogan: I have not been mentioned so far in any subpoena.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum speaks at the meeting of the Tiger Bay Club at the Tucker Civic Center in Tallahassee on May 31, 2017. (Hali Tauxe/Tallahassee Democrat via AP)
Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum speaks at the meeting of the Tiger Bay Club at the Tucker Civic Center in Tallahassee on May 31, 2017. (Hali Tauxe/Tallahassee Democrat via AP)

He acknowledged the FBI may have suspected him of wrongdoing.

“I have no doubt that if they were on an effort to search out public corruption that they would want to get to know more closely and more intimately the elected officials that they wanted to determine whether or not they could get them or convince them to do something inappropriate. They didn’t get that with me, at all,” Gillum said. “In fact, most of my interactions with them, as I told the Tallahassee Democrat, were as a result of a trusting relationship that I had with a friend that I had known since our day creating bills in student government (referring to Corey). I regret that by virtue of my trust of him that I allowed people in my space to hang out with me. … But what they will never have and what the facts will never lead to is me having done anything inappropriate, anything illegal.”

Democratic primary opponents do not directly attack Gillum over the city government scandal, probably out of fear of antagonizing voters. If the investigation appears to remain open and unresolved, though, nobody doubts Republicans will hammer Gillum with it if he is the nominee.

“It absolutely worries me what the Republicans would do with that,” Hills­borough Democratic chairwoman Townsend said.

A campaign spokesman brushed off the concern.

“The mayor is the most viable progressive candidate for governor in Florida’s history,” Geoff Burgan said. “They are going to come after him because he represents a change they don’t want: working people with a voice, teachers no longer being called ‘evil’ and finally standing up to the gun lobby.”

So far, Gillum’s political talent and message are helping him overcome a scandal that would have ended most candidates’ primary campaigns. Overcoming photos of him with an undercover FBI agent conducting a corruption probe would be a far greater challenge in the general election.

Times Washington Bureau chief Alex Leary contributed to this report.

Top 7 Reasons Progressive Gillum Can Defeat DeSantis in Florida

Congressional representative and Florida gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis shocked the nation on Wednesday by warning Florida voters not to “monkey it up” by electing African-American Democratic standard-bearer Andrew Gillum, whom he incorrectly described as a “socialist.” Gillum was a Hillary Clinton delegate and voted for her, and his career as mayor of Tallahassee was not characterized by an expanded public sector or by a shrinkage of entrepreneurial opportunities. He does, however, support Medicare for all (i.e., single-payer universal health insurance), which a slight majority of Republican voters say in polling they also support. It has been alleged that DeSantis has been one of 52 administrators of an openly racist Facebook site.

DeSantis played the race card right from the beginning for a reason. Florida is a toss-up state that could go either way. DeSantis is signaling that he will attempt to scare the white business community in Florida silly at the prospect of an African-American governor who cares about the public and not just about the business elite.

Here are the reasons for which Gillum could well win:

1. Florida can go either way, Democrat or Republican and state and federal at-large elections are often very close. Any Democratic candidate can expect to come within one percentage point of winning a state-wide election there, right off the bat, which means that Gillum is very much in play. We saw this phenomenon in 2000 when whether George W. Bush or Al Gore won depended on some hanging chads and some ballot boxes apparently buried in the Everglades. That close result was no fluke. In 2008, Florida in a profound mortgage crisis went for Obama by 4,282,367 votes versus McCain’s 4,046,219, nearly a 3-point spread for the Democrats. But in 2012, Obama’s margin against Romney was much smaller, slightly less than 1 percent–though Obama did win. In 2016 Trump as Republican reversed this pattern, defeating Hillary Clinton by 1.2% of the vote. These results tell us that Florida can go either way, and this conclusion has been true since at least 2000. The same thing is true with regard to the governor’s office. In the 2014 governor’s race, Republican Rick Scott received 2,865,343 votes. Charlie Crist, a former Republican left behind by the Tea Party who ran as a Democrat, got 2,801,198 votes, thus losing by a margin of exactly 1 percent.

2. Florida’s demographic make-up is in flux. From 2010 to today, the population has grown from 18.8 million to about 21 million, an 11% increase. Immigrants into Florida tend to be Democrats (true of non-Cuban Latinos, African-Americans, and urban whites and youth). I think Florida is probably slightly bluer today than it was in 2010, despite the close results of state-wide elections mentioned above. As of August 2018, Professor Susan A. MacManus estimates that 40% of Floridians are Democrats, while only 36% are Republicans. Of course, voter suppression measures like voter i.d. requirements and anointing Democratic candidates like Crist who are literally Republicans can give the nod to the other side if they reduce the enthusiasm to come out and vote of Democrats, including minorities. Inability to attract Obama-level support from African-Americans doomed Clinton, as well. Obviously, Gillum at least has a shot at getting the Democratic base, including African-Americans, out to the ballot box.

3. Jerusalem embassy versus the Nazi factor. Five percent of Floridians are Jewish, and the vast majority of them vote Democratic. In the age of Trump and Neo-Nazis in Charlottesville chanting “Jews will not replace us,” Republicans may find it harder to win simply by playing the Israel card (a tactic that never worked against Obama in Florida presidential politics). It all depends on whether they think it is more important that Trump is moving the US embassy to Jerusalem or more important that he thinks anti-Semitic white nationalists are very fine people. DeSantis is a Trumpie, and Gillum might be able to tar him with that brush in Boca.

4. African-Americans comprise about 17% of the population of Florida, but only about 13 percent of the registered voters. (Some 20 percent cannot vote because of Florida’s Draconian law barring ex-felons from the voting booth). Gillum cannot count on their coming out to vote for him simply because he is an African-American. But if he inspires them to enthusiasm, this community could be important to his victory, as it was for Barack Obama. Initial indications are that he is inspiring African-Americans in Florida with a great deal of enthusiasm.

5. The Latino Factor: Slightly over a quarter of the population is Latino, though about a third of them are Cuban-Americans who trend Republican. That leaves 16.6% of the population as non-Cuban Latinos, including persons of Puerto Rican, Mexican, Dominican and other heritage. They mostly vote Democratic, and it would be surprising in the era of Trump if they weren’t pushed even further in the direction of that party. The third who are Cubans are much more in flux than in the past, with some younger Cuban-Americans having supported Obama. Gillum could make inroads here. Likewise, there are now 1.2 million Puerto Ricans in Florida. As American citizens, they can vote for president wherever they are. Hundreds of thousands may have left the island in the botched aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Only 7% say they are Republicans. Whether the newcomers will register and actually vote in Florida is a question mark. But remember that many statewide elections in Florida are decided by small numbers of voters.

6. Millennials trend heavily Democratic, but only 28% say they plan to vote in the midterms nationally. If the Parkland wave in Florida, which Gillum is courting by seeking sensible firearm safety regulation, turns into enthusiasm at the ballot box, it could be significant. Obama famously won the Iowa primaries in 2008 in large part because of the youth vote. Gillum has to galvanize the youth to vote if he is to win.

7. The environment. Florida is in a crisis caused by algal blooms, which are caused by industrialized agriculture and the run-off into the water of chemicals. Likewise, Florida is perhaps the state most at risk from the negative effects of climate change. Outgoing governor Rick Scott, now running for the Senate, has a horrible record on both issues. In the past, that record did not seem to matter, but close local observers are arguing that a sea change is happening even among some Florida Republicans on the environment. It is not a sure thing, but 2018 could be the year when environmental issues came to the fore in Florida politics. If so, DeSantis is toast.

One thing is for sure: the Florida gubernatorial race will be relatively close. And given that nearly half the state is neither white Protestant nor non-Hispanic Catholic, and given the big white progressive vote in Miami-Dade and other urban areas, playing the race card there could backfire big time.


TALLAHASSEE, FL- The Republican Party of Florida today released a new animated graphic sharing 10 reasons why Andrew Gillum is too radical and too corrupt for Florida (Link to watch:

“Andrew Gillum’s corruption and radical agenda flew under the radar during the Democratic primary and it’s time voters learned the truth,” said RPOF Communications Director Meredith Beatrice. “Under Andrew Gillum’s watch, murder and violent crime in Tallahassee have increased dramatically. At the same time, Gillum has repeatedly denied funding for additional law enforcement officers but approved $2 million in taxpayer funding for a restaurant now at the center of an ongoing FBI investigation involving his closest associates and friends.”


  1. Saw Tallahassee’s Average Murder Rate Increase by 52% on his watch from 2010-2017. Gillum says he has provided exemplary leadership as a mayor, but in reality more people have been murdered under Gillum’s watch as Tallahassee’s average murder rate has increased 52 percent from 2010 to 2017. Gillum served as a city commissioner from 2003 to 2014 and was elected mayor in 2014. Learn more:
  2. Said NO to More Police in Tallahassee but Yes to $2 Million in Tax Dollars for His Friend’s Restaurant. Gillum says he will protect the state’s most vulnerable, but when it came to protecting his own residents he repeatedly denied law enforcement requests for additional police officers in Tallahassee but approved $2 million in taxpayer funding for a restaurant now at the center of an ongoing FBI investigation. Learn more:
  3. Closely Linked to an Ongoing FBI Investigation AND Vacationed With Undercover FBI Agents and Lobbyists in NYC and Costa Rica. Gillum says he is transparent and open, but in reality he refuses to come clean about a suspicious $15,000 deposit in his bank account and who paid for the luxury trip to Costa Rica he took with undercover FBI agents in 2016. Learn more:
  4. Wants to Raise Taxes by Over $1 Billion. Gillum says he wants to provide hope for those who are left out, but in reality he wants to raise taxes by $1 Billion on hardworking Florida families so that he can pay for his radical agenda. Learn more: PolitiFact
  5. After Hurricane Hermine, Refused Help From Non-Union Electric Workers, Leaving Thousands Without Power For Even Longer. Gillum says he wants to lead our state, but he failed the people of Tallahassee when Hurricane Hermine devastated the community, refusing additional help and admitting mistakes were made. Learn more: Politico
  6. Wants to Abolish ICE and Protect Criminal Illegal Immigrants. Gillum says he wants to protect Floridians, but he wants to abolish ICE, leaving our state vulnerable and less safe. Learn more: CNN
  7. Supported by Ultra-Liberal Billionaires George Soros and Tom Steyer AND Socialists Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Gillum says he is not a far-left socialist, but in reality his agenda is taken directly from ultra-left billionaires George Soros and Tom Steyers and socialists like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Learn more: Politico | CBS News
  8. Wants a $33 Trillion Single-Payer Health Plan That Would Take Away Current Coverage for Floridians. Gillum says that healthcare should be a right, but in reality he wants to impose a single-payer healthcare system which would cost $33 TRILLION and take away everyone’s current health insurance. Learn more: CNN
  9. Opposes School Choice but Stands With Union Bureaucrats. Gillum says he wants our children to succeed, but in reality he wants to take away school choice opportunities from over 140,000 minority, poor and uniquely-abled students because he cares more about union bureaucrats than students and teachers. Learn more:
  10. Stands With Disgraced “Coward of Broward” Sheriff Scott Israel Over School Safety. Gillum says he wants to keep our kids safe, but in reality he stands with the disgraced “Coward of Broward” Sheriff Scott Israel over school safety. Learn more: Sun Sentinel


Andrew Gillum

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Andrew Gillum
Mayor of Tallahassee
Assumed office
November 21, 2014
Preceded by John Marks
Member of the Tallahassee City Commission
for Seat 2
In office
February 2003 – November 2014
Preceded by John Paul Bailey
Succeeded by Curtis B. Richardson
Personal details
Born Andrew Demese Gillum
July 26, 1979 (age 39)
MiamiFlorida, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Jai Howard (m. 2009)
Children 3
Education Florida A&M University (BA)
Website Official website

Andrew Demese Gillum (born July 26, 1979) is an American politician serving as Mayor of Tallahassee, Florida since 2014. He is the Democratic nominee for Governor of Florida in the 2018 election. He previously served on the Tallahassee City Commission from 2003 to 2014; first elected at age 23, he was the city’s youngest commissioner.[1]

In 2018, Gillum became the Florida Democratic Party‘s nominee for Governor of Florida when he won the Democratic primary election over a field of five other candidates including former U.S. Representative Gwen Grahamand former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine. He will compete against Republican U.S. Representative Ron DeSantis in the general election.[2][3]

Gillum has been classified as a progressive, and is considered to be a politician in the mold of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, the highest-ranking elected official to support his primary candidacy.[4][5][6]

Early life and education

Gillum was born in Miami and raised in Gainesville. He is the fifth of seven children born to Charles and Frances Gillum, a construction worker and school bus driver, respectively. In 1998 he graduated from Gainesville High School and was recognized by the Gainesville Sun as one of the city’s “Persons of the Year”. He then moved to Tallahassee to attend Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) to major in political science.[7]

Gillum served as President of the FAMU Student Government Association from 2001–2002, and was the first student member of FAMU Board of Trustees. He was recognized by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundationas “Emerging Leader for 2003”. Gillum was also a Board member of the Black Youth Vote Coalition, a program of the National Coalition of Black Civic Participation in Washington, D.C.. Gillum was elected to the Tallahassee City Commission prior to the completion of his college career.[8][7]

Political career

City of Tallahassee Commissioner

In 2003, at age 23, Gillum was elected to the Tallahassee City Commission for a one-year term, becoming the youngest person to be elected to the commission.[9] Gillum was a political science student at FAMU when he was elected.[7]

He was subsequently elected to a full four-year term, in 2004, garnering 72 percent of the vote, and was reelected in 2008 and again in 2012.[9]

Gillum served a one-year term as Mayor Pro Tem from November 10, 2004 through November 9, 2005. The joint body of City and County Commissioners, known as the Capital Region Transportation Planning Agency, elected him to serve as their chairperson for a year (January 2005 through December 2005). Gillum has also served as lead commissioner for the Long Range Community Based Target Issue Committee.[10]

In 2005, Gillum was one of the commissioners who voted to give themselves a new retirement benefit through deferred compensation. The policy was later repealed by the commission after public outrage.[7]

City of Tallahassee projects

During his eleven years as a city commissioner Gillum championed a number of community enrichment projects.[10] The Digital Harmony Project is an initiative championed by Gillum with support from the City of Tallahassee, local businesses and technology partnerships. Digital Harmony won the Significant Achievement Award in the Web & e-Government Services category from the Public Technology Institute. For the first two years, it provided every incoming Nims Middle School sixth and seventh-grader with a new desktop computer, free internet access and online academic curriculum training on core subjects. The school holds ongoing training courses for parents and students on basic computer skills and school curriculum. This effort places 200 computers into the homes of Nims Middle School students.[11]

Gillum championed the opening of the first Tallahassee Teen Center, The Palmer Munroe Center, which serves as a safe haven for many area youth and operates a restorative justice program.[12] Restorative justice programs have shown significant success, compared to non-restorative measures, in improving victim and/or offender satisfaction, increasing offender compliance with restitution, and decreasing the recidivism of offenders.[13] Gillum stressed these results as some of the reasons for the great importance of the Palmer Munroe Center.[14]

Gillum supported the city’s development project of Cascades Park, located in downtown Tallahassee. The park was built in 2013 and doubles as a storm-water management facility, protecting local neighborhoods from flooding.[7]

Mayor of Tallahassee


In April 2013, Andrew Gillum announced his intention to run for mayor of Tallahassee.[15] Gillum ran against three opponents: Larry Hendricks, Zach Richardson, and write-in candidate Evin Matthews.[16] In the August 26, 2014 nonpartisan primary, Gillum defeated Richardson and Hendricks; capturing 76 percent of the vote with 19,658 votes.[17] On August 27, 2014, write-in candidate Evin Matthews withdrew from the race, resulting in Gillum becoming mayor-elect.[18]

Tenure in office

Before taking office, Gillum met with various mayors to learn from their successes.[19] He also launched the Tallahassee Mayoral Fellows Program in partnership with Florida Agricultural And Mechanical University and Florida State University, allowing high-achieving graduate students to gain experience working in City government.[20] Gillum was sworn into Office on November 21, 2014.[21]

In January 2015, Gillum strongly supported the City of Tallahassee joining in the Ban the Box campaign; arguing that the initiative does not stop the city from conducting background checks, but rather gives applicants a fair shot at employment and reduces recidivism.[22]On January 28 the Tallahassee City Commission voted 3-2 to drop the box.[23]

On February 17, 2015 Gillum welcomed United States Secretary of TransportationAnthony Foxx, to Tallahassee to kick off the GROW AMERICA Express Tour.[24] Gillum also contributed to the DOT Fastlane Blog, in which he stressed the importance of long-term transportation investments for America’s mid-size cities.[25]

In an effort to overhaul how City Advisory Committees, a series of local advisory boards, operate in Tallahassee, Mayor Gillum released a survey in March 2015 to gain feedback into the city’s numerous boards and motivate citizens to get involved with local government.[26] Also in March 2015, Gillum participated in a conference call with other Florida mayors and United States Deputy Secretary of Commerce, Bruce Andrews; a call in which Gillum stated his support for Congress to pass trade promotion legislation that would bolster international trade, and stressed the importance for local governments of a leveled playing field.[27]

On March 27, 2015, Gillum held the Mayor’s Summit on Children,[28] a large conference in which business and community leaders came together to learn about the importance of investments in quality Early Childhood Education (ECE).[29] Speakers included Dr. Craig Ramey, distinguished research scholar of human development at Virginia Tech, who spoke about the importance of ECE to language development and the vocabulary gap that can form between those who receive quality ECE and those who do not; and Rob Grunewald, economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, who spoke about the importance of early learning to the long-term economic success of a community.

On the heels of the Summit on Children, Gillum launched four community-led task forces as part of his Family First Agenda; these task forces, which Gillum introduced at the Summit, examine: Improved Quality and Affordable Child Care, Family Friendly Workplaces and Culture, Greater Community Investments in Children and Families, and Resources and Training for Parents and Families.[30] Gillum stressed that investments in early childhood education have been proven to return six dollars for every one dollar invested; this is due to lowering community costs on those children as they grow older.[31]

In May 2015, Gillum launched a 1,000 Mentors Initiative, which aimed to recruit 1,000 men and women from diverse backgrounds to increase youth mentoring opportunities in Tallahassee, and help youth in need.[32] Also in May 2015, Gillum, in partnership with several local and national organizations, orchestrated the Tallahassee Future Leaders Academy (TFLA), a summer jobs program which employed over 100 youths throughout city government.[33] Gillum summarized the importance of a program like the TFLA in a July Op-ed, in which he highlighted how similar summer jobs programs from around the country have been shown to reduce arrests for violent crime, reduce youth mortality rates, and increase the likelihood of college attendance.[34]

In response to an increase in shootings Gillum and the Tallahassee Police Department, worked with community organizations to implement Operation Safe Neighborhoods in 2015.[35][36] This initiative called for an increase in law enforcement visibility and capacity; strengthening strategic partnerships and community programs/opportunities; and enhancing community engagement and response, through the implementation of a community watch program called, Neighbors on the Block.[37]

In October 2015, more than 400 strangers gathered around a 350-foot-long table in downtown Tallahassee to participate in the launch of The Longest Table, an annual initiative aiming to use the dinner table as a medium for generating meaningful conversation among people of diverse ethnic, religious, and political backgrounds. Organized by the Office of the Mayor and spearheaded by Community Engagement Director Jamie Van Pelt, the project won a $57,250 grant from the Knight Cities Challenge via the Knight Foundation.[38]

Corruption and misuse investigations

In February 2017, Gillum apologized after the Tallahassee Democrat reported that his government office had been used to send emails through web-based software purchased by NGP VAN, a company that provides technology to Democratic and progressive campaigns.[39] An investigation into the emails started after Paul Henry, a retired state trooper from Monticello, wrote State Attorney Jack Campbell in March to allege Gillum committed grand theft and official misconduct by paying for the software with city funds when he believed they served no public purpose. A Leon County grand jury cleared Gillum of any wrongdoing.[40]

During his mayoral campaign in 2014, Gillum faced allegations of misconduct after hiring private equity investor Adam Corey as the treasurer. Corey is an investor in The Edison, a restaurant that received taxpayer money from the city to help with the Cascades Park development project. During a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigation into the matter, city officials stated that Gillum’s vote did not constitute a conflict of interest[7] and Gillum cut ties with Corey.[41]

According to text messages uncovered by the Tampa Bay Times, Gillum accepted tickets to the Broadway musical Hamilton from his brother, Marcus Gillum, who got them through an undercover FBI agent conducting a corruption investigation. The agent was posing as a real estate developer.[42] Gillum responded to the Tampa Bay Times story, “These messages only confirm what we have said all along. We did go to see Hamilton. I did get my ticket to Hamilton from my brother. At the time, we believed that they were reserved by friends of Adam’s, Mike Miller. And when I got there after work, got my ticket, we went in there and saw it, assumed my brother paid for it, and so far as I know, that was the deal.”[42]

2018 gubernatorial election

Gillum announced his candidacy for governor in March 2017, and was the first to declare his intention to run as a Democrat.[43][44] Gillum won the Democratic nomination for governor in an upset victory over the expected winner, former congresswoman Gwen Graham, 34–31%. Gillum is the first black nominee for governor of Florida.[45] He will face Ron DeSantis in the general election.[46]

Political positions

Gillum has been widely described as a progressive[47] and, by some conservative sources, as a democratic socialist.[48] During the 2018 gubernatorial campaign, DeSantis said that Gillum had a “far left socialist platform”; PolitiFact rated this assertion as false, noting that Gillum’s platform is similar to those of other Democrats and within the mainstream of public opinion.[49]

Gillum supports the replacement of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement with the U.S. Department of Justice. He seeks to expand Medicaid to cover “…700,000 people, who right now don’t have access to health care”.[50] He supports the removal of Confederate monuments.[51] Gillum wants to raise the Florida corporate tax rate to 7.75 percent, up from the current 5.5 percent, which he said would generate $1 billion in revenue which would be used on education funding.[52] Gillum supports a $15 minimum wage.[53]He is endorsed by Bernie Sanders and has received financial support from Tom Steyer and George Soros.[54][55] Gillum has called for the impeachment of Donald Trump.[56] Gillum accepts the scientific consensus on climate change, and has warned that climate change causes sea level rise with adverse effects for Florida.[57][58] He opposed the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, and said that he would as Florida governor work with other states in a state-based climate alliance.[59]

Gillum opposes Florida’s Stand-your-ground law.[53] Gillum is in favor of a 2018 ballot proposition, Amendment 4, to restore the voting rights of most individuals who have completed felony convictions (excluding individuals guilty of murder or sexual offenses).[60][53] Gillum said, “Floridians who have paid their debts deserve a second chance and they should have a voice in our state’s future. Our current system for rights restoration is a relic of Jim Crow that we should end for good.”[61]

Professional career

As former National Director of the Young Elected Officials Network with People for the American Way Foundation, Gillum spearheaded a program that seeks to unite elected officials age 35 and under in a network which supports them with leadership and personal development training and public policy support. With Gillum at the helm, in May 2006, the program evolved into a national network that links young elected officials across the country and helps identify solutions to the challenges facing our communities and states. Gillum also served as Field Organizer and statewide Director of the “Arrive With 5” program, which “encourages young people to become active participants in the electoral process by asking them not only to pledge to vote but also to turn out other voters on or before election day”.[62] He organized the largest “Arrive With 5” get-out-the-vote campaign in Florida’s history. He also worked as Deputy Political Director with the Florida Democratic Party. He currently serves as Director of Youth Leadership Programs with People For the American Way Foundation.[63] According to hacked emails of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chief, Gillum’s name appeared on an early list of contenders for Hillary Clinton’s running mate in the 2016 Presidential election.[64]

Honors and accolades

Gillum has received various honors and accolades. While attending FAMU, Gillum was recognized by the National Center for Policy Alternatives in Washington, D.C. as the country’s top student leader in 2001.[65] In 2004, he was named to Ebony magazine’s “Fast Track 30 Leaders Who Are 30 and Under.”[66] In 2007, Gillum was recognized as an Emerging Leader of the month by IMPACT and subsequently became their inaugural Emerging Leader of the Year during the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference in September 2007.[67] Gillum was named as a “2010 Emerging Leader” by Essence Magazine.[68]

As part of Florida A&M University’s 2012 125th Anniversary Quasiquicentennial Celebration, Gillum was honored as an Outstanding Alumnus, along with 124 other FAMU alumni.[69] Also in 2012, Gillum was named as one of “50 Young Progressive Activists Who Are Changing America,” by the Huffington Post.[70] In 2014, Gillum was named as one of the 40 Under 40 by the Washington Post political blog “The Fix.”[71]

Personal life

On May 24, 2009 Gillum married R. Jai Howard, a fellow FAMU graduate.[72] Gillum and R. Jai have three children.[8][73]

Electoral history

Tallahassee City Commission, 2003–2012

2003 Nonpartisan Primary,
Tallahassee City Commission Seat 2[74]
Candidate Votes %
Mayo Woodward 7,627 29.1
Andrew D. Gillum 6,662 25.4
Bob Henderson 6,439 24.5
Norma Parrish 4,090 15.6
Jack Traylor 1,013 3.9
Joshua Hicks 414 1.6
Total votes 26,245
2003 Nonpartisan Runoff,
Tallahassee City Commission Seat 2[75]
Candidate Votes %
Andrew D. Gillum 16,119 56.9
Mayo Woodward 12,206 43.1
Total votes 28,325
2004 Nonpartisan Primary,
Tallahassee City Commission Seat 2[76]
Candidate Votes %
Andrew D. Gillum 22,040 72.0
Allen Turnage 4,670 15.3
D.J. Johnson 3,903 12.8
Total votes 30,613
2008 Election,
Tallahassee City Commission Seat 2[77]
Candidate Votes %
Andrew D. Gillum Unopposed
2012 Nonpartisan Primary,
Tallahassee City Commission Seat 2[78]
Candidate Votes %
Andrew D. Gillum 20,329 72.2
Nick Halley 3,321 11.8
David (Bubba) Riddle 2,738 9.7
Jacob S. Eaton 1,769 6.3
Total votes 28,157

Mayor of Tallahassee, 2014

2014 Nonpartisan Primary,
Mayor of Tallahassee[79]
Candidate Votes %
Andrew D. Gillum 19,805 75.7
Zack Richardson 3,705 14.2
Larry Hendricks 2,661 10.2
Total votes 26,171

References …

Story 2: Blue Wave Slip Sliding Away — Videos

Paul Simon – Slip slidin’ away

Simon & Garfunkel – Slip Slidin’ Away (from The Concert in Central Park)

Slip Slidin’ Away
Slip slidin’ away
Slip slidin’ away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you’re slip slidin’ away
I know a man, he came from my home town
He wore his passion for his woman like a thorny crown
He said “Delores, I live in fear
My love for you is so overpowering
I’m afraid that I will disappear”
Slip slidin’ away
Slip slidin’ away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you’re slip slidin’ away
I know a woman, became a wife
These are the very words she uses to describe her life
She said “A good day ain’t got not rain”
She said “A bad day’s when I lie in bed
And I think of things that might have been”
Slip slidin’ away
Slip slidin’ away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you’re slip slidin’ away
And I know a father who had a son
He longed to tell him all the reasons for the things he had done
He came a long way just to explain
He kissed his boy as he lay sleeping
Then he turned around and he headed home again
Slip slidin’ away
Slip slidin’ away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you’re slip slidin’ away
God only knows, God makes his plan
The information’s unavailable to the mortal man
We’re working our jobs, collect our pay
Believe we’re gliding down the highway
When in fact we’re slip slidin’ away
Slip slidin’ away
Slip slidin’ away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you’re slip slidin’ away
Slip slidin’ away
Slip slidin’ away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you’re slip slidin’ away
Songwriters: Paul Simon
Slip Slidin’ Away lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Blue Wave Or Wave Goodbye? Where Democrats Stand Ahead Of The Election | MTP Daily | MSNBC

Democrat Blue Wave Is Failing, Republicans Gain In Midterm Polls

The two factors that could prevent a midterm blue wave

Are Democrats over-confident of taking control of Congress in “blue wave”?

Tucker: The collapse of the Democrats

Should Democrats Be Ready for a Blue Wave in Midterms? – ENN 2018-09-12

How Democrats are battling Trump ahead of the 2018 midterms | The Dispatch


Senate slipping away as Dems fight to preserve blue wave


A voter arrives as a worker walks past during early voting at a polling place in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

NEW YORK (AP) — In the closing stretch of the 2018 campaign, the question is no longer the size of the Democratic wave. It’s whether there will be a wave at all.

Top operatives in both political parties concede that Democrats’ narrow path to the Senate majority has essentially disappeared, a casualty of surging Republican enthusiasm across GOP strongholds. At the same time, leading Democrats now fear the battle for the House majority will be decided by just a handful of seats.

While the trend may be troubling for Democrats, the evolving political landscape remains unsettled two weeks before Election Day, even with millions of votes already cast across 20 states.

There are signs that the Democrats’ position in the expanding House battlefield may actually be improving. Yet Republican candidates locked in tight races from New York to Nevada find themselves in stronger-than-expected positions because of a bump in President Donald Trump’s popularity, the aftermath of a divisive Supreme Court fight and the sudden focus on a caravan of Latin American migrants making an arduous trek toward the U.S. border.

Democrats say they never assumed it would be easy.

“It’s still much closer than people think, with a surprise or two in the wings,” New York’s Chuck Schumer, the top Senate Democrat, told The Associated Press.

The midterm elections will decide whether Republicans maintain control of Congress for the final two years of Trump’s first term. Even if Democrats lose the Senate and win the House, they could block much of Trump’s agenda and use subpoena power to investigate his many scandals. Some in the party’s far-left wing have also vowed to impeach the president, while others promise to roll back the Republican tax overhaul and expand health care coverage for all Americans.

Democrats have enjoyed an overwhelming enthusiasm advantage for much of the Trump era. They hope an explosion of early voting across states like Florida, Texas and Nevada is further proof of their enthusiasm gap.

Public and private polling, however, suggests the GOP is getting more excited as Nov. 6 approaches.

“Republican enthusiasm doesn’t quite equal the white-hot enthusiasm of Democratic voters, but the Kavanaugh hearings got it pretty close,” said GOP consultant Whit Ayres.

He also attributes the party’s strong position on an unusual Senate map. Democrats are defending 26 seats of the 35 seats in play, including 10 in states that Trump carried in 2016. Ayres calls it “maybe the most Republican-leaning map of our lifetimes.”

He expects the GOP to maintain the Senate majority, perhaps adding a seat or two to its current 51-49 edge. Others have begun to envision the GOP picking up as many as four or five new seats.

Democrats, meanwhile, have effectively protected their Senate candidates in states across the Midwest — Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin — that helped give Trump the presidency in 2016. They are increasingly pessimistic about picking up any seats, however.

The Tennessee Senate contest, in particular, has shifted sharply in Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s direction in recent weeks, while Democratic pickup opportunities in Arizona and Nevada are now considered toss-ups. In a measure of the deep uncertainty that has defined the Trump era, only one Democratic incumbent — North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp — is seen as most in danger of losing.

After Heitkamp, Democrats facing the greatest risk of defeat are Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, and perhaps Bill Nelson of Florida. Texas Democratic Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke has shattered fundraising records and developed a national following, but polls have consistently given Republican Sen. Ted Cruz a significant lead against him.

In the race for the House, both sides acknowledge the prospect of a wipeout-style wave is shrinking.

It’s not that Democrats won’t be able to wrestle the House majority. But Republican lawmakers are increasingly optimistic, in part because of Trump’s recent performance as the GOP’s campaigner in chief.

Republicans say the often-volatile president has been surprisingly on-message during his campaign events, touting the strong economy and doubling down on the Kavanaugh fight to promote his efforts to fill courts with conservative jurists. And while Trump has been criticized by members of his own party for his handling of the case of the death of a Saudi journalist working for The Washington Post, operatives say the matter appears to be having little impact on voters.

On a conference call last week, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., urged rank-and-file lawmakers to pony up extra cash and help for tough races. They see hopeful signs in Iowa, Florida and Kansas.

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., emerged from the call saying it’s going to be a “dogfight” to the finish.

There are signs, however, that Democrats are expanding the House battlefield as Election Day approaches.

Republicans in recent days have pumped new money into House districts held by Republicans in Florida, Georgia, Virginia and New York, suggesting they’re on the defensive. Already, Democrats invested in nearly 80 races, including more than a dozen legitimate pickup opportunities in districts Trump carried by at least 9 points.

Democrats need a net gain of 23 seats to claim the House majority.

The massive battlefield remains a problem for Republicans, who have struggled to match Democratic fundraising and face several first-time candidates not yet tainted by Washington.

Still, Dan Sena, the executive director of the House Democrats campaign arm, recently predicted Democrats would win the majority by only two seats.

The Republican shift is not playing out as planned.

The GOP hoped its tax cuts would fuel their midterm message. After they proved unpopular, Republicans largely abandoned their most significant policy achievement in the Trump era in favor of a more familiar message of anger and fear.

The super PAC aligned with House Speaker Paul Ryan, which is expected to spend $100 million before Election Day — most of it on attack ads — highlighted the shifting landscape in a memo to donors.

“The polling momentum that began with the Supreme Court confirmation hearings has continued, and the environment has continued to improve,” wrote Corry Bliss, executive director of the Congressional Leadership Fund. Still, he wrote, “20 races that will decide the majority remain a coin-flip.”


Beaumont reported from Des Moines, Iowa. Mascaro reported from Washington. AP writers Alan Fram and Julie Pace in Washington contributed to this report.

Story 3: Make No Waves Elections — Two Party Tyranny With Big Government Parties Unconstrained Government Spending — Day of Reckoning — Videos —

How Did The U.S. End Up With A Two-Party System?

How to break the two-party hold on American politics

Why Can’t Third Parties Take Off?

Who NOT to Vote For

Adam Carolla: Don’t Make Things Worse

America’s Debt Crisis Explained

What Would Happen If USA Stopped Paying Its Debt?

See the source image

10 Myths About Government Debt

Will ‘all Trump, all the time’ help the GOP in the midterms?


Associated Press
President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally for Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, at Houston Toyota Center, Monday, Oct. 22, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is betting that his ubiquitous role in the midterm elections — all Trump, all the time — will pay off for Republicans trying to hang onto their perilous majorities in Congress.

Trump’s campaign said Tuesday it will spend more than $20 million on the November elections, including $6 million in national TV and digital ads beginning Oct. 29, and the president will be holding at least 10 more of his signature rallies through the election. Since July 5, Trump has held 20 of his “Make America Great Again” rallies around the country and is staging three more this week in Wisconsin, North Carolina and Illinois.

With two weeks until the election, the White House is battling against history as it tries to defend a lengthy slate of seats held by congressional Republicans. Democrats need to flip 23 House seats to win back the majority, a target that falls in line with the typical losses of about two dozen seats for a first-term president in midterm elections. Republicans are playing on a friendly Senate campaign terrain but can ill afford any mistakes with a narrow 51-49 majority.

Here’s a look at midterm campaign activities Tuesday:



The campaign of Georgia Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Stacey Abrams defended her involvement in burning the state flag — featuring a prominent Confederate symbol at the time — during a college protest more than two decades ago.

The issue surfaced ahead of Abrams’ Tuesday night debate against her Republican opponent, Brian Kemp.

Abrams’ role in the protest emerged after The New York Times published a story citing a June 1992 Atlanta Journal-Constitution article. A photo caption identifies Abrams as a woman standing with her arms crossed, watching three other protesters burn the flag.

Kemp, Georgia’s secretary of state, faces Abrams, the former state House minority leader, in one of the nation’s most competitive races for governor. Abrams is trying to become the nation’s first black female governor.

Abrams’ spokeswoman Abigail Collazo said Abrams was involved in a “permitted, peaceful protest against the Confederate emblem in the flag” while a student at Spelman College in Atlanta in 1992.

The Confederate battle flag was added to Georgia’s state flag in 1956 as a rebuke of the growing civil rights movement. Decades later, political pressure to remove what many considered to be a symbol of white supremacy grew as Atlanta drew international attention by hosting the Olympics in 1996. The Confederate symbol was phased out of the flag in 2001.



Former Vice President Joe Biden campaigned for a second day in Florida, making a quick visit to a Tallahassee coffee shop before heading to a rally at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.

Biden urged students and others milling around the shop to vote for Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson over his Republican opponent, Rick Scott, and stopped for several selfies with the crowd that surrounded him.

“For many of you, this is your first vote, but I tell you: Whether you’re your age or my age, this is an election that is bigger than politics,” Biden said, citing President Donald Trump’s comments after an anti-Nazi demonstrator was killed at a violent white nationalist rally last year in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“This is much bigger than any single issue. It’s about decency; it’s about respect,” Biden said.

Before departing, Biden was asked about the prospect of running for president in 2020. “We’ll see,” he said as the car began to pull away.



Republican Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin asserted in a new campaign ad Tuesday that Tony Evers, his Democratic challenger, wants “special treatment for illegals,” bringing immigration to the forefront ahead of a rally with President Donald Trump.

Walker’s ad is based on comments Evers made during a debate Friday. Evers voiced support for allowing in-state tuition for students who were children when their parents brought them into the U.S. without legal permission. Evers also said he supported allowing workers who are here illegally to obtain driver’s licenses to get to and from work.

Walker opposes allowing people here illegally to get driver’s licenses. Walker’s ad ends with the narrator saying, “Tony Evers: Special treatment for illegals, higher taxes for you.”

Evers’ campaign spokesman Sam Lau accused Walker of fearmongering. “This is a sad, desperate attempt by a career politician to mimic Donald Trump to save his political career,” Lau said.

Polls show the race between Walker and Evers to be a toss-up.



Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris of California was cheered by hundreds of University of Iowa students and party activists in Democratic-heavy Iowa City during a rally to promote early voting.

Harris, who is weighing a 2020 campaign for president, referenced the explosive confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

“Everybody watched the Kavanaugh hearings,” said Harris, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “Well, elections matter. When you win elections, you get the power. So, let’s take back the power.”

Harris spent part of Monday and Tuesday campaigning for Deidre DeJear, who is running for secretary of state and is Iowa’s first black nominee for statewide office from a major political party.



President Donald Trump’s “Strong Endorsement” of Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., drew a wary reaction from the congressman, who has distanced himself from Trump as he tries to keep his suburban Minneapolis seat.

Trump praised Paulsen late Monday on Twitter for cutting taxes and regulations and urged voters to “Keep Erik in Congress, he has my Strong Endorsement!”

Paulsen said he didn’t seek Trump’s endorsement and said in a statement, “Rather than endorse my campaign, I wish the President would endorse my position to protect the Boundary Waters, Minnesota’s Yellowstone.”

Paulsen was referring to his vote last year against reversing the Obama administration’s moratorium on new mining leases and prospecting in an area of the Superior National Forest near Ely that’s upstream from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Paulsen is facing a stiff challenge from Democrat Dean Phillips in Minnesota’s 3rd District, which Hillary Clinton carried by 9 percentage points in 2016. Paulsen avoided Trump’s recent rally in Rochester and has said he wrote in Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s name in the 2016 election rather than vote for Trump.

Phillips’ campaign seized on Trump’s endorsement, referring to it as the president’s “seal of approval.”



In the first debate of their race for Georgia governor, Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp sparred over claims of voter suppression and people who are in the country illegally being encouraged to cast ballots.

Abrams said that Kemp’s record as Georgia’s secretary of state “causes great concern” and pointed to the release of voter data under Kemp’s watch and the state’s “exact match” voter registration system. She said Kemp has made it harder for legal citizens to cast ballots.

Kemp said those characterizations were “totally untrue.” He fired back, citing a recent video clip in which Abrams seems to say that “undocumented” immigrants were part of her coalition.

“Why are you encouraging people to break the law to vote for you?” Kemp asked.

Abrams said that Kemp was twisting her words and her record of making it easier for legal citizens to vote.


Associated Press writers Ben Nadler in Atlanta, Gary Fineout in Tallahassee, Fla., Scott Bauer in Madison, Wis., Thomas Beaumont in Iowa City, Iowa, and Steve Karnowski in Minneapolis contributed to this report.–election.html

a person wearing a black shirt: Kristen Donnelly, a registered independent, at her home in Yardley, Pa., early this month.© Corey Perrine for The New York Times Kristen Donnelly, a registered independent, at her home in Yardley, Pa., early this month.

 Sitting at her pumpkin-decorated dining room table, Kristen Donnelly ticked off her top political concerns: pay equity for women, gun control and anti-immigrant sentiment. (Her husband of five years has a green card.)

As for the president? “I would never vote for Trump,” Ms. Donnelly declared.

An independent, and co-chair of the local chamber’s Women in Business committee, Ms. Donnelly, 35, is the kind of educated, affluent suburban woman whom Democrats are counting on to fuel a “blue wave” in November’s elections and sweep away the Republican majority in the House of Representatives.

Except that Ms. Donnelly plans to vote for Brian Fitzpatrick, the Republican congressman who represents Pennsylvania’s closely contested first district, north of Philadelphia.

“He’s definitely on the moderate side,” Ms. Donnelly said, praising his support for the nuclear family, the police department and “the idea that America as a nation is good, and that we can continue to protect the American experiment as it stands.”

a building that has a sign on the side of a road: Lost in the talk about a Democratic “blue wave” against President Trump and Republicans is the fact that, for many Americans, daily life is good and the economy is working. In Virginia, Minn., where a tight House race is unfolding, opposition to abortion rights, trade deals and environmental regulations are the biggest concerns for some voters.© Jenn Ackerman for The New York Times Lost in the talk about a Democratic “blue wave” against President Trump and Republicans is the fact that, for many Americans, daily life is good and the economy is working. In Virginia, Minn., where a tight House race is unfolding, opposition to abortion rights, trade deals and environmental regulations are the biggest concerns for some voters.With two weeks until the election, Republican leaders and President Trump are increasingly bullish about Republican voters and moderate independents rallying behind the party’s candidates rather than taking a chance on a Democratic challenger or a Democratic-controlled House. A healthy economy, Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh’s confirmation fight and, most recently, Mr. Trump’s ominous warnings and baseless charges about a migrant caravan threatening the border have energized supporters at rallies and candidate forums.

While Democrats remain favored to pick up House seats in the Nov. 6 midterms, which historically produce losses for a president’s party, many of the 70 most competitive House races are now exceptionally close. Polls show a majority of registered voters lean Democratic, and Mr. Trump’s favorability ratings dragged along the low 40s before rising in recent weeks. Democratic turnout could continue to break records — yet it could also be concentrated in predictable Democratic strongholds rather than crucial swing districts.

Lost in all the talk about a Democratic blue wave is a set of sober reality checks — from the quantifiable to the emotional — that may help Republicans reduce their losses, and possibly even retain their 23-seat majority.

In many neighborhoods with key House races, daily life is pretty good. Unemployment is at a five-decade low. Confidence is spilling over among consumers and businesses. The economy is on track to grow at its fastest pace in years.

Those developments benefit people whom Democrats have targeted, too: Women in upscale, right-of-center, white suburbs where Hillary Clinton edged out a victory; Trump voters in struggling rural and industrial areas with deep Democratic roots; and minorities in racially diverse metro areas.

While the president looms large over this election, drawing out both opponents and supporters, local issues like school funding or mining are in the forefront of some races. In others, Republican incumbents’ blend of personality and policy positions has won over independents and moderates.

In recent months, The New York Times interviewed dozens of voters in battleground House districts, and spoke at length with three of them about the nuances of the races in their areas, how politics affected their lives, and their views and concerns about the midterms. These voters have a history of crossing party lines in their districts — one in Pennsylvania, one in Minnesota and one in California — and discussed what would ultimately persuade them to vote Democrat or Republican.

Ms. Donnelly in Bucks County, for instance, noted Mr. Fitzpatrick’s independent streak. “I have had personal interactions where I’ve told him he’s dead wrong,” she said, “and he’s been very respectful.”

His reputation as a moderate and his constituent record have helped Mr. Fitzpatrick pick up endorsements from the State Education Association, the local police and firefighters union and the state’s AFL-CIO. “If you’re for us, we’re for you,” said Rick Bloomingdale, the organization’s president.

Poll results have been mixed. A recent New York Times/Siena College poll showed Scott Wallace, the Democratic challenger, leading. A recent survey by the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, put Mr. Fitzpatrick in front by 4 percentage points among likely voters.

“When you look at the underlying political environment in this district, you would expect the Democrat to be ahead,” Patrick Murray, the institute’s director, said. “But Fitzpatrick has been able to overcome this with a solid reputation among his constituents.”

Ms. Donnelly said she is willing to give Mr. Fitzpatrick the benefit of the doubt because “he has earned my trust.”

In Minnesota, voters don’t publicly declare any party affiliation, but for many years preferences were easy to discern in the state’s northeastern Eighth Congressional District, where the economy is powered by the mining, agricultural, timber, tourist and shipping industries. For 67 of the past 69 years, a candidate from the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party has represented this predominantly white, union stronghold in Congress.

So when the Republican candidate Pete Stauber first asked Larry Cuffe, the mayor of the small town of Virginia, for his support at the town’s Land of Loon festival last summer, Mr. Cuffe turned him down. “I was already committed to Rick Nolan,” the Democratic incumbent, he said.

Then in February, Mr. Nolan dropped out of the race. Within hours, Mr. Cuffe, 65, said he was on the phone, telling Mr. Stauber: “I’m behind you 100 percent.” Three other mayors in nearby towns also threw Mr. Stauber their support.

For Mr. Cuffe, a former sheriff and U.P.S. delivery man, the switch wasn’t hard, and not just because he knew Mr. Stauber as a police lieutenant in Duluth, or remembered him playing hockey with the Detroit Red Wings.

Like many of his friends and neighbors, Mr. Cuffe voted for Barack Obama and Bill Clinton,but had been drifting away from the Democratic Party.

Trade deals that Democratic administrations had championed brought in cheap foreign steel that led to the closing of a local taconite plant and strings of shuttered storefronts. Environmentalists in the party battled the timber and mining concerns that provide many of the struggling region’s best-paid jobs. “It’s our way of life,” Mr. Cuffe said.

He and others throughout the Iron Range were won over in 2016 by Mr. Trump’s outspoken hostility to existing trade deals, support of mining and America First appeals. They helped him become the first Republican presidential candidate since Herbert Hoover to win the district. Mr. Nolan, elected by a wide margin in 2012, hung onto his seat by just 2,010 votes.

Mr. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have visited several times recently, to give Mr. Stauber a boost and show their 16-point margin victory there was not a black swan event. The president has also helped shore up support by deciding to end a comprehensive federal environmental review of mining in the region.

At a labor picnic to support Democratic candidates, Mr. Cuffe wore a blue “Go PolyMet” cap, the name of a long-disputed copper-nickel mine that would be the first of its kind in the state. The $650 million project on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness promises to bring jobs, but also environmental risks.

Both Mr. Stauber and Joe Radinovich, the Democrat who locked up the nomination in August, support PolyMet.

Mr. Cuffe said that if he had not already promised Mr. Stauber his support, “I would have considered voting for Radinovich.”

Still, he noted: “Mining is the big issue, and I don’t see that in the Democratic platform.”

Local issues play less of a role in Orange County, Calif., where candidates are courting minority voters.

Once a synonym for conservatism, this wealthy overwhelmingly white region is now one-fifth Asian and one-third Latino. The shift has given Democrats hope of winning one or more of the four congressional seats held by Republicans in the county.

Sal Rasheed, who lives with his wife and three children in the 45th Congressional District, is part of that demographic transformation. Mr. Rasheed, a 46-year-old immigrant from South Asia, has been in Southern California for 30 years, 15 of them in Orange County.

Although blacks, Latinos, Asians and other minorities have long been a cornerstone of the Democratic base, they have traditionally low turnout rates. This season, however, party organizers are hoping that Mr. Trump’s derogatory comments about some immigrants and African Americans will spur more people than usual to go to the polls.

Mr. Rasheed is like many voters — white and nonwhite — whose interest in a purring economy and tax cuts overshadows other concerns. There is “more money coming to my account,” he said. A manager at an insurance company, Mr. Rasheed added that his firm is hiring more workers and recently increased its contribution to retirement accounts.

Formerly a Democrat, Mr. Rasheed said he is now registered as No Party Preference, California’s equivalent of an independent. He voted for Mr. Trump. “People are ignoring a lot of stuff that comes from Trump’s mouth,” he said. “They are feeling good about everything else.”

In 2016, Mimi Walters, the Republican incumbent, won by more than 17 percentage points. Ms. Clinton carried the district by more than five.

Now Mr. Rasheed is planning to vote for Ms. Walters, who was one of a dozen Republican representatives in California to vote for the tax bill. Her opponent, Katie Porter maintains the tax law hurts middle-class families.

Other Republicans who represent sizable minority constituents — like Will Hurd in Texas’s predominantly Hispanic 23rd district — have underscored their independence from the president on immigration while trumpeting the “supercharged economy.”

The distinction is not that important to Mr. Rasheed. He is not particularly disturbed by the White House’s efforts to keep out people from Muslim countries and Latin America.

“As a legal immigrant who stood in line,” Mr. Rasheed said, “it sort of breaks my heart that there are so many immigrants here who are jumping line.”

As Ms. Donnelly, who has a Ph.D. in sociology and an affection for the Hallmark channel, likes to say, everyone is more complicated than they’re given credit for. She taps her cherry-red fingernails on the table. When she slips off a shoe, Cerulean blue toenails peek out.

Before making a final decision, she plans to sit down with the latest voter guide and “go through it with a fine-tooth comb.”

“I own a uterus and, therefore, I must vote,” Ms. Donnelly quipped, “but I refuse to be a one-party voter.”


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