Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum is demanding that television stations in Florida stop running a “maliciously false” ad produced by his Republican opponent’s campaign, according to a Talking Point Memos report.
The 30-second ad highlights an FBI investigation into public corruption scandal in Tallahassee’s city government, where Gillum is currently mayor. The ad states, “Andrew Gillum is running for Governor and also from the FBI” and ends by saying Gillum is “not just radical, but corrupt.”
The story is one of several recent news items in which Donald Trump and other Republicans have been caught in blatant media-based lies ahead of the 2018 mid-term elections.
The FBI has subpoenaed several prominent Tallahassee business people in its investigation of the city/county Community Redevelopment Agency, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.
Adam Corey, who is Gillum’s former campaign treasurer and a registered lobbyist, is among those subpoenaed, but the FBI has not subpoenaed Gillum.
Lawyers for Gillum’s campaign, in a cease-and-desist letter, say his Republican opponent, Ron DeSantis, approved the ad and that it makes “demonstrably false” claims. The letter goes on to state that the advertisement “constitutes libel and slander of the worst sort” and that Gillum is not the target of the FBI probe nor has he received any anonymous payments. The letter warns that broadcasting the ad further would be intentionally defamatory.
Gillum’s attorneys, in the letter, also claim the ad’s stating that Gillum took “illegal trips with lobbyists” is false as is the ad’s twice stating that “Gillum refuses to disclose who’s paid him.” The letter argues that Gillum “did not accept any money and was not paid by anyone.”
The cease-and-desist letter further states that the DeSantis’ ad is “intentionally malicious” and that its “statements were made with actual knowledge of, or with reckless disregard as to, their falsity.”