Enough is enough with the politics of guilt by association
So, here’s a picture of Commissioner Jeremy Matlow campaigning with now-indicted former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum.
And here’s another of Matlow and Gillum together.
Gillum was a progressive darling who turned into a villain when he famously left millions in his Forward Florida PAC, then lost by a handful of votes to Ron DeSantis. Mega personal injury lawyer John Morgan, who donated to Forward Florida, has famously and frequently derided Gillum for his chicanery.
Then, last month, Gillum was indicted on 23 federal counts of wire fraud, conspiracy and making false statements to investigators. The situation is even more unfathomable as now Gillum is paying his legal bills out of Forward Florida!
Anyway, you may be expecting us to level guilt-by-association accusations against Matlow.
We think many of the far left, extremist policies of Matlow and Gillum are wrong.
But the idea that just because Matlow campaigned with someone with similar views somehow taints him as corrupt is silly, sophomoric and beneath the level of discourse of this site.
Unfortunately, Matlow and his henchmen haven’t taken the same approach.
They have cynically and disgustingly attempted to throw a blanket of guilt-by-association over countless political foes. Basically, if you had coffee at the same Starbucks as Scott Maddox and you’re not for Matlow’s radical agenda, you must be corrupt. Even the cover photo of their political hatchet blog is of Maddox.
For some reason, however, in the eyes of Matlow’s supporters and henchmen, guilt-by-association doesn’t apply to Matlow’s relationship to Gillum. Nor does anybody on the extreme left bring up Commissioner Kristin Dozier’s purchase of a home from convicted felon J.T. Burnette. Dozier bought the house from Burnette at a deep discount, then listed it less than three years later at $81,300 more than she paid for it.
The guilt-by-association also apparently doesn’t apply to Commissioner Jack Porter, who still refuses to answer questions about her hours-long meeting with then-indicted Maddox.
Back to Maddox, particularly contemptible is treating his trial testimony as gospel when everybody knows part of the Maddox schtick was to exaggerate his influence to secure bribes. He was indicted for lying to the FBI, but somehow when he vaguely implicates some peripheral figure, it must be true.
The result of all this is that Matlow and Co. tear down the reputation of an entire city over the relatively limited actions of a very few. Here’s just a partial list of organizations Matlow and his cronies say are part of the Tallahassee Swamp:
Tallahassee Memorial Hospital
Florida State University
The Tallahassee Democrat
The City of Tallahassee
The Office of Economic Vitality
Pretty much every developer in town
Pretty much every banker in town
Pretty much every builder in town
Many of the PR firms in town
Miscellaneous other businesses and organizations
Look back over that list and try to imagine how many people are ensnared by this ridiculous guilt-by-association tactic.
It’s all so Trumpian – creating a Tallahassee Deep State and then pushing anyone who dares disagree with you into the pit. It’s hilarious to hear Matlow and Co. talk about how inept all the people on that list are – but then somehow when it comes time to execute a massive conspiracy across countless public and private entities, they all become geniuses.
Bottom line: It’s sad to see people willing to sacrifice an entire community for their own political gain.
But no matter how hypocritical their tactics are, we won’t be joining them.