By Lucius Gantt
I am so sorry about the federal indictment of Andrew Gillum, the former Mayor of Tallahassee, Florida and a Florida gubernatorial candidate in the Sunshine State.
I pray he will prevail in his attempts to clear himself from federal charges of wire fraud and any other political misconduct.
I know Andrew Gillum and he knows me.
The last time I spoke to Andrew was in Orlando Florida. We were both at a convention of the Democratic Black Caucus of Florida during his run for Governor of Florida.
I’m not a prophet or a soothsayer, but I’ve been telling Gantt Report readers and supporters for decades that it would behoove Black candidates for public office to have a diverse campaign staff.
Most Black candidates who appear to have a good chance to win on election day are told by contributors and supporters that they must have white campaign staffers to make all important decisions about campaign strategy and all campaign purchasing decisions.
Well, how did that choice work out for Andrew?
I say always keep your eyes on the political money. You have to know where campaign related dollars come in from and where those dollars go out to.
History shows that politics can build you up and get you locked up!
No matter how hard candidates of color try, Black, brown and red-skinned candidates, and/or elected public servants, can’t do what white politicians do.
For more than 20 years, I was a lobbyist in Florida and in Washington, D.C. Part of my job was to do all that I could do to move, or kill, legislative bills and proposals for my clients.
Food, liquor, transportation and media help were just a few of the “appropriate” things I was asked to provide for public servants.
Lobbyists had limits on what you could do, buy or give to public servants and I never exceeded those limits. I never paid for play tickets or travel to exotic resorts in foreign countries for any public servant even though I had a sizable expense account.
But there were also lobbyists and fake lobbyists that would give politicians whatever they wanted.
Such scenarios reminded me of a theme song on one of the “Power” shows on TV that talked about, “Money, power and powder”! What politicians want, they can get from some people.
If any white political consultant tells a Black political candidate that no Black person can consult or manage a winning political campaign, the pale consultant should be fired immediately!
Don’t take my word for it, just check the staff that Black candidates choose to hire when running for office.
A rudimentary perusal of the campaign will show Black candidates are not told to hire experts, they are encouraged to hire the children and grandchildren of Democratic Party campaign contributors, young, less experienced wannabees without winning election track records.
Andrew Gillum and other Black candidates at the very least, must hire people they trust to watch the people that the candidate doesn’t know to prevent political pretenders from suggesting wrongful transactions and situations.
Politicians can make a lot of money but the smart ones get any monetary benefits AFTER they leave office instead of rushing to believe in undercover agents who seek to pay them or benefit them while they are in office or a candidate for office.
I pray that Gillum comes out of his situation all right but there are children that understand and realize if the feds want you, they will get you even if it takes seven years to indict you.
Black politicians that believe in themselves should also believe in political consultants and advisors that look like they do.
If you don’t know, political women hire women, Cubans hire Cubans, Jews hire Jews and rednecks hire rednecks.
God has sent all Black candidates a sign, your campaigns must have diversity in all areas and aspects.
If candidates don’t care to have qualified and experienced Blacks on the campaign staff, why should Black voters and citizens care what happens to Black candidates?
As a side note, remember when CNN loved Andrew and gave him a high- profile job on the network? Now, they can’t wait to disparage him on every newscast.