Gillum campaign demands TV stations pull GOP ad
Democrat’s team sees ‘malicious falsehoods’ in statements about alleged FBI investigation
The Andrew Gillum campaign demanded TV stations pull a GOP ad they claim is deliberately false and includes “libel and slander of the worst sort.”
In a letter, the campaign said the ad “repeats demonstrable, malicious falsehoods” against Gillum by making false statements about his involvement in an FBI probe of the city of Tallahassee.
The campaign said the ad, paid for by the Republican Party of Florida, was “made with actual malice.”
A GOP spokeswoman said the party stands by the ad.
Among the letter’s complaints is audio stating “Andrew Gillum is running for Governor and also from the FBI” combined with “Andrew Gillum FBI Investigation.”
The campaign cited reports that the FBI has told Gillum he is not the subject of an investigation. They also wrote that the wording, “Illegal Trips with Lobbyists,” is intentionally false, saying the cited source, a Tallahassee Democrat article, stated only that a trip to New York was the subject of an ethics complaint.
Also, the campaign alleges audio that states “Now Gillum refuses to disclose who’s paid him” combined with text stating “Andrew Gillum Refuses to Disclose Who’s Paid Him” also misstates the cited source, a Politico article that reported Gillum “did not accept any money and was not paid by anyone.”
The letter warns TV stations any publication or rebroadcast of the ad could spark legal action for what they contend would be the intentional spreading of false information.
“Regardless of whether you believe that you have a meritorious defense to broadcast the advertisement, as a matter of ethics and common decency, your station should decline to traffic in such shameful, false and malicious advertising,” the letter states. “Your viewers, and shareholders, deserve better.”
The Gillum campaign has also been attacking the Florida GOP and the campaign of Ron DeSantis, Gillum’s opponent in the Nov. 6 general election, for attack ads that continued to run in the Panhandle.
Later Thursday, the Gillum campaign released an ad featuring Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings, Osceola County Sheriff Russ Gibson, and the sheriffs of Alachua, Leon and Gadsden counties criticizing the DeSantis campaign for their attacks on Gillum.
“I can tell you that Ron DeSantis’ attacks are false. Pathetic. They’re just not true. As mayor of Tallahassee, Andrew Gillum fought corruption,” Demings and Gibson say in the ad, titled “Tell You.”