release the receipts

The Republican Party of Florida is asking if Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum has a lobbyist-fueled slush fund in a new website. demands that the Democrat nominee for Governor fully account for his 2016 trip with two lobbyists to Costa Rica and a “suspicious” $15,000 deposit.

Gillum’s attempt to explain the Costa Rica trip earlier this month resulted in more questions than answers. That trip is currently the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Florida Ethics Commission. In distributing just a few receipts from that trip, Gillum’s campaign inadvertently released personal bank statements that show him receiving a $15,000 deposit.

“Ask yourself this question…would you trust an elected official that has a suspicious $15,000 deposit made into his personal account? A deposit that large should have an easily explainable answer, but unfortunately we’re not getting receipts or answers these days out of Andrew Gillum,” said RPOF Chairman Blaise Ingoglia.

The bank statement covering April to May 2016 occurs during the same time Gillum and his wife stayed four nights in a $1,400 a night Costa Rica resort with two lobbyists, including Adam Corey. Gillum alleges he paid $400 for his share of the trip, even though Corey’s attorney says no payment was made. Corey is a focus of an ongoing FBI investigation into public corruption within the City of Tallahassee.

“Andrew Gillum refuses to come clean about the $15,000 deposit in his bank account and who really paid for his luxury vacation to Costa Rica,” said RPOF spokeswoman Meredith Beatrice. “Gillum’s botched attempt to cover up the truth and hide his connection to the ongoing FBI investigation only resulted in a poorly-redacted bank statement. Does Andrew Gillum have a lobbyist-fueled slush fund? The voters of Florida deserve answers.”

Gillum was on another trip with Corey in 2016 – this time in New York City. They were accompanied by two other men who they knew as out-of-state developers looking to do business in Tallahassee. In reality the two unknown men were undercover FBI agents. Gillum insists he’s not the subject of the FBI investigation. The FBI hasn’t confirmed his claim.

So far the cloud of investigations by the FBI and Florida Ethics Commission haven’t hurt Gillum’s campaign for Governor. Gillum has led in every public poll over his Republican challenger Ron DeSantis since his stunning primary day victory.

David Bishop is a native Floridian, husband and father. During his 30 year career, David has been a journalist, political operative and communications consultant.