By Jim Bleyer
The economically dying Tampa Bay Times, with former Sen. Bob Graham calling the shots on the board of the parent Poynter Foundation, continues to repeat unsubstantiated charges against a Political Action Committee (PAC) favoring gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum.
This time the Times repeats a Thursday morning Politico story with a byline by Marc Caputo, who was the key person in a news bureau operated jointly by the Miami Herald and Tampa Bay Times before joining the online magazine.
There is absolutely nothing new in The Politico article. The Collective Super PAC is no “darker” than any other. It simply does not desire to release the names of its individual donors, a common practice.
The timing of this non-story 69 days before the primary election smacks of desperation by candidate Gwen Graham, Bob Graham’s daughter, who is trailing Gillum in the most recent Gravis Poll. Gravis is considered the most reliable polling outfit in Florida.
Gwen Graham, who has offered almost nothing except her legacy name and gender, has been slogging from the get-go. The Times has repeatedly savaged Gillum, printing untruths and using racist imagery.
Graham is the candidate with monumental donor problems. She has freely and unapologetically accepted contributions from the predatory lending industry. A Wednesday Herald story revealed that Graham’s second largest donor has been hit with nearly $2 million in fines for despoiling the environment.
Gwen Graham is a candidate that is looking through the lens of a losing campaign. With no record of substance, her playbook has been dumbed down to a series of smears and attacks, mostly from surrogates such as the Tampa Bay Times and pay-for-play blogs.