After Miami Beach meltdown, Andrew Gillum’s political committee drops almost $125K in legal fees
Tallahassee Mayor and Gubernatorial Candidate Andrew Gillum listens during a rescheduled Community Redevelopment Agency meeting Wednesday, July. 19, 2017, at city hall in Tallahassee, Fla. The CRA meeting, the first held since FBI subpoenas were issued to board members a month ago, was televised for the first time in its history. Photo credit: Phil Sears

Andrew Gillum B
Forward Florida burned through more than $180,000 in March while adding a little over $2,000.

Andrew Gillum‘s political committee, Forward Florida, ran through nearly $125,000 in legal fees in March, shortly after police found Gillum “inebriated” inside a Miami Beach hotel room when responding to a call for an apparent crystal meth overdose.

Reports filed with the Division of Elections show the committee doled out just under $105,000 to the Perkins Coie law firm and about $19,000 to Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler. Both expenditures were classified as “legal services.”

Those sums build on payments to the firms dating back to last year.

Gillum relied on Forward Florida during his 2018 gubernatorial run. The Democratic candidate was edged out by Republican Ron DeSantis while Forward Florida sat on more than $3 million.

Following the loss, Gillum has used the committee to fund a voter registration campaign.

Forward Florida has also sent money to organizations backing Democratic House and Senate candidates in 2020. The House Victory Caucus received $150,000. Senate Victory received $75,000 in what was labeled an “initial investment.”

Both contributions pale in comparison to the $450,000 the committee paid to Perkins Coie and Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler in the last two months of 2019.

Orlando attorney John Morgan, a former Gillum donor, has raised hell regarding the candidate’s handling of the unspent 2018 campaign cash. Morgan threatened to sue Gillum last year to recoup the money.

Forward Florida’s March report also lists a $15,000 payment to MWW Group, a New Jersey-based PR firm, for “communications consulting.”

Gillum has temporarily pulled away from the public spotlight following the embarrassing episode at the Miami Beach hotel.

The former Tallahassee Mayor was found with another man who was suspected of overdosing on crystal meth. Gillum denied doing any illegal drugs, instead stating he had drank too much. Police reports state Gillum “was unable to communicate with officers due to his inebriated state.”

After the incident, Gillum entered rehab and stepped down from his public-facing roles, including a gig as a CNN contributor.

“This has been a wake-up call for me,” Gillum said in a statement. “Since my race for Governor ended, I fell into a depression that has led to alcohol abuse. I witnessed my father suffer from alcoholism and I know the damaging effects it can have when untreated. I also know that alcoholism is often a symptom of deeper struggles.“

Overall, Forward Florida burned through more than $180,000 last month. It added just $2,000, though not for lack of trying. The committee has more than $1.8 million in the bank.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected]


23 comments

  • David McCallister

    April 14, 2020 at 4:39 pm

    Florida’s most famous Drug-o-crat.
    “Embarassing episode” ???
    How about criminal episode? His whole party is in disgrace when their lead man does this.
    Can’t fool all the voters all the time – but the Dems have $1.8 mil to “blow” on trying.

  • Cogent Observer

    April 14, 2020 at 4:42 pm

    It is ironic that Andy and John were once buddies when it came to money and politics. Later, Andy “stuck it” to John, so to speak.

    That’s a big commentary on the character of each. One has none and the other defines his only in terms of money and self-perceived influence.

    Would you really want one as your Governor and the other as your lawyer? Thinking people surely wouldn’t.

  • Johny Reb "seber" Trump

    April 14, 2020 at 5:41 pm

    I bet Mr. Morgan feels like a fool now, supporting Gillum to be Governor. In my opinion, Gillum was high on drugs and lets try to figure out why a male escort was in the room with him? mmmmmmm And how do all of those other donors feel , with their money being used for his legal fees, relating to being high or drunk in a hotel room with a male escort? Do all of you feel like fools/idiots now??

  • Ocean Joe

    April 14, 2020 at 7:11 pm

    Poor Andrew, reminds us of that guy who admitted he authorized his lawyer to pay escort Stormy Daniels $130,000. But that dont count cause it’s fake news, right? And luckily, no one had the misfortune of “discovering them” (Stormy and her client).

    • Johny Reb "seber" Trump

      April 14, 2020 at 7:40 pm

      At least that poor guy with Stormy Daniels was not having possible gay sex, like poor Andrew.

    • Charlotte Greenbarg

      April 15, 2020 at 1:26 pm

      TDS much?🤪

  • paul shiev

    April 14, 2020 at 8:37 pm

    Hi,,thank you for doing a fair report on what happened.. there are to many unanswered questions as to, who the players are.Do you know that the fbi cleared him of all wrong doing with vac and tickets but went after those who were trying to dirty him. The whole thing stinks and of course you are going to get attacked because you did a fair job.Finally a black mayor or gov who does a good job and we want to ruin him..Reality is bad enough..Best, paul..

    • Soft racism of low expectations

      April 15, 2020 at 10:37 am

      How racist are you? Lots of black mayors and governors do good jobs. We need more black mayors and governors. We don’t need lousy mayors, of any race, who run half-assed campaigns for Governor, feature their wife and kids in the campaign, and then get caught doing meth with male strippers.

      • WVPioneer

        April 16, 2020 at 8:19 am

        Why do we need more black anything? Why do we need more of anything of any race? We need more good mayors and governors. Specifying a race is the epitome of racism. Just because you specify black doesn’t mean it’s not racist. This identity politics is what is wrong with politics in general. We should be looking to elect good people not looking to see where they rank in the oppression Olympics.

    • Political Truth

      April 16, 2020 at 8:01 am

      Where is Benjamin Crump, Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton? They hide when it doesn’t help their pockets when it comes to black folk. Gillum is a gay black man who cheated on his family. Wake up black people, this fool doesn’t get a free pass.

  • Will Haley

    April 15, 2020 at 12:07 am

    See John Morgan’s hilarious rant against Andrew Gillum on my YouTube channel at Capital Tiger Bay Club

  • Janet Jones

    April 15, 2020 at 6:35 am

    People. STOP throwing rocks out of your glass houses.

    • Charlotte Greenbarg

      April 15, 2020 at 1:28 pm

      C’mon you know Gillum’s a loser. Nice try

      • Al

        April 15, 2020 at 1:46 pm

        Coming around, Charlotte, coming around. Congratulations.

  • Sam

    April 15, 2020 at 5:24 pm

    If the Democratic party were not nuts, Gwen Graham would be governor right now. That’s why I went from lifelong Democrat to NPA. Gillum is a symptom, not the disease itself. Can’t blame the guy for trying, but let’s hope his political career is over. And let’s hope that Dems wise up and put someone good up there next time.

    • Just sayin'

      April 16, 2020 at 8:17 am

      The Florida Democratic Party is the most dysfunctional political organizations I’ve ever seen. They’ll run Nikki Fried in 2022. She might win, but it won’t be because she’s worth a damn.

  • Gillum's Legal Defense Team

    April 15, 2020 at 7:43 pm

    Federal subpoenas are expensive to fulfill!

  • NealWV

    April 16, 2020 at 8:09 am

    His “deeper struggles”? What are those I wonder? Possible that he’s gay and has been lying to his wife for years?

  • John smith

    April 16, 2020 at 9:06 am

    Why is there anyone talkin about him laying on the floor butt naked would a male homosexual but naked in a hotel room together. This man is a pervert and a degenerate. Disgrace in this family and children like that. I wouldn’t want him to represent me unless I was a degenerate and pervert.

    • Alan V.

      April 16, 2020 at 2:08 pm

      If it is so, the “homosexual” element is irrelevant. What is relevant is the innate dishonesty–the con man aspect of him. It is very similar to the company he keeps, has kept, and who has supported his political aspirations.

  • 2 Samuel 1:25

    April 16, 2020 at 1:48 pm

    How the mighty have fallen in the thick of battle!

  • Rich7553

    April 17, 2020 at 7:07 pm

    Has anyone else noticed that although Gillum claims to have been at a wedding reception, not a single person has stepped forward as a part of the wedding party or guest to verify that alibi?

    • Domino

      April 17, 2020 at 8:39 pm

      @Rich7533

      Gillum has a knack for spinning alibis that cannot be disproved.

Comments are closed.


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