*This letter was sent to us by one of our readers. We thought it was important to publish due to the issue of dark money seeping into the political races across the city. It is a terrible experience to walk to your mailbox and read outright lies about people who are willing to serve the citizens of Jacksonville. Hopefully something can be done about this because it leaves a bad taste in the mouth of voters and keeps them at home instead of in the voting booth. We hope you will do your part to research and find out for yourself because you are being bamboozled by these PACs. That’s our opinion and now let’s hear from Mike Gay, Candidate for City Council, Dist. 2.
Unfortunately, I have to address the RINO in the room.
If you are a registered republican in Dist 2 and have a mailbox and/or a cellphone, you have received a hit piece mailer and/or text which is paid for by a Dark Money PAC.
The hit piece has a photo of me and Corrine Brown that was taken six years ago during the time Brown was under investigation by the grand jury and awaiting sentencing in Federal Court.
Full disclosure: It’s a real photo, and my wife took it. It still remains there to this day.
Back Story: We ran into Brown at an office supply store located in River City. Several people were gathered around Brown discussing her pending sentencing and several people were taking photos with Brown. I decided to get my photo made with Brown to make my wife laugh. Brown has a reputation of being extremely rude in public, and previous encounters with Brown were never pleasant. She has always been extremely rude to waitstaff and unfortunately, to my wife.
I threw up a hand gesture, and referred to it as “duces,” meaning, “Goodbye.” In no way was it to symbolize support of Brown’s crimes, it was more so in support of our judicial system getting this one right, and a wink to my wife that what comes around, goes around.
My opponent has spent thousands of dollars in an attempt to convince voters that this proves I am a “Liberal” and that I stood in support of Brown.
I have attempted to confront my opponent about this at the Arlington Republican Club, where he is the President. He didn’t show up. I also held a press conference, however, my opponent continues to beat this dead horse and sending multiple messages using different methods of communication.
It’s important to point out to voters that this is a strategy that was used in previous elections by a particular group in Jacksonville that are desperately seeking to gain full control. They are the same individuals who were involved in the sale of JEA.
My opponent is their candidate of choice, and they have funded his campaign with 43 Dark Money PACs at my last count. They are dark money PACs because this money is coming into our local elections through hundreds of other PACs with no legal remedy to prevent these false and malicious statements being made against republicans.
There are laws in place to prevent candidates from doing this, but the loophole is their name is not listed on the PAC, and they deny responsibility, and they get away with it.
In previous elections they used these same tactics against Emily Nunez, Kiyan Michael, Christina Merideth. In this election they are targeting myself, Norm Brewer, Al Ferraro and LeAnna Cumber.
Grassroots candidates are destroyed at the mailbox to under informed voters who believe this practice to be legal, not understanding the PAC loophole and deniability. Once the election is over, they will close the PAC and it will be dormant until it comes time to cycle it back into another election.
To my knowledge, there are 89 PACs that are being used by one person that is controlling them all. Currently, 14 of our local races are using this individual and attacks will be deployed as soon as the grassroots candidate becomes a threat in their polls.
My advice, if you receive these types of mailers, polls or text messages and it doesn’t ring true with what you know about the candidate, contact the candidate directly. These local seats are essentially neighborhoods, and if your candidate cannot or will not respond, this may be indicative of what you could expect from them if they are elected.
In this case, I have responded, and I will fight back against my opponent because I am financially able to, and that’s going to be a problem for my opponent. I will fight back, and I will expose the corruption along the entire way.
I’m working hard to earn your vote, and these hits are also intended to be distractions. I was well prepared for this and expected this and I’m not concerned, but constituents need to be aware of this practice so that these practices will become red flags.
A candidate should only have to run on their own merits, and not resort to these underhanded and cowardice attacks. The people are sick of it. I hear it every day when talking to voters and knocking doors. We need to get back to old fashioned debates and step away from the controlled Biden basement-style campaigns. I was not invited to a single debate and here we are days away from the election. Bring back debates and hold candidates accountable for their actions.
Don’t be surprised if you see new accusations as the election draws closer. I’m winning, and they know it. My opponent has sold out to dark money PACs and is compromised. They wouldn’t let him stop even if he wanted to. Sad to watch, but easy to beat.
As always, I welcome your comments and questions. I will be a guest on Truth 91.7 on Tuesday at 11:30 to discuss this issue again and callers are encouraged to call in with questions and comments. I will also be bouncing between early voting sites throughout the day to waive signs at the Oceanway Community Center and Regency Branch Library.
I’m ready to finish this race strong and get to work!
Mike Gay, Candidate, for City Council, Dist. 2