Ted Bridis Comments on Growing National Attention for Tallahassee FBI Investigation
Ted Bridis, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Rob Hiaasen lecturer in Investigative Reporting, was quoted in “With Andrew Gillum in the Media Spotlight, FBI Investigation Gets National Attention” published in the Tallahassee Democrat on Aug. 31.
The article focuses on coverage of an FBI corruption probe in Tallahassee. Mayor Andrew Gillum, the Democratic nominee for Florida governor, has been tied to this investigation because of his relationship with his former campaign treasurer Adam Corey and his trips to New York City and Costa Rica with Corey and also his handling of recovery efforts following Hurricane Hermine.
According to Bridis, “It should be expected that national media would jump all over the governor’s race, with two candidates who espouse such divergent views. It’s an important litmus test on the Blue Wave or the Trump referendum given Florida’s significance as a battleground state in the last several presidential elections with 29 electoral votes up for grabs.”
Bridis adds that investigative reporters and opposition researchers for each political party will be investing their financial resources and staff people to dig into both candidates’ background.
“This FBI investigation is absolutely salient for the political press and the GOP to see if there is any corruption or accountability aspect or malfeasance,” he said. “It’s going to become nationally significant.”
“You will probably see the release of derogatory information early and often, to see if it gets any traction. If a candidate can explain it and provide context and then opposition will move to the next scandal,” he said. “It feels unseemly, but it is our role in a democracy to vet these candidates.”