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Posted on November 4, 2016
Decisions by the Gannett owned Tallahassee Democrat on what to cover and what to ignore during this political cycle is revealing a pattern of behavior that is consistent with the political priorities of Allison Tant.
Tant is the Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman and currently serves as the Chair of the Leon County Democratic Executive Committee.
Consider these facts.
Alan Williams, a candidate for Leon County Supervisor of Elections, sent out a mailer claiming the endorsement of the Democratic party based on a flyer put out by the Democratic party asking voters to support both Williams and his opponent, Mark Early.
However, the flyer that offered support for both Williams and Earley was not a formal endorsement. Williams was wrong.
And Allison Tant was furious!
The Tallahassee Democrat wrote two stories about the Williams mailer.
However, when the Leon County Canvasing Board voiced concerns over Ion Sancho’s campaign activities in support of Mark Earley during the August primary, Allison Tant was not furious.
And the Tallahassee Democrat did not write a story about the canvassing board public comments that were memorialized in meeting minutes.
And just recently, the official Leon County Elections Guide, published by Sancho’s office and mailed to over 200,000 people, “inadvertently” included a picture of Mark Earley conducting charitable activities as a Supervisor of Elections employee.
Again, Allison Tant was not furious.
And again, the Tallahassee Democrat did not write a story.
Greg Lane, candidate for Leon County Property Appraiser, sent out a mailer with pictures of himself at community events, which included some pictures with elected leaders. Mr. Lane did not claim any endorsement.
Allison Tant voiced her displeasure over the mailer in an email obtained by the Tallahassee Democrat.
And again, the Tallahassee Democrat, despite knowing an early complaint filed in 2014 over the similar use of photographs was deemed to be baseless, still wrote an article implying Mr. Lane did something wrong.
However, just before the primary election in August of this year, the Democratic Party, without authorization from Governor Scott, sent out a mailer with Scott’s picture in an attempt to smear judicial candidate Layne Smith.
Allison Tant endorsed the mailer.
Guess what, the Tallahassee Democrat did not write a story about the unauthorized use of Governor Scott’s picture.
And finally, Tallahassee Reports and and a statewide news blog broke a story about local candidate Loranne Ausley running a political advertisement complaining about the power of special interests while taking money from the same special interest through her political action committee (PAC).
Guess what? Allison Tant was not furious about the candidate taking money from special interest, and you got it, the Tallahassee Democrat did not cover the findings.
This pattern shows an obvious bias with the Gannett owned Tallahassee Democrat that goes beyond coincidence. Leon County voters deserves journalism that is not so easily manipulated by special interests.