A quick search shows that since January 23rd, 2018, Tallahassee Democrat reporter Jeffrey Schweers has authored five stories about Dustin Daniels’ pursuit of public office.
In addition, Schweers authored the “Costa Rica Coincidence”, a story that many viewed as a negative portrayal of a family trip by one of Daniels’ opponent’s.
Daniels is the former Chief of Staff for Mayor Andrew Gillum and a current candidate for Tallahassee mayor.
This is the same Dustin Daniels that met with Tallahassee Democrat editor William Hatfield in 2016 and agreed to pay the Democrat $10,00o in city tax dollars for favorable coverage of a Gillum initiative.
In an election cycle that has seen more candidates filing for local office than in the past – six in the mayors race -why is the Tallahassee Democrat focusing so much press on Dustin Daniels?
Also, none of the stories mention any of Daniels’ questionable actions with the NGP VAN software controversy, his travels with city lobbyists and city vendors, and his use of free tickets for concerts and football games.
Where are the difficult questions about his actions as Gillum’s Chief of Staff?
The Tallahassee Democrat Stories
The reports on Daniels began in January 2018 before he was a candidate for any public office with a story about a possible candidacy.
Schweers wrote a story titled “Dustin Daniels launches website; is campaign announcement next?”
Then in April, when Daniels was still not a candidate, Schweers wrote a story titled, “Dustin Daniels, mayor’s chief of staff, launches campaign video.”
Then, just over a week later Schweers wrote an article titled “Dustin Daniels, Mayor Gillum’s chief of staff, to run for boss’s job.”
Then on June 5th Schweers wrote an article titled “Restaurant to share proceeds with Dustin Daniels for mayor’s race.”
Next, on June 11th, was an article by Schweers titled ” Costa Rica coincidence: Mayoral candidate John Dailey vacations at Kearney bungalow” two months after Leon County Commissioner John Dailey entered the mayor’s race.
This article did not mention Daniels, but rather, highlighted his opponent.
Coming on the heels of a report about a Costa Rica trip by Andrew Gillum involving lobbyists, city vendors and untraceable payments of cash, the title of the article alone reflected negatively on Dailey.
But the article went further and included a discussion of the ethically questionable details of the Gillum trip.
Hatfield defended the article, but one reader stated, “In this case the Costa Rican connection IS a coincidence, but the paper connecting it to the Gilliam (sic) story isn’t. It gets clicks.”
Then on June 21st Schweers wrote an article entitled “Dustin Daniels turns Children’s Services Council into campaign issue.”