Progressive Movement Plans Takeover of City Hall

Progressive Movement Plans Takeover of City Hall

A group of progressive activists – led by current Tallahassee City Commissioners Jeremy Matlow and Jack Porter- are working to take control of the city commission and to expand their influence over local government with significant financial help from a progressive group located in Palo Alto, California.

Commissioner Matlow said he did not agree entirely with the progressive movement narrative, but said that “I do think you are seeing more younger progressive candidates step and run ….there is an emergence of people who are kind of fed up with the status quo.”

When asked about the financial influence of the California group – the Green Advocacy Project – Matlow said, “in an ideal world Citizens United would be overturned, we would have very strict limits on contributions.”

Matlow went on to indicate the California group – which donated $50,000 to a local campaign consultant via the Florida Young Democrat PAC as of August 14 – was not seeking special favors from elected officials like businesses located in Tallahassee that make donations.

The Green Advocacy Project lists a leadership team with significant political experience with the national progressive movement. Michael Kieschnick, President and Board member “helped to found Real Justice PAC, which works to elect progressive district attorneys around the country.”
Also, two of the three board members worked with the Bernie Sanders 2016 presidential campaign.

Challenging Establishment Democrats

With few Republicans to attack during this election cycle, the progressive activists have targeted fellow Democrats.

These Democrats include Leon County Commissioners Bill Proctor, Nick Maddox and Rick Minor and City Commissioner Dianne Williams-Cox.

And the old rules do not apply.

In a break from tradition, Adner Marcelin – who is running against Dianne Williams-Cox , is being aided by two of Williams-Cox’s colleagues – City Commissioners Jeremy Matlow and Jack Porter.

Seldom have elected officials from the same political party, serving on the same political body, openly teamed up to target a colleague.

But it is happening now.

A campaign volunteer shared on social media a picture of Matlow and Porter making calls to unseat Williams-Cox.

The caption on the social media post by the volunteer reads, “Today is a great day to make phone calls for Jeremy Matlow and Adner Marcelin for Tallahassee City Commission !! Join Jack, me, and other Dems from 3-7 pm at Dreamland BBQ!! Let us know if you can join us please.”

Matlow and Porter have also used their visibility as elected officials to promote other progressive candidates.

Matlow has held policy discussions that featured Adner Marcelin and Josh Johnson, who is running to replace Leon County Commissioner Nick Maddox.

Matlow promotes these “grassroots candidates” as not being backed by developers and big money special interests.

When asked about the challenge to a colleague, Matlow said, “I didn’t run for office to make everyone happy….I ran for office to change the way we do things in the city of Tallahassee…..I am supporting candidates that recognize we still need change…none of this is personal, it is political.”

Leon County Commissioner Nick Maddox has a different view.

Maddox says, “the bigger picture is becoming harder and more potentially dangerous for our community to ignore. It’s a shift from a responsible and collegial North Florida brand of democratic politics to a more extreme liberal progressive agenda ushered in by mostly younger (millennial), white elected officials, and their supporters.”

Our Tallahassee: “Change our City Forever”

Beyond Matlow and Porter, the progressive movement has the support of an online blog called Our Tallahassee. The blog is financed by former local candidate Bob Lotane and writer and political activist Jeff VanderMeer. (Note: Mr. VanderMeer -who was an original founder and has been and a content contributor – has informed TR that he is no longer involved with Our Tallahassee.)

The publishers of Our Tallahassee acknowledge the site promotes “a progressive perspective to Tallahassee news” and that their goal is “to change our city forever.”

VanderMeer recently released his candidate recommendations. His recommendations include Adner Marcelin over City Commissioner Dianne Williams-Cox, City Commissioner Matlow over David Bellamy, and Kristin Dozier over Mayor John Dailey.

Among the Leon County Commission races, Vandermeer supports Josh Johnson over Leon County Commissioner Nick Maddox, Donna Cotterell over Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor and Damon Victor over Leon County Commissioner Rick Minor.

A number of the candidates recommended by VanderMeer have received favorable treatment in Our Tallahassee, the online publication he helped start.

In addition, Our Tallahassee operations are heavily influenced by former local lobbyist and campaign consultant Max Herrle, who has close ties to Jeremy Matlow and Jack Porter.

Earlier this year, Herrle was embroiled in a texting controversy related to Leon County Commissioner Nick Maddox. The Tallahassee Democrat reported that Herrle, during a Blueprint meeting, texted to some elected officials that Maddox was a “dumb little bastard.”

After the revelation, Maddox published a response in the Tallahassee Democrat calling the text “racist on its face” and raising concerns about the progressive movement.

Development Projects

The progressive movement is using the controversial and unpopular vote to award $20 million to FSU for stadium upgrades as the way to mobilize voters in an effort to punish the “establishment” and install their preferred candidates.

However, while the progressive candidates highlight outrage over the FSU vote, less attention is given to their extreme positions on other issues.
The movement has promoted a narrative that casts the “establishment” as controlled by “developers” that are corrupt and unethical. They have characterized economic growth projects that create jobs as only benefiting the well-connected.

For example, the Northeast Gateway project has been described by progressives as an $80 million give away to developers and special interests.

However, the project was supported by elected officials not traditionally categorized as allies of “developers.” These officials include Leon County Commissioners Rick Minor, Kristin Dozier and Brian Welch.

The progressives argue that local government should focus more on urban infill and address problems in established neighborhoods. The establishment” argues that you can do both, promote responsible growth and improve current infrastructure.

The Election

The August 23rd primary will be the first indication of what the community thinks of the progressive movement.

Without a clear mandate by either coalition, the acrimony exhibited in meetings over the last two years could become the rule rather than the exception.

48 Responses to "Progressive Movement Plans Takeover of City Hall"

  1. @Jeff,

    So, in other words, you would like to see a State-run media controlled by the Progressives with a media blackout of all conservative news outlets? No, thank you. TR you are obviously doing a great job. Keep up the good work.

    BTW, my candidate slate is totally based on on how progressive the candidates are; I would like to see all of them voted out of office. Because a government that is true to the Constitution is a government that is good for all the people. The first step to achieving this, is to vote out the progressives.

  2. Just for the record, I’m pro-reform and that includes getting rid of corruption so government works better for everyone. My candidate slate is based on that, not on how progressive they are. The idea that Kristin Dozier is a socialist progressive is hilarious. She’s a centrist, sometimes even center-right on some issues. As importantly, most of the incumbents being propped up by developer money have been unable to make a compelling policy case for staying in office. Tallahassee Reports is kind of losing its collective mind and some of its reputation with the fake news aspect of these ongoing “gotcha” pieces, too. I would happily vote for a centrist Republican not taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in special interest money. I think we need balance on the city commission, and we just don’t have it now. Finally, the approach TR is taking, and the way TR is letting itself be used by Grow Tallahassee is really, again, damaging to its reputation as an independent entity. Anyway if you see me around town, feel free to say hi and happy to talk. I surely didn’t vote for Sanders in any election any time and actually got attacked by Bernie Bros in both of the last two national elections, so…

  3. @ David…

    Bryan Desloge is 4tlh… as is Skip Foster who receives their funds from the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce and the CSC slush fund. It is a terrible publication! So essentially taxpayers are funding their propaganda.

  4. Tallahassee was a pleasant place to live many years ago. It is now a liberal town and getting worse.
    I am not voting FOR anyone this cycle. I am voting AGAINST the progressive woke Marxists which promise to only make the situation worse.
    That means I will be voting for the old, established corruption of Maddox/Bellamy/John Paul/etc which leaves a really bad taste in my mouth.
    BUT it is better that than making Tallahassee into a Portland/Seattle which is what the AOC/Matlow/Porter/Crump/Dailey/etc camp wants.
    Matlow needs a good investigation into his connections to Burnette beyond “I just rent from him”. He needs a good look at that money spent on the BLM intersection which was our money spent on a personal social project of his. Virtue signaling with our tax money.
    He needs to be scrutinized for his participation in the BLM “protests” which local LEO managed to contain in a small area so the damage was only a few broken windows instead of city wide riots as it was elsewhere.
    Matlow is endorsed by Crump and AFL-CIO. That right there screams trouble beyond the corrupt status quo.
    I never dreamed of the day when Proctor would be the voice of wisdom in this town. That is how bad it has gotten.
    I want to walk my neighborhood streets in the evening without being harassed, attacked, or frightened. The more liberal this town has become, the more real those fears are. Matlow supports everything that causes those fears to become worse.

  5. It may be beneficial to keep one very important fact in mind when you vote next week.

    If you vote an incumbent back in, you’ll know exactly what you’re voting for and will get.

    If you vote for someone new, you have a 50-50 chance of getting someone better or worse than the sitting incumbent. Are you feeling lucky?

    Be very careful with your choice.

  6. If only you all would recognize that BOTH crony capitalism and socialism are bad. And then vote them all out. The city should be concerned ONLY with providing police, justice, and maybe roads and utilities. Do less.

  7. @ Joe D…

    Nice try on the racist slant. Nick Maddox has won his criticisms fair and square by his actions and inactions regarding his performance which is abysmal as a county commissioner. He has also disgraced himself with the sexual harassment issues.

    You conveniently left out Adner Marcelin.

    Also name calling of extreme political terms are falling flat as the people you are calling names have been the conservatives, have accomplishments, plans, and platforms.

    Bellamy and Dailey have shown no leadership, plan, platform, or accomplishments, none. Only that they are desperate and losing.

  8. Steve,

    There should be some restraints put on copycat names being used. It invalidates the point you are trying to make.

    Still no, accomplishments, platforms, or plans by DAILEY, Bellamy, or Dianne…

  9. HAHAHAH @Hope is so upset it’s funny! Lies cannot block the truth and all the locals see it! vote Dailey, Bellamy, Williams Cox

  10. None of these candidates do it for me. Until we have real partisan primaries, Tallahassee will never have a good conservative candidate for local office in the at-large races.

    All of this is fluff and doesn’t move the ball forward. Matlow is a free-thinking punk, but Bellamy is about as solid as a wet fart. Dailey is a company man, but Dozier is too granola. Don’t really care about the other ones, but I don’t like them either.

    I’m sitting this one out, you should too till we have some real choices to make at the ballot box.

  11. @ Edmund… I respectfully disagree in-part. Yes; Conservatives may not have a candidate in this election, but we do have a choice to make.

    1. Keep the devil(s) you know, and work toward better candidate choice(s) moving forward.

    2. Turn our fair City and faulty City Government over the radical Marxists, who will undoubtedly “transition” our City into a cesspool akin to Chicago, LA, NY, Baltimore, et al…

    Sometimes, the smarter move is to stick with the status quo, while we electorate work on improvement… as opposed to a “quick” transition into a radical Marxist mess. Make no mistake, if the Marxists prevail, the transition will happen very, very, very fast… just look at DC and our Public School Systems.

    As for me and mine, we’ll take choice # 1.

  12. Definitely don’t want Tallahassee to end up like Portland! My gut tells me we are headed that direction if Matlow, Porter, and the other white socialists accomplish their agenda. It is a bit concerning that I don’t see many folks of color in the Matlow / Porter / Herrle crew. It’s also sad that people aren’t concerned about the blatant racism displayed by Herrle in his accusations of Nick Maddox. My guess is Matlow and Porter have similar feelings toward Tallahassee’s people of color. My family and I want to keep this out of our city and will be voting for Bellamy over Matlow.

  13. Why is it that none of the white elite socialists have criticized and/or fired Max Herrle when he got caught in a truth snapshot of his text calling our black elected officials “dumb little bastard” ??? ‘Cause he is their puppeteer , who owns and controls them . ‘ Maybe Mr. Herrle will tip me better than Matlow and Porter when I have to wait tables at Socialist Pizza Slices – after they have run good paying jobs out of town with high crime , defunded police and out of control violence ? Just remember that the cheeses slices on socialist pizza always keeps getting thinner and thinner ’til there ain’t no cheese left .

  14. JP,

    Thank you for the clarification and I respect that.

    You served your community well when you were a City Commissioner.

    Thank you for your service.


  15. @ John Paul… pay no attention to the Marxist trolls on here. They work for the Marxist Trio of Tyranny who are on a mission to take over and destroy our fair City.

    I think they get about $4.20 per post… but hey, mama needs some basement rent. 🙂

  16. Hope, I did not ask Dr. Bellamy to change his registration to republican to get my support. He is a friend and I would support him no matter what party he was a member of,

  17. JP…

    You don’t know that that is speculation. Did you ask him to run as a Democrat or a Republican?

    What David Hawkins said was accurate,

  18. David T. Hawkins… David Bellamy, was not picked by anyone to run against Matlow. I have asked Dr. David Bellamy to run for years , and told him I would be there to help him when he ran.. so he didn’t just decide to run the last minute.. sorry you are wrong!

  19. The incumbents who voted for Doak lost their voting base and the people they serve.

    You can give someone mega donations yet it only translates into one vote.

    What happened to Elaine Bryant will happen to Dianne Williams-Cox.

    We are still waiting for Mayor Dailey’s plan, platform, and accomplishments.

    Is Bellamy a Democrat or a Republican today?

  20. @Edward must be over the target, given all the flak he is receiving from @Hope. I don’t know why else she would be trying to bully him into silence.

  21. On the other hand we have wisdom, positivity, factually stated information and a pleasure and honor to read..

    Thank you David Hawkins & NE Moderate.

  22. We have bullies, sexually inappropriateness, swearing, irrational thoughts, wrong statements and yet not one has been on the right side, moral side, Christian side, conservative side, and they have been unable to give any accomplishments from their candidates. Not one!

    Not a plan, platform, lucid thought, between them. Not one!

    I rest my case…

  23. “Our Tallahassee” , Porter , Matlow and Dozier are bunch of elite white socialists who are opposed to African American Commissioners and want to turn Tallahassee into Portland and Oregon. They want to bring the crimes of New York and LOOTING and DARK MONEY of California to Tallahassee.

  24. On Topic:
    Read the Obituary for The Red Hills Horse Trials at TDO.COM. Pay attention to the glowing remarks on all the money that event brought into Leon-Tally. You agree and you will also miss the fancy rich white folk event. I know you do.
    Now take that Horse Trial money and multiply it by thousands and thousands of times. That my people is what our three local universities bring into the local economey each and every year.
    The moral of the story is if you have not bitched about the city money given to TCC and FAMU but you have bitched about the money given to FSU then you are a political tool/fool. And maybe raciest also.

    The entire “FSU BAD – FAMU TCC GOOD BS” is nothing but leftist political agenda/propaganda dont be a part of it.

    Hell I would be in favor of giving each university more money right niw. And I dont give a damn what they do with it.
    Thank you local universities.

  25. @ A Skeptic… Excellent post, and spot-on I might add… well stated.

    As for the misguided rants of the Marxist troll(s) who obviously work for the Trio of Tyranny… I’ve lost interest.

  26. The most telling statement in the article is, “Matlow went on to indicate the California group – which donated $50,000 to a local campaign consultant via the Florida Young Democrat PAC as of August 14 – was not seeking special favors from elected officials like businesses located in Tallahassee that make donations.”

    Local government and businesses can be run by local folks or outsiders. Businesses located in Tallahassee pay local taxes, they make local decisions, the hire local subcontractors, the hire local people. All really good things. Outsiders come in looking to install their people and their views with a complete disregard for local people and thinking.

    We elect people to represent us, not to rule us. Installing people based on the wishes of someone 3,000 miles away just does not represent Tallahassee citizens, businesses, or government.

  27. @Hope, speaking of embarrassing oneself … After bragging about the secret military projects your husband has been working on (for which his facility security officer, if he ever finds out, will chew you out using language that will quickly make you forget ever getting offended by whatever it was that Ed said), you’ve now had over a week to ask your husband for his AFSC. How’s that going?

  28. Me thinks Edward soaked his fingers in Creme de Menthe rather than the Palmolive he claimed to use yesterday. He is embarrassing himself..

  29. Ok then…

    Issue: Welaunee… opposition to this issue is based on the progressive Marxist goal of having everyone living downtown in an 800 square foot apartment and riding a scooter to work. Marxists hate property ownership and single-family home sites.

    Issue: BP Handouts… voting for the Doak BP handout is required by law in the equitable application of the law and/or governance. You cannot not give a handout to one and refuse the other. Don’t like it?, recommend a change and work for a change in the governance. Whining does nothing. No candidate opposing the FSU Handout has offered anything by whining about it.

    Issue: CSC… the majority of the electorate (taxpayers) voted in support of the CS and made it happen. An elected officials opinion – either for or against – is a moot point.

    As for this voter and my family, we will vote to block the Marxists from taking over our City and City Government on their quest to turn Tallahassee into another progressive Marxist sh-thole like so many Dem-run cities are today.

  30. @ STAFF: “August 17, 2022 at 10:30 am
    In an effort to advance a discussion beyond advocacy, do you see any benefit at all in the Northeast Gateway project?” …………………… NO, this does not Benefit anyone. Our Commissioners NEVER think more than a Year ahead at BEST. They need to be think 10 to 20 Years ahead on their Projects. Look at the Wal-Mart on Appalachee Parkway. The East Exit at the Light between the two Banks. If they had made Wal-Mart put the Exit between the Bank and Gas Station, our Tax Dollars would not of had to PAY to move the Road from the East Side of the Laundry to the West side to line up with it. Look at the Canopy Subdivision, THAT is and will be a Clusterf*** for a long time thanks to being flanked by two Canopy Roads. You can drive around Town and see a lot of screw ups that they have already or will be soom digging it up to redesign it.

  31. @Barb said, “Maddox was right in taking offense by his white peers dismissing his opinions and asserting that they know better than he does how to represent his fellow black constituents.”

    The new Klan … same as the old Klan.

  32. Look guys: give up the ghost. Bellamy was always a bad Maddox-era candidate, and he’s going to lose.

    What’s more interesting is how some of yall could tie yourselves into a logical knot trying to support Dianne Williams-Cox. Flip-flopped on the biggest quality of life issue in recent history Welaunee, and was dead wrong on Doak. And for a bonus, she endorsed the CSC tax increase.

    Let’s return to the issues that matter, not this speculative crap.

  33. “Seldom have elected officials from the same political party, serving on the same political body, openly teamed up to target a colleague.” …………….. How is this Different than Mayor Daily openly stating that they needed to find someone to run against Matlow, that Matlow HAS TO GO and a few weeks later, Bellamy is Registered and has OVER $64,000 in his Campaign Account. The Donner List looks like Daily’s Donner List.

  34. Just like the AOC squad on the national level, our Tallahassee squad (Matlow, Porter, Marcelin, and others) is arrogant, deceptive, condescending and up to no good.

    As the above article states, “Matlow went on to indicate the California group – which donated $50,000 to a local campaign consultant via the Florida Young Democrat PAC as of August 14 – was not seeking special favors from elected officials like businesses located in Tallahassee that make donations.” This statement is a perfect example of the arrogance, deception and condescension characteristic of the squad. You would have to be a child to believe that the dark money the squads accepts is clean but the money donations from Tallahassee businesses is dirty.

    In an example of being up to no good, from the article above, the President of this California group (that’s not seeking anything from the squad according to Matlow) “helped to found Real Justice PAC, which works to elect progressive district attorneys around the country.” This fits in well with Matlow’s efforts to fight against the anti-riot law.

    Finally, when Max Herrle, texted that Maddox was a “dumb little bastard”, he was providing yet another example of the squad’s arrogance and condescension. Maddox was right in taking offense by his white peers dismissing his opinions and asserting that they know better than he does how to represent his fellow black constituents.

    Anyone voting for these squad members is either duped or they are in on it.

  35. TR,

    Am I reading this right? How can Josh Johnson be running in two different races? How can Josh replace Adner when neither one of them have been voted in yet to begin with?

    “Matlow has held policy discussions that featured Josh Johnson, who is running to replace Leon County Commissioner Nick Maddox and Adner Marcelin.”

    Also, Nick Maddox has been embroiled in sexual harassment cases and needs to go. He has lost all credibility not that he ever had any to begin with and is only a sycophant for the Seminole BOOsters (and sketchy developers) who have been embroiled in their own scandals through the years.

    I think the bigger story here is the elected officials currently in office and candidates who are accepting “bundled” contributions from special interests.

  36. Once again, this is unimpeachable proof – in their own words – that these Marxists never sought to join a body of diverse Elected Representatives, attempt to work with their colleagues to build consensus, and conduct “The People’s” business in a collegial manner. They profess to be “progressives”, but work diligently to block progress of any kind that does not align with their progressive Marxist agenda.

    They do not seek a diverse and equitable body of representation. What they seek is control and power over everyone. They seek to create a single-minded body completely dismissive of anyone with an opposing or differing viewpoint. I’ve stated it before and will again… these divisive and slanderous actions by these two particular Commissioners against their colleague(s) has caused irreparable damage to the Mayor and Commissions’ ability to work together for the good of the City. They should both resign.

  37. Commissioner Matlow has been a voice for all including conservatives and he should be rewarded and retain his seat. He listens to
    regarding the Children’s Services Council and he did not vote for the $27 million giveaway. He questions corruption and the deep special interests.

    He is attacked mercilessly by opposing toadies and sycophants who gladly take money from developers such as the Ghazvinis, Seminole BOOsters, and Gordon Thames, etc..

    Bellamy made a critical error, he should have filed to run for Dailey’s seat. That is the biggest clue that Bellamy is insincere.

    Publications, desperate elected officials and their cronies are throwing out the “progressive” claptrap as their modus operandi because they don’t have any record, plan, platform or accomplishments.

    Vote Jeremy Matlow! That is who is best for the citizens and not special interests, candidates who pretend to be Republican one day and Democrat the next day who throw out the progressive term as their only last ditch desperate pitch.

  38. Zzz. The Doak/developer candidates are losing.

    Changing our City forever away from the Maddox/Goad status quo is a good thing indeed.

    The Northeast Gateway was a bad project that Matlow very pragmatically helped make better by working with Killearn Homeowners Association to amend.

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