The early days of Governor-Elect Ron DeSantis’ campaign in Florida were bleak.
Facing off against his Democrat foe, a charismatic rising star serving as Mayor in Tallahassee named Andrew Gillum, DeSantis had a rocky start.
The night of his primary victory, DeSantis was dogged with claims of racism. When he talked about the economic progress under the president, urging voters not to “monkey this up” by embracing a socialist agenda, the left claimed the statement was a “dog-whistle” to racists.
DeSantis then began getting attacked for speaking at an event hosted by conservative writer David Horowitz. Horowitz certainly has non-politically correct opinions, but is far from racist, or any other ist or ism the left wants to throw at him. But DeSantis was still forced into the corner to not only defend everything Horowitz has said, but to defend anything anybody Horowitz has ever associated with has said.
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As that news cycle droned on, Gillum continued to campaign like normal, as DeSantis was constantly forced on the defensive.
It’s at that moment that myself and a good friend, Jacob Engels began planning to expose Gillum’s far left views. And it’s the following events that likely turned everything around for DeSantis.
Jacob is a 20-something political operative, and editor-in-chief at Central Florida Post, who is a longtime associate of Roger Stone. He also insists I refer to him at least once as a “crazy gay.”
I met Jacob and his “partner in crime” Tyler Whyte a few months prior in Las Vegas for a conservative get-together. We immediately hit it off after learning we both are in media, and love to stir up some trouble every now and again.
After deciding the public deserved to know about Gillum instead of trumped up claims of racism, Jacob found exactly what we needed to do that.
With some digging, a recently hired staffer for Gillum, Manny Orozco Ballestas was found to have quite a colorful mouth, and a very low opinion of Republicans and the President.
Jacob found a picture on his Instagram showing him wearing a shirt labeling the state of Florida as “Dumbf***istan,” and quickly jumped on the story.
On September 26th, Jacob published an article exposing this staffer for essentially calling the constituents Gillum was vying to represent “dumbf***s.”
I quickly published the same thing on Big League Politics to give it national exposure.
It was with this article that we began to gain some exposure, and to take some heat off of DeSantis. Gillum began having to answer tough questions, instead of breezing his way through an easy campaign.
Gillum’s campaign was forced to make a statement after facing calls from the Republican Party of Florida for the staffer’s firing.
The campaign said they won’t “be lectured about words by the Party of Trump,” then saying: “The anti-Trump shirt he wore before he was hired wasn’t funny or in any way related to our campaign and we’ve addressed that with him.”
But while the campaign seemed to be dismissive about their staffer calling would-be constituents “dumbf***s,” they weren’t so dismissive about our next bombshell.
You see, the campaign didn’t realize that we aren’t a one-hit wonder. We were ready to double down with something even more damning.
After releasing the “dumbf***istan” story, the staffer in question began deleting everything on his Twitter account. Over 30,000 Tweets total were deleted.
But one thing he didn’t expect is for us to already have his Tweets archived. So Engels quickly released a collection of some of Manny’s greatest hits from his then-deleted Twitter timeline.
Those include calls for Donald Trump to be executed, and sexually suggestive Tweets including toddlers.
Not even 24 hours after that report was released, Gillum’s campaign fired Ballestas, as Big League Politics first reported.
This is where things really picked up steam. The story of Ballestas’ firing, and of the Tweets he made became national news. Virtually every outlet in Florida was covering it, and countless national outlets picked it up.
It was at this moment me and Jacob realized we had something going. And after a phone conversation, the idea for a “truth tour” was born.
The idea was to confront Andrew Gillum at as many campaign stops across the state as possible. Our goal was to force him to answer the tough questions he has been avoiding, like his big money connections to George Soros, his failure in hiring Ballestas, and rampant left-wing mob violence.
Shortly after that call, the tour moved into action, with Jacob’s trusty cameraman Tyler Whyte in tow the entire time.
Its first stop was in Orlando, Florida for a public campaign event. At the event, Jacob confronted Gillum about the staffer he was previously forced to fire. Because while he was fired, it wasn’t for calling Floridians dumbf***s, but for more extreme statements.
Jacob was physically held back, and yelled at by supporters of Gillum, but was able to get his point across. Every news camera rolling caught audio of his questioning. So, mission accomplished.
For the next stop, we decided to bring things up a notch. The tour needed an actual name, and some branding. Fitting with his “troublemaker” image, Jacob began labeling it the “F*** Political Correctness Truth Tour,” with professional branding to match.
The first stop with the new branding was in Tampa where Jacob, megaphone in hand, questioned Gillum about his ties to George Soros, who spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to support him.
In response, a mob of Gillum supporters viciously assaulted him and his cameraman Tyler.
I was assaulted by @AndrewGillum supporters as a gay journalist covering his violent mob. Denounce this rabid attack or admit you condone violence Andrew… the world is watching! pic.twitter.com/xrOhWU0Y02
— Jacob Engels (@JacobEngels) October 20, 2018
Video recorded of the attack has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times, and shared by major political figures like Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida.
After that event, a new figure emerged to support the Truth Tour. Laura Loomer, who is a conservative investigative journalist, and Big League Politics contributor, joined up with Jacob and Tyler in Florida.
The three of them went to a Gillum event being held in a Plantation, FL area Synagogue, and before the event even began Jacob was told to leave. Before leaving he was able to question the crowd about mob violence, specifically addressing the assault he faced at the previous event.
Shortly after, Loomer was removed after being recognized. Being Jewish, that “deeply disturbed” her. She said it “reminded [her] of the times in Nazi Germany when people like [her] Grandfather were arrested for being Jews.”
This stop was covered in major national outlets like Gateway Pundit, run by conservative media giant Jim Hoft, who followed the Truth Tour since the beginning.
At the time of the latest stop, the campaign was in its final days. But there was still a lot to do.
Two massive campaign stops were coming up for Gillum. One featuring former Attorney General Eric Holder, and the final featuring former President Barack Obama.
Because the Holder event was in public, Jacob was able to easily confront him over his seeming support for incivility and mob violence against conservatives. Holder loudly, and angrily responded back, making the stop a major success.
After this stop of the Truth Tour, Jacob’s personal account was banned from Facebook with no explanation. While it then became harder to get his message out, it still spread like wildfire.
While the Holder stop was rather easy, the final stop of the Truth Tour was the most well-planned, and thought out stop of the tour.
For weeks we discussed the best way to share Gillum’s extreme views with Floridians at the biggest event of his campaign. Obama was going to be in Miami for a massive rally (at least massive for Democrats).
Because of the large crowd, we needed to ensure that those confronting the President were near the front of the crowd, which required being there hours early.
There was also the problem of Jacob becoming one of the most recognized people to the Gillum campaign.
In order to fix that problem, Jacob wore makeup changing his skin tone slightly, threw on massive glasses and put a beanie on his head.
Once inside it came time for his confrontation.
Along with a newcomer to the Truth Tour, Enrique Tarrio, an “Afro-Cuban” Trump supporter, it began.
Midway through Obama’s speech, Tarrio screamed, from the front row, “Why don’t you tell the truth! You haven’t done jack s*** for the Latino, or African American community!”
After being thrown out, Jacob followed up, screaming to the former president, “You belong in jail!”
He was dragged out by a group of what appeared to be private security. In the end, Jacob claims his shoulder was dislocated, and he was left in pain for days.
But with that, the truth tour was over.
What me and Jacob set off to do on that one phone call was a success.
We forced Gillum to answer for his extreme views and connections almost everywhere he went in public, and along with that we gained national news coverage.
These stories led the DeSantis’ campaign into a new direction. If he had stayed on the defense, Gillum likely would have won. Instead, DeSantis was able to present himself as a leader that can be respected.
Many are realizing just how much of a difference this tour made in this race.
Jim Hoft of the Gateway Pundit credits it for DeSantis’ victory, telling Big League Politics, “[Jacob’s] contributions in Florida politics changed the narrative and resulted in two conservative wins in the US Senate and Florida governor’s race.”
“I did not know Jacob Engels before this summer and it was my loss. He does outstanding work and has a steely spine. The way he threw himself into the Democrat rallies and exposed their violent nature and intolerance was epic. Maybe someday Democrats will have the courage to look within and acknowledge their inner hate.”
Reflecting on the Truth Tour, Jacob spoke to Big League Politics about how he feels it made a difference.
“Holding Andrew Gillum accountable for his hypocrisy for mob violence, calls to kill Trump, and rabid anti-Semitism was a great honor. Often times the most important forms of truth telling are neither easy or the most tame.
Laura Loomer and my fellow freedom fighter Tyler Whyte, along with Luke Rohlfing at Big League Politics, helped make it possible and reach millions of voters in Florida. The F*** Political Correctness Truth Tour resulted in being booted from Facebook… a serious case of actual election meddling. We’ll be back 10 times stronger for the 2020 presidential elections.”
So despite the Truth Tour being done for now. It will be back, and you can count on Big League Politics to be with it from start to finish.