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Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey Megadonor Attacks Challenger

Premier Fine Homes CEO Steve Ghazvini didn't waste any time attacking newly filed challenger to Mayor John Dailey. The company has been Dailey's largest donor.

Sunday, March 6th, 7:00 PM Update

Steve and Jason Ghazvini have doubled down their position that Kristin Dozier is a “communist” throughout the weekend. 

Justin Ghazvini posted on Facebook on Sunday morning “Kristin Dozier in fact has been confirmed a communist,” which has since been deleted. He also directed people to report Our Tallahassee’s Facebook post featuring his comments which was not successful. The Washington Post editorial board recently wrote about the weaponization of mass-reporting, a form of online brigading “Opinion: The bad guys on social media are learning new tricks“: 

“Mass reporting involves cooperating to get others incorrectly booted off Facebook. Meta points to a network in Vietnam that conspired to stymie the speech of government critics by flagging posts for various rules violations. Sometimes, the network would even set up accounts impersonating targets and then report the targets for impersonating them. This is a new way for people in power to shut down people who seek to challenge it.”

Jared Willis, a spokesperson for Grow Tallahassee announced on Facebook on Saturday around midnight that he would be filing an Florida Commission on Ethics complaint against Brian Welch, County District 4. Willis filed an ethics complaint against Jeremy Matlow, City Seat 3 which was dismissed this week. Willis posted to Twitter , in an apparent threat foreshadowing the ethics complaint, responding to Our Tallahassee’s tweet “If Jeremy Matlow and his propaganda wing think this is adversarial, buckle up… I won’t stop til the cancer is cut out.” Grow Tallahassee endorsed Welch’s opponent and backed his campaign with digital advertisements.

Charlie Dailey, Mayor John Dailey’s brother responded to a comment on Steve Ghazvini’s Facebook page in response to our article saying “We are so sorry Ghazvini family. This is very unacceptable…”

Kristin Dozier, County Seat 4 for her part posted on Sunday evening that “the last few days have also shown the negative campaign that our current Mayor and a few of his supporters plan to run.” Dozier says she’s focused on bringing people together “not the division that he and his supporters are seeking.”

Justin Ghazvini repeated a number of false claims throughout the weekend. 

He claimed that our original tweet was “photoshopped” and “doesn’t even say what’s in that ad” (it was not and it did). 

He also repeatedly claimed that a person formerly involved with Our Tallahassee who shares the same first and last name as the campaign treasurer of the Kristin Dozier for Mayor Campaign is the same person, an easily verifiably false claim. The two share no relation.

(Editor’s Note: Our Tallahassee is developing a more comprehensive strategy towards combating disinformation campaigns moving forward in the run-up to the 2022 election.)

Our Tallahassee, February 2021 Blueprint Meeting

Original Friday Report:

On day two of the Mayor’s race, Premier Fine Homes CEO Steve Ghazvini, Mayor John Dailey’s largest donor, has come out swinging in attacking Dailey’s opponent, longtime County Commissioner Kristin Dozier. Premier Fine Homes front group, Grow Tallahassee, which has close ties to Mayor John Dailey, has been increasingly hostile to Dozier, and critics of Welaunee and the Seminole Boosters deal.

Steve Ghazvini, CEO of Premier Fine Homes, claimed on Facebook that “We need to take a stand against commissioners that want to turn our community to a socialist (read communist) society.” Ghazvini went on to say that commissioners opposed to the Seminole Boosters’ $27 million dollar stadium deal “voted against supporting FSU,” a claim echoing Dailey’s messaging on the issue. At the September 2021 Blueprint meeting, Dailey claimed, “Hey look, bottom line is, tonight, do you support Florida State or do you not?”

Ghazvini did not elaborate on his claims that Dozier, a known moderate with a reputation as a no-nonsense policy wonk, is a socialist or communist.

While developer influence can be hard to track entirely, Premier Fine Homes has significantly supported mayor John Dailey’s political campaigns. In his 2018 campaign alone, Premier contributed at least $11,350 to Dailey from at least 26 entities. 

DateAmountEntity NameCandidate
2/27/2018$250Behzad GhazviniDailey, John E-518
2/27/2018$250Thomas AsburyDailey, John E-518
4/30/2018$250Razieh PourjahanDailey, John E.-531
8/6/2018$25017900 Panama City LLCDailey, John E.-531
8/6/2018$250Behzhad Ghazvini DBA Monte CriDailey, John E.-531
8/6/2018$250Capital Property Consultants,Dailey, John E.-531
8/6/2018$250Financial Services of AmericaDailey, John E.-531
8/6/2018$250Fine Crescent Homes LLCDailey, John E.-531
8/6/2018$250Ghazvini Asbury LTDDailey, John E.-531
8/6/2018$250Ghazvini De Famille LLCDailey, John E.-531
8/6/2018$250Ghazvini Partners LTDDailey, John E.-531
8/6/2018$250Golden Oak Land GroupDailey, John E.-531
8/6/2018$250Nalani, LLCDailey, John E.-531
8/6/2018$250Ox Bottom Mortgage Holdings LLDailey, John E.-531
8/6/2018$250Ox Bottom Thomasville LLCDailey, John E.-531
8/6/2018$250P.S.P LLCDailey, John E.-531
8/6/2018$250Premier ConstructionDailey, John E.-531
8/6/2018$250Premier Construction- ResDailey, John E.-531
8/6/2018$250Pro-Waste and Hauling LLCDailey, John E.-531
8/6/2018$250Sandco LLCDailey, John E.-531
8/6/2018$250Sandco, IncDailey, John E.-531
8/6/2018$250Golden Park LLCDailey, John E.-531
8/6/2018$250Paycheckga, LLCDailey, John E.-531
9/28/2018$250Behzad GhazviniDailey, John E.-531
9/28/2018$250Thomas AsburyDailey, John E.-531
9/28/2018$25017900 Panama City LLCDailey, John E.-531
9/28/2018$2503122 West Tennessee St LLCDailey, John E.-531
9/28/2018$250Askari Rental LLCDailey, John E.-531
9/28/2018$250Capital Property Consultants IDailey, John E.-531
9/28/2018$250Financial Services of AmericaDailey, John E.-531
9/28/2018$250Fine Cresent Homes LLCDailey, John E.-531
9/28/2018$250Ghazvini Asbury LTDDailey, John E.-531
9/28/2018$250Ghazvini De Famille LLCDailey, John E.-531
9/28/2018$250Ghazvini Partners LTDDailey, John E.-531
9/28/2018$250Golden Oak Land GroupDailey, John E.-531
9/28/2018$250Monte Cristo of Tall. No. 2Dailey, John E.-531
9/28/2018$250Nalani LLCDailey, John E.-531
9/28/2018$250OB Homes of Tallahassee LLCDailey, John E.-531
9/28/2018$250OX Bottom Mortgage Holdings LLDailey, John E.-531
9/28/2018$250Paycheckga, LLCDailey, John E.-531
9/28/2018$250Pro-Waste and Hauling LLCDailey, John E.-531
9/28/2018-$250Sandco IncDailey, John E.-531
9/28/2018$250Sandco IncDailey, John E.-531
9/28/2018$250Sandco LLCDailey, John E.-531
9/28/2018$250Sandco, IncDailey, John E.-531
9/28/2018$250Ox Bottom Thomasville LLCDailey, John E.-531
9/28/2018$250P.S.P LLCDailey, John E.-531
10/18/2018$100Jeffrey Doxsee, SrDailey, John E.-531
NO EVIDENCE OF ‘COMMUNIST’ CLAIM

Ghazvini’s son, Justin Ghazvini, the CEO of Premier Commercial Group, also posted a Facebook status on Friday, claiming again that Dailey’s opponent was pushing “socialist politics.” Justin Ghazvini, who helped found Premier Fine Homes front group Grow Tallahassee, has recently been engaged with the $27 million dollar Seminole Boosters deal online. In response to the Democrat’s coverage of Dailey’s acceptance of $23,050 in contributions from the leaders of the Seminole Boosters and Florida State Board of Trustees in the run-up to his vote on the project, Ghazvini commented “SO WHAT?? FIND SOMETHING BETTER TO WRITE ABOUT” on the Democrat’s Facebook page. 

Neither Justin nor Steve Ghazvini elaborated as to what socialist or communist policies they were referencing. Ironically, Dozier was attending a Tallahassee Builder’s Association meeting at the time of her candidacy filing, a detail the Democrat included in their reporting. Dozier being cast by Premier Fine Homes as a villainous anti-growth communist may be just political name-calling. Dozier herself worked for more than a decade at Mad Dog Construction as a project manager, the most hands-on development experience of any sitting local elected official. That incongruency was noted online by Tallahassee’s Jeff VanderMeer who responded on Twitter, “Can’t believe that this is happening. Dozier is a centrist candidate and what you are seeing is a developer afraid they would no longer have the untoward power they have now. Tallahasseans, these are the folks in power, whining as if they are oppressed.

Their company, Premier Fine Homes, has been the largest recipient of developer subsidies, a form of corporate socialism, most notably Welaunee. Their capture of public dollars to subsidize their vast real estate and development investments have resulted from decades of unchecked political donations and lobbying efforts, primarily by the Mayor’s campaign manager himself. 

Premier Fine Homes has for years retained the Mayor’s Campaign Manager, unregistered lobbying firm VancoreJones, for its lobbying work with local government. VancoreJones has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in local government “public engagement” contracts, primarily through no-bid contracts. TallahasseeReports.com uncovered information from the FBI federal corruption trial that showed that VancoreJones is, in fact, a lobbying firm, which is supported from its proposal documents to since-indicted developer JT Burnette.

Welaunee was a significant priority of Mayor John Dailey and Premier Fine Homes; they tried to force the deal through during COVID virtual meetings with no public hearing. Dozier wanted to slow things down, hold a public hearing, get public input, and study the environmental impacts and comprehensive plan.

PREMIER FINE HOMES FRONT GROUP Spent $35,000 in 2020 Elections, Mostly Lost

In the past two years, Premier has bankrolled a front group, Grow Tallahassee, to advocate for their positions. Grow Tallahassee’s associated political committee, Grow Tallahassee PC, received $35,000 in the run-up to the 2020 campaign cycle from an elder retired Ghazvini family member. 

They spent money backing pro-Premier Fine Homes candidates, who supported their agenda, notably the annexation of Welaunee and the Northeast Gateway. The Northeast Gateway is an $80+ million dollar Blueprint 2020 project. Since Dailey was elected to the Mayor’s office has been reprioritized as a “tier one” priority of Blueprint. 

The project’s goal is to subsidize a developer road project through Welaunee. According to Blueprint traffic studies, the project is slated to dump traffic onto Shamrock, Tralee Road, and McLaughlin Drive and their associated sidestreets within Killearn Estates as part of the effort to provide mobility for the new residents of the Premier Fine Homes Welaunee investment. 

Leon County Commissioner Bryan Desloge is close enough to Dailey that the two families owned beach houses across the street from one another. In the 2020 general election, despite Grow Tallahassee’s help with online advertisements. 

Pro-Bryan Desloge Ads ran by Grow Tallahassee in the 2020 Election Cycle via Instagram

Brian Welch defeated Desloge in a crushing 13-point rout by the establishment in Leon County’s most conservative commission district that the Democrat called “the biggest local shocker of election night.”

Former City Commissioner Elaine Bryant was Dailey’s pick for the vacancy appointment of Scott Maddox. Bryant lost to City Commissioner Jack Porter in the 2020 Primary, despite the help of Grow Tallahassee ads backing Elaine Bryant

Porter ran a precedent-setting campaign which led to an 11-percentage-point win over an establishment-backed incumbent to the City Commission that prevented a general election, and sent Porter to the City Commission.

The Democrat, writing about the race in the days after  the election, emphasized the significance of the race in local politics, saying that the defeat of another establishment-backed candidate in local government “was seen in political circles as a watershed moment.”

Pro-Elaine Bryant Ads ran by Grow Tallahassee in the 2020 Election Cycle., Agency via Facebook
Pro-Elaine Bryant Ads ran by Grow Tallahassee in the 2020 Election Cycle., Agency via Facebook

Grow Tallahassee’s brand was often indistinguishable from Premier Fine Homes’ online brand during the 2020 election cycle.

GROW TAllahassee Closely Linked to Mayor John Dailey

Grow Tallahassee hired the Mayor’s campaign manager Drew Jones to manage their political ads for their political committee. This effort was largely unsuccessful, losing two out of three races to Brian Welch and Jack Porter. Jones spoke at their Winter Social, advocating for the Killearn road project. 

Since the 2020 elections, the group has been posting positive content about Mayor John Dailey. “We uphold Mayor John Dailey’s efforts to establish rational and proactive leadership,” the group posted on Facebook in September 2021, adding an applause emoji.

Grow Tallahassee also hosted their Winter Social event, which boasted the Mayor as the featured speaker.

Since then, Premier Fine Homes and Grow Tallahassee have taken a hard-line stance against Commissioners Kristin Dozier, Jeremy Matlow, Bill Proctor— the commissioners who had any opposition to fast-tracking the Northeast Gateway with Premier’s route and passing Welaunee during COVID virtual meetings.

While Jared Willis, a spokesperson for the Premier Fine Homes front group, has claimed to the Tallahassee Democrat that Grow Tallahassee is “not adversarial,” just today, the City ethics board dismissed an ethics complaint that Willis filed against Jeremy Matlow. Willis recently appeared at a John Dailey re-election campaign fundraiser.

Tallahassee’s Independent Ethics Officer Dwight Floyd dismissed a complaint against Jeremy Matlow by Grow Tallahassee asserting he should recuse himself from the Blueprint vote last week. After review, the complaint was deemed “legally insufficient,” the Democrat’s Karl Etters tweeted on Friday

This isn’t accurate.” Willis replied. “I personally filed the complaint as a concerned citizen.” 

The primary election is on August 23rd, 2022.

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6 Responses

  1. I have seen Ghazvini store thousands of campaign signs in their equipment trucks on construction sites for entrenched candidates. This is illegal because this is an In-Kind contribution that the candidates did not report.

    I have seen Ghazvini set up multiple corporations to distribute funds to entrenched elected officials in order to skirt the maximum limit campaign contributions law.

    Perhaps Ghazvini should put his money where his mouth is and instead of – funneling funds to entrenched elected officials – so he can take shortcuts in his construction business, that lead to harming our environment, he should provide health insurance benefits to his underpaid labor force.

    Dailey accepting multiple contributions from Ghazvini under multiple corporations is an enabler to exploiting laborers.

    They are bullying Dozier which she does not deserve. She was on the right, fiscally responsible, and humanitarian side of the Blueprint $22 million for stadium seats NO vote. I commend her for that. Dailey’s vote for the stadium seats were quid pro quo.

    This behavior from the Ghazvinis against Dozier is unacceptable and will backfire on Dailey.

  2. Ghazvini could be a poster boy for the class of predatory rent-seekers that economist Michael Hudson described in his book “Killing the Host”. His spew of red herrings against a politician who prioritizes things other than his personal profits is a disappointing low for Tallahassee, but entirely to be expected from the “rentier” class who value nothing beyond their personal gain.

  3. How many of Mayor Dailey’s contributors have Sky Boxes at Doak Stadium? The Ghazvini(s) have a Skybox(es) and take limousines to them on game day. I have witnessed this.

    Taxpayers are paying to renovate Ghazvini’s personal interest investment and the mayor puts his campaign funding sources before taxpayers with nary a care.

    Mayor Dailey and Ghazvini are looking down at taxpayers saying Let them eat cake”.

  4. If voting against government giving handouts to the government is socialism, I don’t want to be a capitalist!

  5. When “mega-donors” have to reduce themselves to disturbing attacks on an opponent rather than the promoting of their candidate(s) accomplishments, it only conveys that their candidate has no accomplishments. They have to resort to attacking. This is sad, but it is also very disturbing that a company that calls itself “Premier” should consider changing their name to the opposite meaning of premiere… lesser, least, or last.

    Thank you to the Tallahassee Five who had the courage to vote NO for the Doak Stadium seats… Perhaps there needs to be an investigation into John Dailey directing taxpayer infrastructure funds so his donors would not be assessed fees to upgrade their Sky Boxes. The taxpayers will be assessed $22 million.

    Please keep the updates coming…

  6. When your Megadonor attacks your Opponent in Public and or Print, it only makes YOU look bad Mayor Daily. it make you look desperate, I voted for you once, never again.

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