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Joe Garcia gets help from the Dean-iacs

Democracy for America, a Howard Dean-inspired "political action committee dedicated to supporting fiscally responsible, socially progressive candidates," is backing and raising $$$ for Joe Garcia, who is looking to oust Miami Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart.

"South Florida has a problem," an e-mail solicitation from Dean's brother, DFA chair Jim Dean, says. "This overwhelmingly Democratic stronghold that delivers a significant margin of victory for the Democratic presidential nominee every four years is represented in Congress by reactionary, right-wing Bush-Republicans."

The e-mail, which asks for a $20.08 contribution (get it?) calls Diaz-Balart, "one of the worst,'' noting that he voted against expanding a childrens' health insurance plan and for legislation "to grant immunity to telecommunication companies who spied on Americans." (That's a reference to the Bush-backed intelligence law that Republicans say makes it easier for the government to eavesdrop on phone calls and e-mails of suspected terrorists. But Democrats say it also gives legal immunity to companies that gave up private data after Sept. 11)

The email notes that the group already has "boots on the ground working to make sure Joe wins." It calls the outgoing chair of the Miami-Dade Democrats and former Cuban American National Foundation executive director a 20-year "leader on the issues that affect the lives of real people.

"Joe will fight to end to the war in Iraq responsibly and bring our brave men and women home," the e-mail says. "He will strengthen the middle class by bringing new jobs to Florida and making college affordable."