July 29, 2016

Florida delegate remains unpersuaded by Clinton: 'Hell no'


via @learyreports

PHILADELPHIA -- Dawn Abate was willing to give Hillary Clinton a chance.

"Hillary has to figure out how she can make us believe she’s going to do any of the things she says she will do," the Florida delegate said Thursday afternoon, hours before Clinton gave her speech.

Abate, 39, of Stuart, is a hardcore Bernie Sanders supporter and had a neon yellow Sanders shirt draped across her shoulders. “It’s been a very emotional week. We’re all in mourning,” she said. “The energy here has been so unfriendly." 

But she said she would hear out Clinton, who did acknowledge what Sanders had done and addressed some of his core issues, including campaign finance and income inequality. "You've put economic and social justice issues front and center, where they belong," Clinton said. "And to all of your supporters here and around the country: I want you to know, I've heard you. Your cause is our cause."

Was Abate moved?

"Hell no," she said Friday by text message. "But I will not let Donald Trump be president either, so sadly, I have to bubble in her name."

--ALEX LEARY, Tampa Bay Times

In battle against Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Tim Canova hires Bernie Sanders' consultants

Tim Canova's campaign has hired three of Bernie Sanders' media consultants.

The new hires are Tad DevineMark Longabaugh, and Julian Mulvey. All three have started, said Canova's campaign manager Richard Bell. The hires were first reported by Politico. The consultants run a Washington D.C. based Democratic media consulting firm together and have represented a long list of Democratic candidates and liberal causes. Their firm was the one behind Sanders' "America" ad which the main audio features Simon and Garfunkel's America song.

Canova is battling U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz in Broward/Miami-Dade Congressional District 23. 

Canova's first-time race drew more attention in the past week since Wasserman Schultz stepped down as Democratic National Committee chair following the leak of more than 19,000 party emails. Those emails showed that the DNC was favoring Hillary Clinton over Sanders -- a charge that Wasserman Schultz had repeatedly denied for months. The emails also showed that DNC staffers who are not on Wasserman Schultz's campaign were tracking Canova's media coverage and appearances.

The primary in the left leaning district is Aug. 30 but voters are already starting to cast ballots by mail. So far, about 28,000 Broward Democrats in the district have requested mail in ballots. A slice of the district is also in northern Miami Dade.

July 26, 2016

Bernie Sanders crashes Florida delegation breakfast in Philadelphia


via @learyreports

PHILADELPHIA -- Bernie Sanders made an unannounced visit to the Florida delegation breakfast, imploring Democrats to come together to defeat Donald Trump.

"Thank you very much for allowing me to barge in," he said, taking the microphone from Rep. Kathy Castor of Tampa.

"We did not do particularly well in Florida, but I want to thank all of you who were there with us. Now, whether you supported me or you supported Secretary Clinton, we all know what our task is and that is to make sure Donald Trump is not elected president."

"... This man has a unique feature that not all Republicans share by any means: He is a demagogue, a bully and somebody that does not believe in the Constitution," Sanders said, looking at revved up as he was last night.

Stunned Democrats pressed the stage at the downtown Marriott, some with tears in their eyes. "The political revolution has begun and it will continue," Sanders said before being hustled away.

"Wasn't that awesome?" Florida Democratic Chairwoman Allison Tant exclaimed.

--ALEX LEARY, Tampa Bay Times

'The choice is not even close,' Sanders says of Clinton

2016 DNC (1)


PHILADELPHIA -- In a rousing speech Monday night, Democratic presidential runner-up Bernie Sanders tried to rally his political party to the progressive agenda that endeared him to millions of primary voters — while also urging the party to unite behind the woman he lost to, Hillary Clinton.

“This election is not about, and has never been about, Hillary Clinton, or Donald Trump, or Bernie Sanders or any of the other candidates who sought the presidency,” he said. “This election is about — and must be about — the needs of the American people and the kind of future we create for our children and grandchildren.”

Sanders was the most anticipated speaker of the first night of the Democratic National Convention — not only because he took the microphone last, but because it came at the end of a day full of discord stirred by some of his supporters, who are still reluctant to accept Clinton’s coming nomination.

“We need leadership in this country which will improve the lives of working families, the children, the elderly, the sick and the poor. We need leadership which brings our people together and makes us stronger — not leadership which insults Latinos, Muslims, women, African Americans and veterans — and divides us up,” Sanders said. “By these measures, any objective observer will conclude that — based on her ideas and her leadership — Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the United States. The choice is not even close.”

Unlike his remarks to supporters earlier in the day — also attempting to smooth hard feelings — this time, on the floor of Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Arena, Sanders didn’t get booed. He did get interrupted, with chants of “We want Bernie!”

“He’s with her!” Clinton fans counter-chanted after Sanders’ speech.

More here.

Fact-checking the first night of Democratic convention


The Democratic National Convention kicked off Monday in Philadelphia, Pa., with boos and shouts from Bernie Sanders supporters disappointed in Hillary Clinton as the presumptive party nominee.

Saying "no one else is more disappointed than myself" in his second-place finish, Sanders used his primetime DNC address to emphasize unity behind the Democratic ticket and Clinton.

"By these measures, any objective observer will conclude – that based on her ideas and her leadership – Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the United States," Sanders said.

The convention opened after a contentious weekend following the release of nearly 20,000 emails showing party officials appearing to favor Clinton over Sanders, leading chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz to announce she would resign after the convention.

Republican nominee Donald Trump got into the action from afar, tweeting that Sanders would have won the nomination had it not been for superdelegates (a False claim).

The night also heard speeches from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and First Lady Michelle Obama.

We took a look at what was said, and how it fared on the Truth-O-Meter.

Keep reading from PolitiFact.

Photo by the AP

July 25, 2016

Strife threatens to derail first night of Democratic convention

2016 DNC(2)


PHILADELPHIA -- Political strife threatened to turn the inaugural night of the Democratic National Convention into an uncontrollable wreck Monday, as fervent Bernie Sanders loyalists repeatedly — and loudly — resisted the impending presidential nomination of Hillary Clinton.

Masses of Sanders delegates booed every time a speaker dared mention Clinton — even during the invocation prayer — and continued after convention chairwoman Marcia Fudge, an Ohio congresswoman, used her opening remarks to beg for civility.

“I’m going to be respectful of you, and I want you to be respectful of me,” she said sternly. “We’re all Democrats, and we need to act like it.”

Sanders supporters proceeded to heckle U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland as he spoke about his father, a poor sharecropper. “Stop TPP!” they yelled, referring to the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.

To make peace with Sanders’ delegates, convention organizers scheduled speeches from several Sanders backers now campaigning for Clinton. But some of the pro-Sanders delegates didn’t seem to hear the pro-Clinton message.

“This is what democracy looks like!” they chanted. Outside Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center, they protested.

This was after Sanders himself, one of Monday night’s keynote speakers, had urged his followers earlier in the day to unite behind Clinton.

“Immediately, right now, we have got to defeat Donald Trump, and we have got to elect Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine,” he said.

They booed Sanders, too. Neither his speech, nor his text message to supporters, nor his former spokeswoman’s tweeting “NO ONE STOLE THIS ELECTION!” seemed to quell the unrest.

More here.

Photo credit: John Taggart/Bloomberg

Dave Barry meets the Bernie Bros in Philadelphia

via @rayadverb

So now the Russians are involved. Yes! According to rumors circulating here — and if we can’t trust circulating rumors, what can we trust? — it was the Russians who leaked the Democratic National Committee emails, because they wanted to embarrass Hillary Clinton. The theory is that the Russians are secretly supporting Donald Trump, as evidenced by the following evidence:

▪ Ivanka” sounds kind of Russian.

▪ Vladimir Putin has been wearing a baseball cap that says “Make America Great Again.”

In an effort to end the email controversy, the DNC has ritually banished Debbie Wasserman Schultz to a Motel 6 in southern Delaware, but supporters of Bernie Sanders are still outraged. Granted, Sanders supporters are always outraged, but now they’re REALLY outraged, to the point where convention organizers have equipped the podium at the Wells Fargo Center with a Unity Water Cannon.

All of this is of course wonderful news for the 15,000 of us media people here, because we were expecting a hideously boring convention where we would be reduced to doing feature stories about cheesesteaks. Rest assured that we will do everything we can to flog this email controversy to its logical conclusion, which ideally from a journalism standpoint would be global thermonuclear war.

Don’t thank us: We’re just doing our job.

More here.


July 24, 2016

Debbie Wasserman Schultz's tricky role at Democratic convention


A week before the start of the Democratic National Convention, its chairwoman, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, strolled into the arena — of the opposing party’s presidential convention.

Heads turned. What’s she doing here, mouthed incredulous Republicans at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

But Wasserman Schultz, persona non grata at the GOP, wasn’t engaging in covert political ops. She was being escorted into one of CNN’s makeshift studios to do what she does best: aggressively deliver the Democratic Party line.

“We should never let Donald Trump anywhere near the White House,” she said in another CNN appearance later in the week.

Consider it a warm-up for the Democratic convention, which begins Monday in Philadelphia and which will mark the culmination of more than a year’s work for the Weston congresswoman.

For Hillary Clinton, the presumptive presidential nominee, the convention will feel like a coronation. For Wasserman Schultz, the target of devotees of Clinton rival Bernie Sanders, it will probably feel much different. The woman tasked with holding the national party together is one of the reasons some of them feel divided.

On Friday, the WikiLeaks website published a trove of more than 19,000 Democratic National Committee emails that detail the party’s rancorous relationship with Sanders’ campaign. Last month, Wasserman Schultz acknowledged a “serious” email breach, that people knowledgeable about the incident blamed on Russian hackers.

More here.

UPDATE: CNN reports Wasserman Schultz won't deliver a convention speech -- unlike her Republican counterpart Reince Priebus last week -- "to keep the peace" among delegates in the wake of the email leak.

July 11, 2016

Clinton, Sanders delegates to gather in Broward Tuesday

While Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton will rally together in New Hampshire Tuesday, delegates to the Democratic convention will gather in Broward for a unity event.

Backers of Sanders and Clinton during the primary who are delegates to the upcoming convention in Philadelphia will gather at the AFL-CIO office at 1700 NW 66th Ave. in Plantation at 5:30 p.m.

Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam, a surrogate for Clinton, and Broward Democratic Chair Cynthia Busch, who backed Sanders from her home state of Vermont in the primary, will speak. 

In the March 15 primary, Clinton won 72.5 percent of the Democratic vote in Broward while Sanders won 26.5 percent. Statewide, Clinton won 64-33.

July 09, 2016

Donald Trump, South Beach art muse and clown


via @AdamHBeasley

Just because you’re petrified about the future of the Republic doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun.

On Friday night, that fun for Miami Beach artist Huong included harassing tourists with her sidekick for the evening: A Donald Trump clown.

“Mr. Trump” comically badgered those who walked past Huong’s gallery in the 1600 block of Washington Avenue without saying a word. He left the talking to Huong, who peppered each with same question: “Why are you voting for Trump?”

It was entertaining, of course. But it wasn’t Huong’s real goal. She hoped to lure people inside her shop, where Huong’s new, massive Trump-centric exhibit is on display.

On Saturday, Huong will officially introduce the Trump portion of “She Said, He Said — What do you say?” a collection of Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders portraits with some of the candidates’ most famous (and infamous quotes).

And here’s the twist: unlike paintings that hang in a museum, Huong’s artwork is meant to be touched.

She is encouraging the public to add their own take on the reality TV star-turned-politician. The mural doubles as an open message board, where people are urged to jot down their thoughts on Clinton, Trump and Sanders.

The ambitious project is the latest addition to Huong’s Peace Mural initiative, a Miami-based non-profit made up of artists, scholars and peace activists that she created at the turn of the century.

More here.

Photo credit: Matias J. Ocner, Miami Herald staff