August 31, 2016

Our Revolution: We lost a big one in Florida


Tim Canova's biggest backer who propelled him to a $3 million warchest -- U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders -- never showed up to campaign for Canova. And in the end, Canova lost to U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Sanders' newly formed group that works to help progressive candidates -- Our Revolution -- put out a statement about races won and lost including Canova's. Here is part of the statement:

"Sisters and Brothers -

Last night was a tremendous night for our political revolution. Out of the five progressive primary campaigns we supported, three were victorious. But we did lose one, a big one, in Florida: Tim Canova against Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

As we move forward into the next chapter of our political revolution, we are going to win some elections, and we are going to lose some elections. But through it all, as Bernie said, our job is to transform the Democratic Party and this country. And it's our job to hold elected officials accountable when they work against the progressive values we all share.

During this race, Debbie Wasserman Schultz changed her position on a number of important issues, including fracking. And because of the challenge we gave her, you can expect a more fair and impartial Democratic National Committee in the next presidential primary."

Here is what Wasserman Schultz said about fracking during a debate and later in a statement to the Miami Herald.

The statement did mention that one other candidate it backed in South Florida won: Dwight Bullard who won a state Senate race.

- Photo by Sun Sentinel

Broward state attorney reviewing elections office posting results early


Broward State Attorney Mike Satz has begun reviewing why the Broward elections office posted results on its website before the polls closed in violation of state law.

Partial results based on absentee ballots and early voting were posted at about 6:40 p.m. After the Miami Herald tweeted about it, the results were taken down minutes before 7 p.m. A vendor took responsibility.

Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner contacted Satz Tuesday night to ask him to review the matter.

“It has come to my attention that certain election results were released in Broward County prior to the closing of the polls in that county,” Detzner wrote in an email to Satz at 8:47 p.m. Tuesday. “This is unacceptable. I ask that you investigate this incident to determine whether further legal action is appropriate.”

Keep reading here.

Tim Canova: I will concede Debbie Wasserman Schultz is a corporate stooge


Tim Canova refused to go quietly into the night as he sat by the bar of Kasa Champet in Pembroke Pines after all precincts finally reported around 11:30 p.m.

"I will concede Debbie Wasserman Schultz is a corporate stooge,"' Canova said.

As for working with Wasserman Schultz in the future, well, don't bet on it.

"She's never asked for my help," Canova said. "She's never given me the time of day. She's never given the time of day to her constituents as far as I'm concerned."

Democratic voters in the Broward/Miami-Dade district didn't share Canova's view: the Weston Democrat won 57 to 43 percent.

- by Amy Sherman and George Richards and photo by Sun Sentinel




August 30, 2016

Wasserman Schultz beats Canova in South Florida


U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz staved off her first primary challenge in 24 years, defeating first-time candidate Tim Canova on Tuesday to position herself to hang on to her South Florida seat despite a crush of national opposition to her candidacy.

Wasserman Schultz harnessed the backing of the biggest names in Democratic politics to help her win — President Barack Obama praised her while in Miami, and Vice President Joe Biden and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton campaigned for her in the district. Despite the fact that Canova raised millions of dollars and had an army of progressive volunteers, Wasserman Schultz convinced voters in her district to focus on her advocacy for local causes and her liberal views for decades, and to ignore the Democratic scandal that cost her the post of national party chair.

“This is a community with an incredibly progressive heart that has lifted me up and helped me to be able to shout from the rooftops the idea that you can in America use government as a catalyst to improve people's lives,” she told her supporters at Scuotto’s Pizza & Pasta in Sunrise Tuesday night.

Wasserman Schultz made no mention of Canova and instead bashed Republicans for trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act and urged the crowd to support Clinton.

“We commit right here and now Broward County will carry Hillary Clinton to the White House,” she said.

Wasserman Schultz choked up as she thanked her parents who teaching her the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam, the concept of repairing the world and making it a better place.

She led Canova by about 14 percentage points in a district that stretches from Weston to northern Miami-Dade County.

Keep reading here.

August 29, 2016

What you need to know for Tuesday’s primary election


@alextdaugherty and @doug_hanks

Planning to vote in Tuesday’s primary election? We’ve provided answers to a list of frequently asked questions.

Numerous races are on the ballot, notably the election for Miami-Dade County mayor, along with Republican and Democratic primaries for U.S. Senate. Various state legislative, school board, county commission and judicial seats are also up for grabs in Miami-Dade and Broward.

I’m not a registered Republican or Democrat. Should I bother to vote?

For some offices, like U.S. Senate and Congress, only registered members of a specific party may vote. But in Miami-Dade County, all registered voters can cast a ballot for mayor, school board, county commissioner and judge. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, a runoff election will be held in November for the top two finishers.

In Broward, independents can vote in non-partisan races, including contests for judge, state attorney and school board. Voters in both counties are also voting on a constitutional amendment about solar energy.

So is the mayor’s race in Miami-Dade ending Tuesday or not?

That depends. If one candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, the race ends. If not, the race heads for a November run-off on Election Day between the top two finishers.

That’s just for the mayor’s race?

No, that’s the rule for all non-partisan primaries, which is how most county-level and city-level races are decided. So school board races, judge races and other local posts could wind up on the November ballot if no winner is declared Tuesday.

What about the races for Miami-Dade County Commission?

Those three races would be eligible for a run-off, except each contest only has two candidates. A run-off is only a possibility with more than two candidates.

Fact-checking the Florida Senate race


After months of being bombarded with campaign ads and mailers, Florida primary voters will decide Tuesday which U.S. Senate candidates will move on to the general election.

We’ve been tracking the most visible candidates in both parties on our Truth-O-Meter for months. Here’s a look at how some statements from the contenders -- Marco Rubio, Carlos Beruff, Patrick Murphy and Alan Grayson -- stack up.

Keep reading from PolitiFact Florida.

August 27, 2016

Tim Kaine bashes Donald Trump, Gov. Rick Scott in Broward speech

KainePinesMH (1)

Tim Kaine said that in order to defeat terrorists the United States must continue to work with alliances while Donald Trump will set the country on a path to “isolation” and “weakness” in a speech in Broward Saturday morning.

“There is sharp distinction between a Hillary Clinton who understands the value of alliances and making us stronger and Donald Trump who seems to think building walls and tearing down alliances is a path to strength,” Kaine said in a speech in Broward Saturday morning. “It is a path to isolation and it’s a path to weakness.”

Kaine attacked Trump for questioning the importance of NATO to the U.S.

“If you tear up NATO and say now we don’t need alliances anymore, who are you going share intelligence with?” he said at the Southwest Focal Point Senior Center in Pembroke Pines.

Kaine campaigned in Democratic-rich Broward County on the last weekend before the state’s Tuesday primary and in the district of U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a former national party chair who faces a well-financed challenge from Tim Canova —who is backed by Bernie Sanders. Kaine thanked Wasserman Schultz for attending, but made no comments about her campaign.

Kaine also used his speech in Pembroke Pines to attack Republicans — both Gov. Rick Scott and the GOP in the U.S. Senate — for avoiding tackling the problem of sea level rise.

“You’ve got a governor who ordered his officials not even to use the term climate change...,” Kaine said. “I think Floridians are like Virginians — we are proscience people. ....We accept the notion that there is climate change, that human activity is causing it.”

Keep reading here.

August 26, 2016

Broward prosecutors to investigate bribery allegations against Hallandale Beach Vice Mayor

Broward prosecutors will investigate whether Hallandale Beach Vice Mayor Bill Julian took bribes in return for a favorable vote on development project, after Julian was caught on tape apparently admitting to taking the favors.

The accusations involve whether the developers provided money to a pet charity of Julian’s and offered to provide as many as 300 workers to help with his campaign.

“I know there are some complaints and allegations that have been referred to us and we will review those,” said Tim Donnelly, public corruption chief for Broward State Attorney Mike Satz, told the Miami Herald Friday morning. “It's going to be investigated.”

WPLG Channel 10 reporter Bob Norman first aired the allegations against Julian Wednesday based on a voice message by Julian related to the $450 million condo and hotel project at the Diplomat Golf and Tennis club.

In the profanity-laced recording, Julian said he got the developer to buy a food bank “a frigging van” but that “I couldn’t tell anybody.”

It spilled over into the city’s budget hearing Thursday when two city commissioners accused Julian of taking bribes.

“What a psycho — you’re taking bribes!” says City Commissioner Michele Lazarow during the hearing, according to a video from Lazarow’s Facebook page posted by

“You’re taking bribes and you’ve got the cojones to accuse other people?” Commissioner Keith London said.

“Stick a sock in it,” Julian replied, while eating a snack on the commission dais.

Keep reading here.

August 25, 2016

Hollywood lawyer Alan Koslow pleads guilty


Hollywood lawyer Alan Koslow pleaded guilty this morning to one count related to money laundering in an FBI sting that took down the politically influential lobbyist.

Koslow entered the plea before U.S. District Court Judge William Dimitrouleas in Fort Lauderdale, according to court records. He faces a maximum of five years in prison when he is sentenced Nov. 10.

Koslow was once known as the "King of Hollywood" for the power he held at City Hall. He was the city's attorney between 1990-93 until he had to resign after it came to light that he had a relationship with a city secretary with whom he helped negotiate a settlement. He later became a lawyer and lobbyist at Becker and Poliakoff and represented developers before the city.

According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's office, here is what led to the criminal charges:

Beginning in November 2012, Koslow met with two undercover agents from the FBI. During the course of several meetings that followed, the undercover agents explained to Koslow, and later to business owner Susan Mohr, their need to launder cash that was being generated from an illegal gambling business and from the unlawful sale of narcotics and counterfeit Viagra.

Koslow and Mohr agreed to accept the cash and then provide checks to the agents, for the amount of the cash minus a five percent fee, drawn on the business bank account of “Mohr2GoGifts,” a business owned by Mohr and located in Fort Lauderdale. The FBI sting ended in 2013 but Koslow wasn't charged until this year leading to speculation that federal authorities used him to help nab others.

Koslow entered drug treatment this summer after testing positive for cocaine multiple times. He now attends outpatient treatment in Boca Ration, court records show. Mohr also pleaded guilty to one count this week.

Tim Canova ad says Debbie Wasserman Schultz flip flopped on fracking, medical marijuana


Tim Canova's new TV ad attacking U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz accuses her of flip flopping on a few issues including fracking.

In an Aug. 14th debate on CBS4, Wasserman Schultz sounded open to fracking in Florida.

Host Jim DeFede asked: "So you are open to fracking as a possibility in Florida?"

She replied: "As long as we have significant regulations."

When the Miami Herald sent her spokesman a list of questions asking what type of regulations she wants, the campaign sent a statement saying she supports a state ban.

"Let me be clear, I am against fracking, especially in Florida," she said in a statement.

The ad also accuses Wasserman Schultz of flip flopping on medical marijuana, payday lending and Trans Pacific Partnership. Here is some background:

Medical marijuana: Wasserman Schultz opposed the 2014 state constitutional amendment but in this race says she is undecided about the similar amendment on Nov. 8th ballot. In May, she voted in favor of a measure to give veterans access to medical marijuana after opposing a similar measure in 2014.

Payday lending: Wasserman Schultz defended Florida's payday law which has been bashed by consumer groups and she pushed back against proposed rules by the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. In June, she backed away from opposition to the new rules.

Trans Pacific Partnership: She voted to fast track TPP in 2015 but recently told the Sun Sentinel that she is still evaluating it.

Canova and Wasserman Schultz are competing in the Aug. 30th Democratic primary in a district that stretches from Weston to northern Miami-Dade County. The ad is running on cable and broadcast.