August 10, 2016

Trump riffs to rowdy Broward crowd


@PatriciaMazzei @AmySherman1 @alextdaugherty

The Donald Trump who arrived to a rocking Broward County hockey arena Wednesday night wasn’t the politician who read off a TelePrompTer when he accepted the Republican presidential nomination last month, or when he laid out his economic plan in Detroit earlier this week.

No, the Trump who rallied thousands of raucous supporters in Sunrise came to South Florida to riff.

On ISIS: “ISIS is honoring President Obama. He is the founder of ISIS… and I would say the co-founder is crooked Hillary Clinton.”

On the Russian invasion of Crimea, which Trump seemed to be unaware of in a recent interview: “This was taken during the administration of Barack Hussein Obama.”

On Clinton, his Democratic rival for the White House: “Hillary Clinton said, ‘I don’t like his tone.’ See, I don’t like her temperament. Her temperament is the temperament of a loser.”

The crowd loved it.

It was Trump’s first time campaigning in Broward, Florida’s most Democratic county, and his first big public appearance in the state’s southern end since October. Back then, long before any Republican primary ballots had been cast, Trump’s rally had felt like a cross between a thumping rock concert and an edgy protest.

For his backers, the thrill isn’t gone.

More here.

Photo credit: Patrick Farrell, Miami Herald staff

Wasserman Schultz says she'll debate Canova on TV this Sunday


The campaign of U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston said Wednesday it will debate Democratic primary opponent Tim Canova on Sunday, on Miami Herald news partner WFOR-CBS 4's "Facing South Florida with Jim DeFede."

DeFede said on Twitter that Canova has yet to confirm his attendance. Canova's campaign was told of Wasserman Schultz's willingness to debate only Wednessay afternoon.

Canova has clamored for a debate for weeks. Wasserman Schultz told the Herald editorial board last week that she would face off against the Nova Southeastern University law professor, her first challenger in 24 years.

"I look forward to a thoughtful conversation and robust debate that addresses the issues important to the people of Florida’s 23rd Congressional district," Wasserman Schultz said in a statement.

Photo credit: Shannon Kaestle, Miami Herald staff

Bernie bucks keep pouring in for Wasserman Schultz rival Canova

104BernieS09 NEW PPP

What is Bernie Sanders' endorsement worth?

For Florida congressional candidate Tim Canova, the answer so far is more than half a million bucks.

Sanders' campaign told the Miami Herald on Wednesday that it has helped raise more than $637,000 since May 22, when the Vermont senator and former Democratic presidential candidate began asking supporters to chip in for Canova.

Canova, a Nova Southeastern University law professor, is trying to unseat Democratic U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston, a Sanders foe. Sanders accused her of bias toward Hillary Clinton when Wasserman Schultz ran the Democratic National Committee. Leaked internal emails from the DNC showed late last month that Wasserman Schultz's staff favored Clinton, though Sanders' camp acknowledged that preference wasn't to blame for his loss to Clinton. Still, the email embarrassment cost Wasserman Schultz her high-profile role -- and forced her to step up campaigning after 24 years of running unopposed.

His endorsement of Canova was Sanders' first foray into congressional races this election cycle. Team Sanders sent supporters its latest Canova fundraising pitch Tuesday, on the same day Clinton traveled to Davie to endorse Wasserman Schultz. Since Tuesday alone, just under $300,000 has come in, according to a Sanders spokesman.

In all, the Canova contributions amount to $637,924.10 and came from 40,948 donations, each averaging $16.

Over the past few weeks, handwritten postcards from all over the country have poured into the Herald's editorial board from supporters urging for a Canova endorsement. Canova himself told the Herald he knew nothing about the postcard-writing campaign; one of Wasserman Schultz's chief criticisms of Canova is that he's an outsider whose support lies mostly outside the Broward/Miami-Dade County district.

Photo credit: Pedro Portal, el Nuevo Herald

Broward activist ejected from Democratic club meeting for confronting Patrick Murphy



A liberal activist in Broward County was booted from a local Democratic club meeting Tuesday night after confronting U.S. Senate candidate Patrick Murphy about why Murphy won’t debate his primary opponent, Alan Grayson.

Joe Kreps, a Grayson supporter from Plantation, challenged Murphy to explain why he backed out of the debate with Grayson this week, the only one planned ahead of the Aug. 30 primary.

“All I wanted was an answer to my question.... It’s got to stop. Somebody’s got to stand up and say, ‘stop hiding,’” Kreps said.

But others at the Plantation Democratic Club’s meeting — which included a friendly audience of Murphy supporters — said Kreps was out of line for forcing his question on the Jupiter congressman. The club’s acting president, Ralph Rickel, on Wednesday admonished Kreps as “a real wackadoo” and an embarrassment.

More here.

Photo credit: Patrick Murphy U.S. Senate campaign

Debbie Wasserman Schultz to hold gun meeting with Gabrielle Giffords


U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz will hold a gun safety meeting with former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Broward Thursday night.

In 2011, Giffords was holding a Congressional event in Arizona when a gunman shot her and 18 others, killing six. Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly, who will also attend the meeting, have since become advocates for preventing gun violence. Broward Sheriff Scott Israel, who faces re-election, and former State Sen. Nan Rich, who is running for Broward County Commission, will also participate in the 7 p.m. meeting at Temple Beth Emet in Cooper City.

In a press release, Wasserman Schultz stated that "every day, 89 people die from gun violence." In 2015, PolitiFact rated a similar claim by Hillary Clinton Mostly True. Most of those deaths are a result of suicides.

Wasserman Schultz is running against Tim Canova, a Nova Southeastern University law professor, in the Aug. 30 Democratic primary for a Broward/Miami-Dade congressional seat. She has been largely sticking to friendly venues in the district such as meetings her congressional staff help organize about Zika, gun safety or other topics and has generally avoided joint appearances with Canova.

Wasserman Schultz said in a statement earlier this week that she will release details about a debate with Canova this week. Canova has attacked Wasserman Schultz in a TV ad for not debating him so far.

Canova holds a town hall meeting in North Miami Beach Thursday at 7 p.m. at Winston Towers.

Photo by the AP at the 2012 Democratic convention

Clinton campaign highlights Republican and independent endorsements


Hillary Clinton's campaign has released an updated list of notable Republicans and independents who have endorsed the Democrat.

One Floridian is on the list: Cindy Guerra, a former chair of the Broward Republican Executive Committee.

“Trump is not fit to be president," Guerra told the Miami Herald on Tuesday. "I don’t think he has the demeanor. I think he is sexist, bigoted and narcissistic and uninformed. He is not stable.”

From the Clinton press release:

"The list of nearly 50 endorsements includes three former Cabinet Secretaries, six current or former Members of the House and Senate, six former Ambassadors, five former leaders in the armed forces, nearly 20 senior Republican administration officials and numerous business or community leaders. Together for America is also announcing major new endorsements for Hillary Clinton today from former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Carla Hills, Former Congresswoman Connie Morella, Former Congressman Chris Shays and Former Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte."


August 09, 2016

Clinton gives Wasserman Schultz a little political love

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In between a Miami Zika-clinic tour and a pair of Miami Beach fundraisers, Hillary Clinton and her motorcade made their way north on I-95 Tuesday for a Broward County pit stop.

Their destination: U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s campaign headquarters in Davie.

The Democratic presidential primary lives on in Florida’s 23rd congressional district.

Clinton formally endorsed Wasserman Schultz, who faces her first primary challenger in 24 years in Tim Canova, a political novice backed by Clinton’s former rival, Bernie Sanders.

“I have to have her in Congress, by my side, working day after day,” Clinton told diehard Wasserman Schultz supporters packed in the strip-mall campaign office. She hugged the Weston congresswoman and kissed her on the cheek — and told activists to give Wasserman Schultz a victory in the Aug. 30 Florida congressional primary.

“I really respect Debbie’s fighting spirit,” added Clinton.

More here.

Photo credit: Andrew Harnik, Associated Press

PolitiFact: Debbie Wasserman Schultz claim about Rick Scott and mosquito money stings, but it's misleading


U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz pointed blame at Republicans -- namely Gov. Rick Scott -- for not doing more to dish out dollars to prevent the spread of the Zika virus.

"While he seems to be saying out loud that he wants Congress and the president to provide more funding, he conveniently leaves out that he cut nearly $1 million dollars from mosquito control and closed down the state’s mosquito research lab a few years ago," Wasserman Schultz said at a town hall in Broward County on Aug. 8.

Wasserman Schultz is running for re-election in the Aug. 30 Democratic primary against first-time candidate Tim Canova.

Did Scott cut funding and close the state’s mosquito research lab? There’s a lot more nuance to this story than Wasserman Schultz lets on.

Keep reading from PolitiFact Florida.

Photo by the Sun Sentinel

Bernie Sanders continues to fundraise for Tim Canova

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders sent another fundraising email today on behalf of Tim Canova who will face U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz in the Democratic primary Aug. 30.

"Much like in our campaign for president, Tim started off as a major underdog in this race, battling a well-known and well-established person who was the chairwoman of the Democratic Party," Sanders wrote. "He is running a tough campaign on the kind of progressive platform we need to see in this country: opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership, backing free tuition at public colleges and universities, reforming a corrupt campaign finance system and raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Tim is on the side of working people and that's why we need to help him win."

No word yet on whether Sanders will appear in the Broward/Miami-Dade district on behalf of Canova. During the Florida primary, Sanders lost the district by a landslide to Hillary Clinton. The only appearance by Sanders in Broward during the presidential primary was when he spoke to the National Urban League in Fort Lauderdale in July 2015.

Former Broward Republican chair endorses Hillary Clinton


A former Broward GOP chair who says Donald Trump is “sexist, bigoted” and “not stable” has endorsed Hillary Clinton.

Cindy Guerra said that she felt the Republican Party gave her no choice but to endorse Clinton. Guerra, whose parents are from Cuba, was the first Cuban American to lead the Broward Republican Executive Committee, an unpaid position she held in 2010.

“I cannot see a President Trump. To me it’s a matter of country over party -- as cheesy and goofy as that sounds -- it’s true,” she told the Miami Herald. “Trump is not fit to be president. I don’t think he has the demeanor. I think he is sexist, bigoted and narcissistic and uninformed. He is not stable.”

Guerra said that Trump made comments about women and Hispanics and mocking a disabled reporter showing that he isn’t fit to be president.

Those comments included when Trump said a judge of Mexican descent had "an absolute conflict" in presiding over the Trump University litigation.

“To say that about a judge is absolutely absurd,” said Guerra, who is a lawyer.

Among the comments she also cited as “reprehensible” was Trump’s answer to a reporter’s question about what his daughter Ivanka should do if sexually harassed at work: “I would like to think she would find another career or find another company if that was the case,” he said.

Guerra also said she was offended when Trump said that U.S. Sen. John McCain was “not a war hero” because he was captured.

“No matter where you stand, the man is an American hero,” she said.

A 50-year-old lifelong Republican, Guerra said she has never endorsed a Democrat. She said she registered with the GOP when she turned 18 and the first campaign she worked on was when Ronald Reagan ran for president in 1984. She will remain a registered Republican and plans to vote for Marco Rubio’s re-election to the U.S. Senate.

Guerra was the Regional Deputy Attorney General in Florida from 2007-2012 under Bill McCollum and Pam Bondi.

Guerra said that she had been vocal about her criticisms of Trump and that the Clinton campaign had gotten wind of it. She said that she won’t fundraise for Clinton but has endorsed her and will vote for her.

“To me do I think Hillary Clinton is my perfect candidate? No -- I supported Jeb Bush,” she said. However, “I sure think she is a whole heck of a lot better than Trump. She is safer than Trump, she is stable. With Trump you don’t know what he is going to do, he doesn’t take counsel well. He scares me. Do I wish I was voting for a Republican? Of course I do but the Republican Party has given me no choice.”