September 09, 2016

Tim Canova to run against Debbie Wasserman Schultz in 2018



Tim Canova may be headed for a rematch against U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz in South Florida.

Canova filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission Thursday so he can start fundraising to run in the Broward/Miami-Dade district in 2018. The Nova Southeastern University law professor backed by Sen. Bernie Sanders raised about $3.8 million in his first campaign.

But despite his warchest he couldn't compete with the name recognition and long roots of Wasserman Schultz who won her first elected office -- for the state Legislature -- in 1992 and was elected to Congress in 2004.

Wasserman Schultz beat Canova by about 14 percentage points in the Aug. 30 Democratic primary. She will face Republican Joe Kaufman Nov. 8th in the left-leaning district. In 2014, Wasserman Schultz beat Kaufman 63 percent to 37 percent.

Jon Reinish, a spokesman on behalf of Wasserman Schultz, provided a statement that didn't mention Canova and said she is focused on passing a Zika bill and Hillary Clinton's race.

"Debbie knows that we need to focus our energy and effort on helping Democrats win in 2016," he said. 




September 08, 2016

Bill Clinton fundraised in Miami Beach, met clergy in Broward


Former President Bill Clinton met with black ministers in Broward County and then headlined two fundraisers on behalf of Hillary Clinton in Miami Beach Wednesday.

Clinton met with clergy at the Miramar Cultural Center. Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam,the son of Jamaican immigrants, has been a surrogate for the Clinton campaign with Caribbean and African-American voters in Florida and campaigned for her during the primary in South Carolina.

Clinton headlined a fundraiser at Fillmore Miami Beach which drew 600-800 people. Retired Miami Heat center Alonzo Mourning introduced Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine who hosted the fundraiser.

In addition to praising Hillary Clinton and bashing Donald Trump, Clinton "talked about sea level rise and climate change and our city's efforts to make our city resilient and how we need help from the federal government and how her quarter trillion infrastructure fund would be helpful," Levine said. 

Clinton also called on Congress to pass a Zika funding bill. The Senate deadlocked over Zika funding again Tuesday.

Levine then hosted a smaller dinner fundraiser with Clinton at his home where donors were asked to each give $50,000.

Trump and the Clintons are expected to repeatedly campaign in Florida before the Nov. 8 election where polls show they are virtually tied. The Trump campaign plans to doorknock in Hispanic neighborhoods in Miami-Dade and open it's first South Florida office in Fort Lauderdale Saturday.

- Photo is of Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine and former President Bill Clinton


September 07, 2016

Donald Trump to open South Florida offices in next week


Donald Trump will open a campaign office in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday, the first South Florida office for the Republican during the general election.

His campaign is expected to open 25 offices across Florida within the next week, including seven in Broward and Miami-Dade, said Healy Baumgardner, a Trump campaign spokeswoman in Florida.

No further details such as the address of the Fort Lauderdale office or the locations of the Miami-Dade offices were immediately available.

Miami-Dade has the highest number of registered Republican voters — about 365,000 — in the state. Broward has the third highest, about 250,000, slightly behind Hillsborough County.

The Trump campaign has been sluggish at opening offices for the general election in Florida. On Aug. 8, the Donald Trump campaign said its first two dozen campaign field offices would open across Florida within two weeks. But that never happened.

On Tuesday, the Trump campaign opened an office in Winter Park. Previously his campaign had only opened one Florida office — his headquarters in Sarasota. An opening is also planned for Pensacola on Saturday.

Keep reading here.


September 01, 2016

Murphy, Rubio to debate Oct. 26 in Broward College


Marco Rubio and Patrick Murphy have agreed to a single debate -- for now -- in Florida's U.S. Senate race. It will take place Oct. 26 at Broward College in Davie.

The debate between Rubio, the incumbent Republican, and Murphy, the Democratic challenger, will be sponsored by Leadership Florida and the Florida Press Association. The hour-long debate will be produced by WPBF 25, a Hearst-owned ABC affiliate in West Palm Beach, and be broadcast live from 7-8 p.m. through a network of stations in all of Florida's media markets. It will be moderated by WPBF news anchor Todd McDermott and a media panel still in the works.

"The outcome of Florida's Senate race literally could affect the future direction of the country, and 13 days before Election Day we know the eyes of the state and the nation will be on this debate," Leadership Florida President Wendy Walker said in a statement. "We are pleased that both major parties' nominees have committed so quickly to participate."

"The free exchange of ideas is at the heart of our system of democracy because it creates and informed electorate," said Dean Ridings, president and chief executive of the Florida Press Association. "This debate will provide an outstanding opportunity for Florida voters to see the candidates and understand their positions and their differences."

Rubio has challenged Murphy to five more debates, but Murphy has refused to accept, saying he wants Rubio to commit to serving a full, six-year Senate term instead. Rubio has already accepted other debate invitations, including one from the Tampa Bay Times.

Mitch Ceasar to return as Broward Democratic chair


Mitch Ceasar, who lost his race for Broward Clerk of Courts Tuesday, has resumed his position as chair of the county's Democratic Party.

Ceasar was first chosen by party activists in 1996. He took a leave of absence last year to run for the clerk position. He had said he would return after the primary through the Nov. 8 election. Ceasar did not run for precinct committeeman, so that means he can't run for the chair position in December.

Cynthia Busch, who took over as interim chair, remains first vice chair.

Broward County has more than 578,000 registered Democrats -- the largest county contingent in the state. That means Ceasar will be tasked with helping drive up turnout for Hillary Clinton Nov. 8. 

"Democrats have to rise up and provide the margins necessary to carry Florida," Ceasar said.

Ceasar lost the Clerk of Courts primary to Brenda Forman, wife of long-time Clerk of Courts Howard Forman who is one of the county's longest serving elected Democrats.

- Photo by the Sun-Sentinel


Broward had lowest primary turnout in the state


Broward County had the lowest voter turnout in Florida Tuesday, cementing it's reputation as a county that virtually ignores primaries.

In Broward, turnout was 16.52 percent while turnout in Miami-Dade was 20.47 percent and in Palm Beach 19.25 percent. The second lowest county was Pasco with 18.63 percent followed by Hillsborough with 18.89 percent. 

The numbers are based on state data so far -- some counties are still counting provisional ballots but overall numbers won't budge by much. The average statewide turnout was 23.86 percent.

Broward's pathetic turnout was an improvement over the past five primaries in which turnout ranged from 10.7 percent to 14.93 percent. Parts of the county had competitive Democratic primaries including U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz's race against Tim Canova which she won. Now Wasserman Schultz is tasked with driving up turnout in Democratic-rich South Florida Nov. 8th for Hillary Clinton.

One reason why turnout was low: the major statewide Democratic primary -- the U.S. Senate race -- appeared to be a foregone conclusion before election day. U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy easily beat U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson and Pam Keith.

The statewide Democrats didn't emphasize voter turnout in Broward.

"Murphy didn't really need to run an aggressive field program to win his Senate nomination," said Cynthia Busch, first vice chair of the Broward Democratic party.

There are twice as many registered Democrats as Republicans in Broward so it's the Democratic primaries that drive turnout in the county.



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.