August 03, 2016

PAC poll shows Debbie Wasserman Schultz beating Canova


U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is beating her Democratic rival Tim Canova by a landslide, a summary of a new poll done for a PAC shows.

The  Patriot Majority PAC poll shows she has a commanding lead: 59-26 percent with 15 percent undecided. 

The poll also found that 61 percent view her favorably compared to 28 percent for Canova.

Global Strategy PAC did the poll of 400 voters between July 31 and Aug. 1, about a week after Wasserman Schultz announced she was stepping down as Democratic National Committee chair. The poll has a margin of error of 4.9 percent. The PAC has spent about $98,000 on the race so far. The Washington D.C. PAC was formed in 2005. The Center for Public Integrity wrote that the PAC is affiliated with Patriot Majority USA which is a "liberal, labor-backed nonprofit."

Canova recently released a summary of his own internal poll which showed that he is eight percentage points behind Wasserman Schultz. Wasserman Schultz has not released any internal polls.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz to hold first public event back in district: town hall on police-community relations


U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz's congressional office announced today her first public event in the district since the Democratic National Convention: she will hold a town hall on police-community relations.

The town hall is set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Faith Center in Sunrise.

The town hall follows police shootings in Dallas, Baton Rouge and near St. Paul. A press release states that Wasserman Schultz will "share her experiences working with the Police-Community Relations Task Force in South Florida."

Several Democratic elected officials and community leaders are slated to attend including U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, Delray Beach; U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-MO, Broward Sheriff Scott Israel, Broward Mayor Marty Kiar and Sunrise Mayor Mike Ryan, State Attorney Mike Satz as well as leaders from the NAACP and churches. 

Wasserman Schultz stepped down as DNC chair last week after thousands of leaked emails. She has not resurfaced publicly in the district since that time despite having a competitive primary challenge from Tim Canova.

Her spokesman Ryan Banfill told the Miami Herald that she went on vacation with her family after the convention but has been handling constituent work and responding to editorial board questionnaires and continuing to work on issues related to her office such as responding to Zika and gun violence. She returns to the district today, Banfill said. 


Tim Canova attacks Debbie Wasserman Schultz in new ad

Tim Canova released a new TV ad today attacking U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Social Security and for missing votes.

The two Democrats are competing in the Aug. 30th primary for a Broward/Miami-Dade congressional seat.

Here is the script:

"My father died when I was 10 and my mother worked full time to raise us. I'm Tim Canova. With mom's hard work and the help of Social Security we managed to keep our home so I am committed to protect Social Security and Medicare and increase aid to our neediest seniors and disabled. My opponent refuses to support an increase in benefits. In fact she's missed the most votes of any Florida Democrat."

On Social Security, the ad cites H.R. 2442 -- the Social Security Income Restoration Act of 2015. The bill makes some adjustments to benefit seniors including that it would increase the amount of income excluded to determine eligibility. We don't yet know if Wasserman Schultz "refuses to support" it because it hasn't received a vote yet but she isn't one of the 36 Democratic cosponsors of the bill introduced by U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Az. 

Wasserman Schultz's campaign spokesman Ryan Banfill pointed to a separate bill, H.R. 1391, that would increase social security benefits that she has supported. She is one of 104 cosponsors of that bill which was introduced in 2015 but hasn't had a hearing yet.

The ad cites her missed votes in 2015. According to GovTrack, she missed 10.5 percent of the votes which placed her 16th highest in the House and first among Florida members. It's not surprising that the Weston Democrat would miss more votes than the rest of the Florida delegation because up until recently she was the Democratic National Committee chair, a role that required extensive travel.

Banfill points to her career track record instead. According to GovTrack, from January 2005 to July 2016, Wasserman Schultz missed 479 of 8,736 roll call votes, which is 5.5%. If we compare her career track record, she doesn't hold the title of missing the most votes among Florida Democrats -- the ones that are higher are Alcee Hastings, Corrine Brown and Frederica Wilson.

The median of the lifetime records of representatives currently serving is 2.3 percent. 

The ad spells Wasserman Schultz's name wrong in the text.


 This blog was updated to include comments from Wasserman Schultz's campaign.

August 02, 2016

Kaine grabs a little soul food in Fort Lauderdale after fundraiser


In the sprint that is what remains of the presidential election, no campaign stop is too small. Even under the flashes of lightning storm. Even under the threat of Zika.

And so Tuesday night, Democratic vice-presidential nominee Tim Kaine strolled into Betty’s Soul Food Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, ready to make friends among the handful of potential voters grabbing a dinner bite as thick rain fell and purple lightning streaked the summer sky.

“I’m Tim,” he said, clad in rolled-up shirtsleeves and shaking hands with a receiving line of people waiting inside the door. “Great to see you.”

He had just headlined his first solo fundraiser for presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, at the Fort Lauderdale home of lawyer Mitchell Berger. The reception netted at least $300,000 for the Hillary Victory Fund, according to the campaign. Earlier in the day, Kaine had toured Daytona State College, on one end of Central Florida’s crucial I-4 corridor.

More here.

Forget Tim Canova. Debbie Wasserman Schultz wants to run against Donald Trump



From the fliers she's mailed Democratic voters, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has a single political target in mind. And it's not her primary opponent, Tim Canova.

It's Donald Trump.

"Donald Trump is an egomaniac," declares the front of one of Wasserman Schultz's re-election campaign mailers. "He only cares about himself and his ideas are dangerous for America."

Flip the page, and there's Wasserman Schultz: greeting a senior, talking to students, posing with President Barack Obama.

"I am proud to lead the fight against a radical, hateful agenda that would turn back the clock on our progress," she says.

Another piece shows a black-and-white photo of Trump next to a full-color, smiling Wasserman Schultz: "When Democrat Debbie Wasserman Schultz takes on Donald Trump...she's in good company." Cue photos of Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

But it's Canova who's been fundraising like mad since Wasserman Schultz's fall from the Democratic National Committee last week. And there's no mention of him anywhere.

Take a look at the mailers:

Continue reading "Forget Tim Canova. Debbie Wasserman Schultz wants to run against Donald Trump" »

Donald Trump wrongly says Hillary Clinton is paying Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Donald Trump bashed Hillary Clinton at a rally in Harrisburg, PA Monday for giving U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz a position with her campaign after she stepped down as Democratic Party chair.

“Debbie Wasserman Schultz,” Trump said, slowly drawing out each word in her name eliciting boos from the crowd. “She’s a great one. ... I heard that she got fired so fast but I heard Hillary actually hired her for her campaign. You know why? I know why. So she is fired because she was crooked. She was fired and now Hillary hires her for her campaign and pays her with the campaign contributions that are monstrous.”

But Trump is wrong that Wasserman Schultz is getting paid in her role with the Clinton campaign.

On July 24, Clinton issued a statement naming Wasserman Schultz as  “honorary chair” of her campaign’s 50-state program. That means she won’t get paid, the Clinton campaign confirmed.

“I look forward to campaigning with Debbie in Florida and helping her in her re-election bid–because as President, I will need fighters like Debbie in Congress who are ready on day one to get to work for the American people,” wrote Clinton.

The statement provided no details or schedule regarding Wasserman Schultz’s new role which was seen as a "thank you" gesture from the Clinton campaign.

And until Wasserman Schultz survives her own primary back home Aug. 30, she may not have time to do much for the Clinton campaign particularly beyond Florida. She faces Tim Canova, a law professor and first-time candidate backed by Bernie Sanders who has raised $2.8 million. They are competing in the left-leaning Broward/Miami-Dade Congressional District 23.

Wasserman Schultz announced she would step down as chair of the Democratic National Committee on the eve of the convention following the publication by WikiLeaks of more than 19,000 DNC emails. Those emails showed that the DNC favored Clinton over Sanders -- a charge that Wasserman Schultz had denied for months.

August 01, 2016

Tim Canova has raised $2.8 million in race against Debbie Wasserman Schultz

With one month to go before the Aug. 30th primary, Tim Canova has raised nearly $2.8 million in his battle against U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Canova raised $2,798,041.27 including $260,985 since Wasserman Schultz announced she would step down as Democratic National Committee chair July 24, said his campaign manager Richard Bell. Her decision followed WikiLeaks posting thousands of DNC emails showing that the party favored Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders -- something Wasserman Schultz had denied doing for months.

Wasserman Schultz raised about $3.1 million while Canova raised about $2.3 million through June, the last report filed with the Federal Election Commission.

The Democrats are competing in Congressional District 23 which spans from western Broward to northern Miami-Dade County. Canova released a summary of a poll Sunday showing that he is eight points behind Wasserman Schultz.

Wasserman Schultz is facing the first primary of her career since 1992 when she ran for state House.

July 31, 2016

Canova's poll shows he is eight points behind Wasserman Schultz

A poll done for Tim Canova shows he is eight points behind longtime incumbent U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

The poll showed that Wasserman Schultz leads 46-38 percent with 16 percent undecided. Her lead narrows after the pollster provided positive and negative information about the candidates, but the press release from Canova's campaign didn't reveal the information provided to voters.

Canova and Wasserman Schultz are competing in a Democratic primary in the Broward/Miami-Dade Congressional District 23. The primary is Aug. 30th but voters are already casting ballots by mail. 

The poll showed that 52 percent of respondents view Wasserman Schultz favorably and 35 percent unfavorably while 13 percent have no opinion of her or never heard of her. For Canova, his favorable-unfavorable split is 32-8 percent.

But the poll shows Canova's biggest weakness: 60 percent of voters have no opinion/never heard of him. Despite his national media exposure due to Bernie Sanders endorsing him and his prolific fundraising, he is a first-time candidate who isn't well known in the district. Wasserman Schultz has been an elected official for more than two decades -- first in the state Legislature and elected to Congress in 2004.

The summary of the poll provided by Canova's campaign also shows that voters disagree with her stances on Big Sugar and payday lending.

The poll of 400 voters was done July 27-28, a few days after Wasserman Schultz announced she would step down as Democratic National Committee chair. Her decision came after WikiLeaks published thousands of DNC emails which showed the party favored Hillary Clinton over Sanders, a charge Wasserman Schultz had previously denied for months. It also showed that party staff were tracking Canova's campaign events and media coverage.

This was the first poll released in the race so far. There have been no public polls and Wasserman Schultz's campaign hasn't commented about polling.

The poll for Canova was done by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates.

July 29, 2016

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 28, 2016

PolitiFact: Did Trump bail on building condos in Fort Lauderdale and Tampa?

Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine questioned Donald Trump’s business ethics, saying the Republican presidential candidate swindled customers in a past real estate deal in the Sunshine State.

"Retirees and families in Florida — they believed Donald Trump when he said he'd build them some condos. Thousands of them," Kaine said on the third night of the Democratic National Convention. "They paid their deposits, but the condos, they were never built. He just pocketed their money and walked away. They lost tens of thousands of dollars, all because they believed Donald Trump."

A Kaine spokesman told us the senator was referring to not one, but two failed condo projects: One in Tampa and one in Fort Lauderdale. Trump’s campaign did not respond.

We wanted to know if people lost tens of thousands of dollars in deposits while Trump took the money without consequence. Since there are two projects, we’ll take them one at a time.

Keep reading Joshua Gillin's fact-check from PolitiFact Florida.