March 31, 2017

Debbie Wasserman Schultz could propose gun legislation after airport shooting

AIRPORT0401 MEET CTJ

@amysherman1

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz held a roundtable Friday to discuss security at the Fort Lauderdale airport where a mass shooting occurred in January.

Wasserman Schultz met with federal, state and local law enforcement and government officials to discuss ways to improve security, mass shooting response and training — the second such roundtable the Weston Democrat has held. Most of the meeting held at Wasserman Schultz’s Sunrise office was in private. The media was allowed to ask questions to some of the participants after it ended.

Wasserman Schultz is considering proposing legislation related to rules about passengers transporting firearms. But any proposals about firearm restrictions could be dead on arrival in a Republican-led Congress.

Keep reading here.

March 03, 2017

Florida Jewish leaders meet to discuss bomb threats

DWSBrowcollegejewishmeeting

@amysherman1

South Florida Jewish leaders gathered in Broward Friday morning to strategize with law enforcement following a series of bomb threats nationwide that have forced evacuations of Jewish Community Centers.

On Friday morning, the FBI arrested Juan Thompson, 31, in St. Louis in connection to at least eight of the threats in a few states not including Florida. Thompson, a former journalist, allegedly made the threats to harass a woman. Authorities don’t believe he is the perpetrator behind the bulk of the threats nationwide.

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, who organized the meeting at Broward College was grateful an arrest was made but said other perpetrators are still at large.

“I have been assured by our FBI, local law enforcement by all of the law enforcement involved in these investigations that this is being given the highest priority,” she said.

Leaders of Jewish schools, centers and synagogues held a closed-door briefing with the FBI and local law enforcement agencies to discuss security preparedness. The media was then allowed to watch the public portion of the meeting during which leaders discussed ways that they are already working with government agencies to combat anti-Semitism including trainings for law enforcement about hate crimes. Leaders called for the Jewish community to speak up when they see hate crimes directed at Muslims or other groups and to work together with people of all faiths to combat bigotry.

Keep reading here.
 

March 01, 2017

Andrew Gillum, candidate for Florida governor, will speak to Broward Democrats

Gillumdncap

@amysherman1

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum who announced this week he will run for Florida governor in 2018 will speak to Broward Democrats Saturday night.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will deliver the keynote speech at the county party's annual fundraising dinner.

Other speakers including U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, Florida Democratic Party chairman Stephen Bittel and Broward Mayor Barbara Sharief.

Former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, another contender for the 2018 governor's race, is expected to attend the dinner. Gillum became the first major candidate to announce for the governor's race but Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine and trial lawyer John Morgan have all but announced. Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is a potential contender.

Gillum, 37, has been in the spotlight more in the past year after he spoke at the Democratic National Convention and took on the gun lobby in Florida. But he isn't well-known among average voters in South Florida.

About 350 Democrats have bought tickets to attend the "Obama-Roosevelt dinner" at Hyatt Pier 66 in Fort Lauderdale.

Broward has about 600,000 registered Democratic voters -- the largest contingent in the state. A key challenge for the county party is to find a way to drive up turnout in 2018 -- in past cycles Broward voters have shown scant interest when the presidential candidates aren't on the ballot.

February 23, 2017

Debbie Wasserman Schultz vows to fight Trump on immigration

 

 

Dws for amy

@amysherman1

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz vowed to fight back against President Donald Trump’s immigration orders and criticized Miami-Dade county commissioners for caving to Trump on sanctuary cities.

Wasserman Schultz, a Weston Democrat, met with city and county officials in Broward on Thursday morning after she held a closed-door briefing with federal immigration officials from multiple agencies including Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Wasserman Schultz sought the ICE briefing to gain more clarity about the administration’s immigration plans, but said she walked away with scant information.

“In my 24 years in office I have rarely had a more evasive briefing than the one I just had,” she told local government officials who met with her at a city of Sunrise government building.

Keep reading here.

Photo by the Sun Sentinel. U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, left, discusses President Donald Trump's new immigraiton policy with Pembroke Pines Mayor Frank Ortis, Sunrise Commissioner Joey Scuotto and Broward County Commissioner Nan Rich. Anthony Man Sun Sentinel

 

 

January 31, 2017

Debbie Wasserman Schultz says on Fox that Trump believes he was elected as a dictator

Debbiedaviejccmics

@amysherman1

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said on Fox Business Network  Tuesday that President Donald Trump "believes he was elected as a dictator" and that the acting Attorney General Sally Yates is a "profile in courage."

Trump fired Yates after she refused to comply with his immigration ban.

Wasserman Schultz, a Weston Democrat, is no longer the Democratic National Committee chair but she remains South Florida's most outspoken basher-in-chief of Trump and his administration.

Here is a partial transcript:

On acting Attorney General Sally Yates recent actions:

“I think it’s important to note that she did exactly what she said she would do if she was given an order by the President of the United States, which she believed violated the law… Her answer to Jeff Sessions was that she would make sure that the Department of Justice followed the law. And frankly, because President Trump did absolutely nothing to consult the Department of Justice, his Secretary of Homeland Security, any members of Congress, the leadership of Congress, since they basically slapped this policy together in which they were barring immigrants and refugees for a period of time from countries, by the way, none of which had the 9/11 attackers come from.”

On President Trump’s tweet this morning regarding Democrats delaying his cabinet nominations:

“The President’s tweet this morning was very interesting and telling because it shows that he believes he was elected as a dictator. There is an advised and consent role in the United States Senate, and that is what they are doing. He doesn’t just get to have his nominations rubber stamped, and he has nominated some very disturbing individuals.”

On Steve Mnuchin:

“Mnuchin was a Goldman Sachs alumni, an executive at Goldman Sachs. He actually wants to roll back Dodd-Frank. He wants to undo all the consumer protections that have been put in place, that caused the crash in our economy, that allowed all the banks to make money unethically off of the backs of consumers.”

On the 2016 election:

“Look, Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by nearly 3 million votes. The people did speak and Donald Trump would do well to listen to them.”

 

 

January 17, 2017

Fort Lauderdale airport security meeting raises questions, but no answers

FLL Airportswat DS

@amysherman1

The mass shooting at the airport in Broward County has raised several questions about security, but government officials who met Tuesday said it will take time to reach conclusions about any long-term changes related to firearms in airports, paying for security or other measures to protect passengers.

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Democrat whose district includes the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, said one of the key questions is whether the U.S. should continue the policy of allowing guns in checked baggage. Wasserman Schultz met with law enforcement, aviation and government officials at the Broward Sheriff’s Office Tuesday to discuss airport security. The meeting was closed to the public, but officials spoke at a press conference after the meeting.

“There was no professional who was in the room today that said, ‘Oh, we definitely should continue to allow firearms to be checked in baggage traveling on airplanes,’” Wasserman Schultz said. “No one said that. In fact, there was pretty universal consensus that it needs to be addressed.”

When asked if the Transportation Security Administration wants to change the policy that allows guns checked in baggage, TSA Chief of Operations Gary Rasicot said “any changes to that I defer to the congresswoman and her colleagues.”

Providing more airport security comes at a price.

“We are all about saving dollars and we all have budgets, but I think we should be more about saving lives,” Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said during the press conference. “Whatever we need to make Broward County safe I will be asking for that money soon.”

In an interview with the Herald, Israel said that it cost his agency about $300,000 to respond to the shooting on Jan. 6th. Additionally, it will cost BSO about $100,000 a month in overtime to provide more security, he said.

“I will be going to the county asking to finance that bill,” he said.

Keep reading here.

Congressman Alcee Hastings boycotts Donald Trump's inauguration

Alcee2AP

@amysherman1

U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings will not attend Donald Trump's inauguration.

Hastings will spend the day in his district instead, spokesman Evan Polisar said. Hastings, who lives in Delray Beach, represents portions of Broward, Palm Beach and Hendry counties. Hastings rallied African-Americans to support Hillary Clinton in 2016.

The other two Democrats who represent Broward -- Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston and Ted Deutch of Boca Raton -- will both attend the inauguration. Wasserman Schultz will attend the Women's March on Washington Saturday and is co-hosting a breakfast before the march.

Here is Hastings' statement:

“I have decided to boycott the Inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump and remain in my Congressional district in Florida. This decision is not a protest of the results of the Electoral College, but rather, an objection to the demagoguery that continues to define the incoming administration.

“President-elect Trump has done little to prove that he is ready to lead this country. Instead, he continues to champion divisiveness. The office of the President is not endowed with unquestioned loyalty, and it is the obligation of each and every American to speak out against injustices however big or small. I cannot play a part in normalizing the countless offensive comments that he has made throughout the past year.

“It is quite simply wrong for the President-elect to use his position of power to continue to make racist, sexist, and bigoted statements, to demean those who have spent their lifetimes championing civil rights, such as Rep. John Lewis, and to ridicule religious minorities, ethnic minorities, and anyone who looks different. President-elect Trump continues to denigrate the American intelligence community, jeopardizing the security of the American people, and has clear, undeniable conflicts of interest in violation of Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution, designed to prevent foreign influence over American elected officials. Make no mistake: these behaviors are not, nor can they ever be, considered normal.

“President-elect Trump has made it clear that when given the choice, he stands with Vladimir Putin. I choose to stand with Rep. John Lewis, and every American that expects our President to serve with compassion and humility. If the Trump administration continues to champion illegal, unconstitutional, or other ideas that put the safety of the American people at risk, it will find no harsher critic than me.”

 

January 16, 2017

Broward Sheriff Scott Israel, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz to meet about Fort Lauderdale airport security

FLL Airportswat DS

@amysherman1

Broward Sheriff Scott Israel and U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, will meet with law enforcement and aviation officials Tuesday afternoon to discuss airport security following the mass shooting at the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport.

The meeting at the Broward Sheriff's Office in Fort Lauderdale is not open to the public or press however officials will speak to the media after the meeting.

Other participants in the security roundtable include Broward Mayor Barbara Sharief, airport director Mark Gale, airport security director Frank Capello and officials from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and federal agencies including the Transportation Security Administration.

Broward County officials have made no long-term decisions about airport security changes. The county pays the Broward Sheriff's Office about $17 million a year to provide security at the airport. The money comes from fees paid by airlines and vendors and pays the cost for about 116 full-time employees. Israel and U.S. Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio have sought federal money to help cover the cost of responding to the shooting. BSO is in the process of compiling an estimate for what it spent related to the Jan. 6 shooting which shutdown the airport for several hours.

Suspected gunman Esteban Santiago, who faces charges in the fatal shooting of five people and injuring six, will appear in court Tuesday morning.

 

 

January 13, 2017

Debbie Wasserman Schultz confronts FBI's Comey at hacking hearing, per The Hill

DWSMH

The Hill is reporting that U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, confronted FBI director James Comey Friday during a closed-door briefing about Russian hacking.

The hacking at the Democratic National Committee led to Wasserman Schultz stepping down as national party chair in July on the eve of the convention. She went on to beat Tim Canova in her Democratic party and won re-election to her Broward/Miami-Dade seat in November.

From The Hill:

The former head of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) confronted FBI Director James Comey on Friday during a confidential briefing on Russian hacking that left many Democrats calling for Comey’s scalp, several lawmakers told The Hill. 
 
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), who was forced to resign last summer as head of the DNC amid the hacking scandal, told Comey that he should have come to her directly once the FBI was aware of the breach, just as he had done with other hacking victims.
 
Comey, described by lawmakers in the room as unflinching and defiant, retorted that the FBI had properly notified DNC officials of the hacking.
 
"You let us down!" one Democrat yelled to Comey during the tense exchange, according to one attendee.

Keep reading from The Hill

 

December 12, 2016

Debbie Wasserman Schultz's district director quits for government consultant job

JodiBockDavidson

@amysherman1

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz's longtime district director, Jodie Bock Davidson, has taken a new job as a government consultant for Colodny Fass law firm in Sunrise.

The firm lobbies for the Broward School Board, the Florida League of Cities, Disney and several insurance clients in Tallahassee. Davidson said she will be based out of South Florida although Michael Colodny said she will also consult in Tallahassee and Washington D.C.

Davidson has worked for South Florida Democrats for two decades and joined Wasserman Schultz when she was first elected to Congress in 2004. Previously, Davidson served as deputy district director to U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek and was the Florida Political Director for John Kerry for president in 2004. She also worked as a legislative aide to former state representatives Nan Rich and Ken Gottlieb.

Wasserman Schultz said in a statement: “I am deeply grateful to my outgoing District Director, Jodi Bock Davidson. Her service has extended far beyond office walls or district boundaries; she has become a pillar in the South Florida community in her own right and has served as a mentor and advisor to many. She has been an exemplary employee and true friend."

Wasserman Schultz hired Lori Green, a past president of the David Posnack Jewish Community Center, to replace Davidson. Green is a registered nurse and in the past has chaired the JCC Maccabi games and served as co-chair for the Davie/Cooper City American Cancer Society's Relay for Life.

Wasserman Schultz represents a left-leaning Broward/Miami-Dade district. She resigned as Democratic National Committee chair in July.