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 26, 2016

History for Wasserman Schultz: A single chair lost re-election after ending party tenure -- in 1866


The folks at Smart Politics dug into how many outgoing Democratic Party chairs won and lost their re-election races the year they left their party posts -- important historical context for U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston.

If she loses to primary opponent Tim Canova  on Aug. 30, the analysis found, Wasserman Schultz will become only the second party chair to do so. The first time it happened? 1866.

If she wins re-election, she will join two other party chairs who did so the same year their party tenure came to an end: Democratic Rep. Cordell Hull of Tennessee in 1924, and Republican Rep. Joseph Martin of Massachusetts in 1942.

More here.

Wasserman Schultz's replacement cheered at Democratic convention


PHILADELPHIA -- No boos here: Incoming Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Donna Brazile got a warm welcome Tuesday at her party's convention -- so warm that she danced a little jig as she walked off stage.

Brazile will replace U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston, who was forced to resign right before the start of the convention over a leaked-email scandal.

"We will have a party that you can be proud of," Brazile pledged delegates. She was still listed as a party vice-chairwoman.

Wasserman Schultz has been spotted at the Wells Fargo Center, though she's made no public appearance. She's said to have a private suite in the arena.

When Brazile finished, applause rang from all corners of the room, including from the Florida delegation. A jovial Brazile shimmied her way backstage.

Trump thinks Michelle Obama's speech was 'pretty good'

CBS4's Jim DeFede interviewed Donald Trump today in advance of his Wednesday speech at Trump National Doral golf resort.

The full interview will air at 11 p.m. Here is a snippet that posted so far: 

DeFede: Give me your impressions of the democratic convention so far and whole Debbie Wasserman Schultz scandal?

Trump: I think she was disastrous.  It turned out she was a disaster. I've been saying that for a long time. Not a good person and got caught and said a lot of bad things and it was very sad. And I think as far as the convention it's not played out yet. We are going to have to see what happens with Bernie Sanders. I think Bernie got very tired. He wants to go home. He wants to go to sleep. He wants to go to bed. He wants to get out. So it looks like he got tired and probably the people will sort of go home. I think we are going to get a lot of the Sanders people because of my views on trade because we are being so ripped off on trade and jobs. I think we are going to do very well with the Bernie Sanders people.

DeFede: Michelle Obama went after you on the first night without ever invoking your name. What did you think about a First Lady making a political speech like that?

Trump: I'm not that surprised. Look she did her thing and I thought it was fine. I thought her speech was ok. I thought it was pretty good. I really didn't pay much attention to it.

Here is some background about what Trump has said about trade from PolitiFact.


July 25, 2016

Debbie Wasserman Schultz now faces battle for her South Florida seat

After quitting her national Democratic Party leadership role amid furor over thousands of leaked emails, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz now faces the political battle of her lifetime back home in South Florida.

Wasserman Schultz resigned as Democratic National Committee chairwoman Sunday, strengthening the hand of her primary opponent, Tim Canova — who saw a huge fundraising boost and national media attention following her decision.

While the Weston congresswoman spent Monday morning getting heckled by protesters in Philadelphia at her first public appearance since her resignation, Canova was in the district giving interviews to local TV stations, Univision and The Daily Beast — and meeting with constituents.

“I have not left the district in eight months,” Canova told the Miami Herald on Sunday. “That’s not going to change between now and Aug. 30. I don’t think there’s going to be a great need for me to go up to Philly and chase the spotlight. We’re making friends on the ground every day.”

Read more here from Amy Sherman and Patricia Mazzei.

South Florida Democrats hold thank you event for Wasserman Schultz in Philadelphia

More than 400 people attended a “thank you” event for U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz at Del Frisco's steakhouse in Philadelphia Mondayafternoon. The event had been planned two weeks ago by South Florida Democratic donors.

Wasserman Schultz made no mention of the WikiLeaks emails and instead gave a few minutes of upbeat comments.

“She came in to a round of applause and everyone chanting ‘Debbie, Debbie,’” said Alex Heckler, a Democratic donor and lawyer from Miami Beach one of the co-hosts. “She went from hug to hug to hug.”

She thanked her husband, children and friends and said she was proud of her work for the party and as a member of Congress. She didn’t mention her primary opponent Tim Canova by name, although she reminded the crowd that she faces reelection on Aug. 30.

“She said she looks forward getting reelected and helping Hillary Clinton,” said Mike Moskowitz, a Fort Lauderdale lawyer and co-host.

Developer Stephen Bittel hosted the event, and Mitchell Berger, a Fort Lauderdale lawyer, was also a co-host.

The event was a contrast from the Florida delegation breakfast where she was heckled.

PolitiFact Florida looks at Debbie Wasserman Schultz's record on Big Sugar


A nasty-looking toxic algae bloom on Florida’s coasts has oozed into political races, including U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s Democratic primary.

Her opponent, Tim Canova, toured the mucky scene in Stuart wearing a surgical mask. He says that Wasserman Schultz shares in the blame for the algae that extends from Lake Okeechobee to Florida coastlines on the Treasure Coast and west coast.

Canova said Wasserman Schultz, who represents South Florida, has sided with the main polluters of the water that flows into the Everglades: the sugar industry.

Wasserman Schultz doesn’t "want us to know that she has voted for huge subsidies for the sugar industry and other agribusinesses, as well as for delays in cleanups, while failing to deliver federal funds for any real solution," he said on Medium July 9.

Wasserman Schultz defended her environmental record to the Sun Sentinel, concluding, "I will continue to walk the walk on fighting to restore our precious River of Grass while my opponent just continues to talk."

Time for PolitiFact Florida to weigh in.

Photo by the Palm Beach Post

Wasserman Schultz won't even gavel Democratic convention open


PHILADELPHIA -- U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz won't even gavel the Democratic National Convention open and close this week, in the wake of boisterous protests from outraged supporters of presidential primary runner-up Bernie Sanders.

"I have decided that in the interest of making sure that we can start the Democratic convention on a high note that I am not going to gavel in the convention," she told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Wasserman Schultz said Sunday she would step down from her post as Democratic National Committee chairwoman at the end of the four-day convention, which begins Monday afternoon. But she insisted she'd still inaugurate and end it -- a defiant move met Monday morning with resounding heckles at the Florida delegation breakfast -- a place where Wasserman Schultz expected to be support.

PolitiFact: See the Debbie Wasserman Schultz breakfast in real time


PHILADELPHIA — It was not entirely unexpected, but it came suddenly: An otherwise ordinary Florida delegation breakfast at the Democratic National Convention erupted into a frenzy of booing and catcalls as Debbie Wasserman Schultz — the soon-to-be resigning Democratic National Committee chairwoman — took the podium.

The room included a significant number of Bernie Sanders supporters who blame Wasserman Schultz, a member of Congress from Florida as well as DNC chair, for putting a finger (or a whole hand) on the scales for Hillary Clinton in the primary. The previous day, she said she would resign after embarrassing details from DNC communications emerged from a hack of the committee’s emails on her watch.

It was something of a surprise that Wasserman Schultz actually kept her commitment to address Florida delegates on the morning of July 25 at the Philadelphia Downtown Marriott, given the escalating backlash she had inspired in recent days. And in fact, her appearance did not go well. She kept going with her speech, but it was drowned out by booing and cries of “shame.”

You can follow the fracas start to finish in the following chronological series of tweets from the ballroom.

Keep reading from Louis Jacobson of PolitiFact.

Boos rain down on Wasserman Schultz at Florida convention breakfast

DEM 2016 Philadelphia (1)


PHILADELPHIA -- Mayhem met U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Monday morning when she made her first public appearance after being forced out as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee.

“Shame!” yelled protesters enraged at the Weston congresswoman over leaked Democratic Party emails that suggested her staff favored Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders during the presidential primary. They held signs that read, simply, “EMAILS.”

Wasserman Schultz might have expected a warm embrace at the breakfast of the Florida delegation to the Democratic National Convention. Instead, she found herself hardly able to speak over the boos.

It was exactly the scenario Democratic leaders hoped to avoid by removing her from the convention speaking program Saturday. On Sunday, she said she would resign from her chair post by the end of the convention, on Thursday.

More here.

Photo credit: Matt Slocum, Associated Press