September 22, 2016

Tim Canova launches PAC

 

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@amysherman1

Tim Canova, who lost his primary race to U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, has launched a political action committee to support candidates and weigh in on ballot amendments including about medical marijuana in Florida this fall.

Canova will chair Progress for All, a federal and state political committee that can contribute to federal, state and local candidates.

According to a press release, Progress for All will support: candidates who oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal and support campaign finance reform, support action to address climate change and a ban on fracking, want an end to subsidies for oil/gas industry, support solar power and support ending the war on drugs and mass incarceration.

The committee supports the medical marijuana amendment and opposes the solar amendment that is backed by the industry and opposed by environmentalists. Both questions will appear on the Florida ballot Nov. 8.

Canova, a first-time candidate from Hollywood, raised about $3.8 million in the primary. Wasserman Schultz beat Canova by about 14 percentage points in the Broward/Miami-Dade district. He is on leave this semester from his job as a Nova Southeastern University law professor.

He ran a Bernie Sanders-style campaign that focused on soliciting small, online donations and his campaign got a major boost when Sanders endorsed him. But in the end, Canova appeared frustrated that Sanders didn't campaign for him in South Florida. 

Canova said in his press release that he will limit donations to small donors and reject any from corporate-funded PACS and then takes a swipe at Sanders: "This fundraising plan for Progress for All is in contrast to Our Revolution, started by Bernie Sanders, which was organized as a 501(c)(4) that could accept large undisclosed donations."

Earlier this month Canova opened a campaign account which could allow him to challenge Wasserman Schultz again in 2018. Canova said he hasn't decided yet whether he will run for the same seat in two years.

"I'm still kind of recovering from the campaign -- it was nine months of 24-7 nonstop," he said. "It's premaure to be deciding if I am running for office and when."

 

 

 

September 14, 2016

'There is a stink rotting in the Florida Attorney General's office,' Democrats say

via @learyreports

WASHINGTON -- Asserting that Donald Trump used a political donation to Attorney General Pam Bondi to kill an investigation into his real estate seminars, congressional Democrats on Wednesday urged the Justice Department to open an inquiry.

Florida Reps. Ted Deutch and Debbie Wasserman Schultz joined a news conference and leveled accusations of pay-to-play. "There is way more than whiff here. There is a stink rotting in the Attorney General's office in Florida," Wasserman Schultz said.

Bondi and Trump deny acting improperly, thought Trump paid an IRS fine for using his foundation for the $25,000 donation to Bondi's political committee.

Whatever the merits of an investigation, Democrats -- and the Clinton campaign -- see a political gain. Trump provides added ammunition with his boasts about using his money and stature to influence politicians.

 

--ALEX LEARY, Tampa Bay Times

September 13, 2016

Florida members of Congress to Gov. Rick Scott: Ask for clean Zika bill

@PatriciaMazzei

Nine Florida members of Congress asked Gov. Rick Scott to use his Tuesday visit to Washington to advocate for a "clean" Zika funding bill, free of any politically charged amendments that would make it more difficult for the legislation to win bipartisan approval.

"The stakes are too high to allow partisan riders to hold up this critical support, and existing funding is set to run out by the end of this month," the lawmakers wrote in a letter. "There are over 300 cases of Zika in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties, 84 of which involve pregnant women. For pregnant mothers in areas with Zika, not knowing whether one mosquito bite will dramatically alter their unborn child’s life is a daily fear, especially in South Florida, where mosquitos are year-round inhabitants."

The letter, led by Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston, was signed by Democratic Reps. Ted Deutch of Boca Raton, Gwen Graham of Tallahassee, Alcee Hastings of Delray Beach, Lois Frankel of West Palm Beach, Patrick Murphy of Jupiter, Kathy Castor of Tampa and Frederica Wilson of Miami Gardens. They were joined by two Miami Republicans, Reps. Carlos Curbelo and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

Scott will be on Capitol Hill lobbying for Zika money through Wednesday.

September 09, 2016

Tim Canova to run against Debbie Wasserman Schultz in 2018

DWS CANOVA DEBATE a epf (1)

@amysherman1

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 01, 2016

Broward had lowest primary turnout in the state

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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

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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

Tim Canova: I will concede Debbie Wasserman Schultz is a corporate stooge

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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

DWSwinsMH

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.

Florida lawmakers urge tough steps against Venezuela

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@jamesmartinrose

Florida's congressional delegation has the biggest presence in a bipartisan letter urging Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew to extend sanctions and take other tough steps against the Venezuelan government.

Nine of the 30 lawmakers who signed the letter to Kerry and Lew are from the Sunshine State, among them South Florida Republican Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Carlos Curbelo, plus Democratic Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Lois Frankel and Frederica Wilson.

Also on the letter are Republican Reps. Ron DeSantis of Ponte Vedra Beach and John Mica of Winter Park, plus Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch of West Boca Raton.

"People are literally starving, suicide rates are rising and the government continues to repress its people," the lawmakers wrote.

Congress in July passed legislation sponsored by Ros-Lehtinen and Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Miami, which President Barack Obama signed into law, extending sanctions on human rights abusers in Venezuela.

"However, the are scores of other Venezuelan officials, including within the Supreme Court, federal judiciary, judges in various states, national and state prosecutors, and police and security officers who have reportedly directly engaged in human rights abuses, efforts to undermine democracy and public corruption," the lawmakers wrote to Kerry and Lew.

The 30 House members called on Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro to hold a recall referendum this year, release all political prisoners, follow democratic principles, permit the delivery of emergency food and medicine, and stop government support for drug trafficking.

To read the letter:

August 29, 2016

What you need to know for Tuesday’s primary election

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@alextdaugherty and @doug_hanks

Planning to vote in Tuesday’s primary election? We’ve provided answers to a list of frequently asked questions.

Numerous races are on the ballot, notably the election for Miami-Dade County mayor, along with Republican and Democratic primaries for U.S. Senate. Various state legislative, school board, county commission and judicial seats are also up for grabs in Miami-Dade and Broward.

I’m not a registered Republican or Democrat. Should I bother to vote?

For some offices, like U.S. Senate and Congress, only registered members of a specific party may vote. But in Miami-Dade County, all registered voters can cast a ballot for mayor, school board, county commissioner and judge. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, a runoff election will be held in November for the top two finishers.

In Broward, independents can vote in non-partisan races, including contests for judge, state attorney and school board. Voters in both counties are also voting on a constitutional amendment about solar energy.

So is the mayor’s race in Miami-Dade ending Tuesday or not?

That depends. If one candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, the race ends. If not, the race heads for a November run-off on Election Day between the top two finishers.

That’s just for the mayor’s race?

No, that’s the rule for all non-partisan primaries, which is how most county-level and city-level races are decided. So school board races, judge races and other local posts could wind up on the November ballot if no winner is declared Tuesday.

What about the races for Miami-Dade County Commission?

Those three races would be eligible for a run-off, except each contest only has two candidates. A run-off is only a possibility with more than two candidates.