August 18, 2016

Tim Canova outraised Debbie Wasserman Schultz

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Tim Canova outraised U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz during the most recent reporting period.

Canova raised $1 million while Wasserman Schultz raised about $300,000 between July 1 and Aug. 10, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. 

But she remained ahead in cash on hand with about $1 million remaining while he had $476,000. 

Throughout the election cycle through Aug. 10, Canova has raised about $3.3 million while Wasserman Schultz has raised $3.1 million. She has been closing the gap with multiple donations between $1,000 and $2,700 in recent days. That's an impressive haul for Canova, a first-time candidate and Nova Southeastern University law professor who is challenging an incumbent who first won office in 1992 for state house.

Canova got a boost in fundraising after Bernie Sanders announced his support for Canova and after Wasserman Schultz stepped down as Democratic National Committee chair. 

The Democrats are competing in the Aug. 30 primary in a district that stretches from western Broward to northern Miami-Dade County. 

This blog was updated after Wasserman Schultz's report posted at the FEC.

EMILY's List endorses Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Debbie Wasserman Schultz

@ByKristenMClark

The powerful women-in-politics group, EMILY's List, has formally endorsed Weston Democratic U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who's facing her first primary challenge in more than two decades.

EMILY's List president Stephanie Schriock praised Wasserman Schultz as a "dedicated progressive public servant who has never stopped fighting for the hardworking families of Florida."

"Debbie has championed breast cancer advocacy, protected Social Security, and fought back against attacks on women’s access to health care," Schriock said in a statement. "As the first Jewish woman elected to represent Florida, Debbie has always been a trailblazer. The EMILY’s List community, over 3 million members strong, looks forward to supporting her bid for re-election."

EMILY's List -- which stands for Early Money Is Like Yeast -- works to help raise money for and elect women to public office.

Wasserman Schultz is in a tough primary battle against the progressive and Bernie Sanders-backed Tim Canova, who wants to unseat the former Democratic National Committee chairwoman in Florida's 23rd Congressional District. The district includes parts of Broward and northern Miami-Dade counties.

The last time Wasserman Schultz faced a primary opponent was 1992, when she ran for the state Legislature.

PolitiFact Florida: Tim Canova's Half Flip on Iran nuclear deal

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The Iran nuclear deal has been a hot topic in the Democratic primary battle between U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and challenger Tim Canova. The South Florida district is heavily Jewish, and Israel has been skeptical of the deal.

In a mailer, Canova sided with three Jewish members of Congress who voted against the deal.

"In challenging times Israel needs true friends in Congress. When called on to protect Israel, some legislators step up," states the mailer, showing photos of U.S. Reps. Ted Deutch and Lois Frankel of Palm Beach County and Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York. "Others don’t. Debbie Wasserman Schultz waffled back and forth before voting for the Iran nuclear deal, choosing party and personal political ambition over principle."

But how would Canova have voted on the deal? His answers haven’t been clear. In adebate on CBS4, host Jim DeFede asked Canova to clarify his position.

We decided to look at Canova’s statements about the Iran deal and put them on our Flip-O-Meter, which examines a candidate’s record on a topic without casting a value judgment on any changes. We found that Canova hasn’t really changed position, but he hasn’t always provided full answers, either.

Keep reading from PolitiFact Florida.

August 15, 2016

After Debbie Wasserman Schultz attacks Tim Canova over Middle East statement he changes website

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During the CBS4 debate Sunday, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz accused her rival Tim Canova of wanting to force Israel to disarm -- a charge with implications at the ballot box in the heavily Jewish South Florida district.

Canova's website had stated: "The U.S. must do everything in its power to reverse the militarization of the region, including full diplomatic efforts to negotiate a general disarmament for the entire region that includes nuclear, missile, and conventional arms reductions. We should recognize that peace and security for Israel, the U.S., and the rest of the world is no longer possible without general disarmament and fundamental political and social reforms throughout the Middle East. We must work to bring about such reform as much as possible through non-violent peaceful means using the full range of U.S. economic and diplomatic power."

Canova shot back that he didn't mean to suggest that Israel should disarm -- he meant Saudia Arabia and Iran. But he had made similar statements in the past about generally disarming the Middle East.

After the debate, Canova said that the wording on his website was an "oversight" and that it would be changed. The new portion is in italics:

"We should recognize that peace and security for Israel, the U.S., and the rest of the world is no longer possible without general disarmament and fundamental political and social reforms - specifically in Iran, Saudia Arabia and among other state sponsors of terror - throughout the Middle East.  We must work to bring about such reform as much as possible through non-violent peaceful means using the full range of U.S. economic and diplomatic power."

Wasserman Schultz's campaign spokesman Ryan Banfill said in a statement: “Canova changed his website but he can’t change the record. He’s been calling for the disarmament of Israel since January. This wasn’t an oversight, it was an extremely naive and dangerous error.”

Canova and Wasserman Schultz are running in the Aug. 30 primary in Congressional District 23 which stretches from western Broward to northern Miami-Dade. Voters have already started casting ballots by mail.

August 11, 2016

Bernie Sanders' consultants exit Tim Canova campaign

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Just a couple of weeks after joining Tim Canova's South Florida congressional campaign, media consultants for Bernie Sanders have exited Canova's team.

The firm run by Tad Devine, Julian Mulvey and Mark Longabaugh was hired by Canova in late July. Canova is battling against longtime incumbent U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz for a Broward/Miami-Dade seat.

Canova told the Miami Herald that the firm is no longer working on his campaign after we asked him about a Politico article about that.

"They worked for my campaign for only a couple of weeks," Canova said. "We simply realized rather quickly that we already have plenty of creative talent right here in South Florida, the same local talent that's produced our ads introducing me and on my opponent dodging debates. DML was great, they offered excellent advice on a number of fronts. We have not closed the door on working together in the future."

The firm was behind Sanders' "America" ad which featured the Simon and Garfunkel song.

Sanders endorsed Canova and has helped him boost his fundraising. Wasserman Schultz has the backing of President Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton.

The candidates will hold their first -- and likely only -- debate Sunday before the Aug. 30 Democratic primary.

Debate tiff ends: Canova and Wasserman Schultz agree to CBS4 debate

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After originally rejecting an offer to debate U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Tim Canova agreed Thursday to do it after all, after a TV station said it would lengthen the time for the encounter.

The 8 a.m. Sunday debate will air on CBS4’s “Facing South Florida with Jim DeFede” and last one hour — twice as long as the show’s normal time slot.

For months, Canova, running in the Democratic primary Aug. 30, sought debates with Wasserman Schultz and accused her of dodging him. On Wednesday, she finally agreed to the CBS4 debate.

“I look forward to a thoughtful conversation and robust debate that addresses the issues important to the people of Florida’s 23rd Congressional district,” she said in a statement.

But then it was Canova’s turn to shun a debate.

Canova’s campaign manager, Richard Bell, initially told the Miami Herald on Thursday that Canova “will not” participate in the debate, and Canova issued a statement bashing the idea of a 15-minute debate (although the show is a half hour with commercials).

“After four months of dodging debates and running scared, Wasserman Schultz now wants to schedule a 15 minute debate? If she believes one 15 minute debate is sufficient to defend her record, it shows she's learned nothing from her failures in scheduling debates at the DNC before her shameful resignation.”

If that was a ploy to get more free air-time by Canova, it worked.

On Thursday afternoon, CBS4 agreed to a one-hour format, and Wasserman Schultz and Canova both agreed to participate.

Keep reading here.

 

Tim Canova won't participate in CBS4 debate with Debbie Wasserman Schultz

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Tim Canova's campaign manager Richard Bell told the Miami Herald today that Canova won't participate in a debate with U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz Sunday morning.

On Wednesday, Wasserman Schultz announced that she agreed to a debate on CBS4's Facing South Florida with Jim DeFede, a half-hour show at 8:30 a.m. Sunday. 

Wasserman Schultz is still expected to appear and CBS4 plans to leave a chair available for Canova.

"I look forward to a thoughtful conversation and robust debate that addresses the issues important to the people of Florida’s 23rd Congressional district," Wasserman Schultz said in a statement Wednesday.

Canova had sought debates with Wasserman Schultz for months and bashed her in a TV ad for not agreeing to a debate. Both candidates have previously appeared on Facing South Florida: Wasserman Schultz was interviewed by DeFede in April and on Sunday Canova was interviewed by CBS4's Eliott Rodriguez. When Rodriguez said it would be great to have Canova debate Wasserman Schultz on the show, Canova replied: "I would love that. I hope so." 

Canova recently called for three two-hour debates -- something that is more common for presidential or statewide debates than a Congressional district debate.

But now by refusing to debate on DeFede's show, Canova is missing his only chance so far to a debate before the Aug. 30 primary. He is skipping an opportunity to face his opponent and undergo questioning by DeFede, a top-notch investigative reporter who would have posed serious questions to both candidates. Meanwhile, voters are already casting ballots by mail -- so far 7,363 Democrats have voted in the Broward side of the district which represents the bulk of the voters.

Canova issued a statement today criticizing Wasserman Schultz. He says the debate would be 15-minutes but the show is 30 minutes although that includes commercials.

"After four months of dodging debates and running scared, Wasserman Schultz now wants to schedule a 15 minute debate?  If she believes one 15 minute debate is sufficient to defend her record, it shows she's learned nothing from her failures in scheduling debates at the DNC before her shameful resignation.  In April, I proposed a series of real debates, and that's still my hope, that the voters will get the benefit of hearing us discuss the issues in more than one debate of at least two-hours each to cover a wide range of issues of importance to all of us.”

“When I first heard this news,” said Canova, “I thought it was a joke.  But actually it’s quite a disgrace and shows the arrogance of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and once again her contempt for democracy.  The people of South Florida deserve better than a representative showing up for 15 minutes to defend her record."

 

August 10, 2016

Wasserman Schultz says she'll debate Canova on TV this Sunday

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@PatriciaMazzei

The campaign of U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston said Wednesday it will debate Democratic primary opponent Tim Canova on Sunday, on Miami Herald news partner WFOR-CBS 4's "Facing South Florida with Jim DeFede."

DeFede said on Twitter that Canova has yet to confirm his attendance. Canova's campaign was told of Wasserman Schultz's willingness to debate only Wednessay afternoon.

Canova has clamored for a debate for weeks. Wasserman Schultz told the Herald editorial board last week that she would face off against the Nova Southeastern University law professor, her first challenger in 24 years.

"I look forward to a thoughtful conversation and robust debate that addresses the issues important to the people of Florida’s 23rd Congressional district," Wasserman Schultz said in a statement.

Photo credit: Shannon Kaestle, Miami Herald staff

Bernie bucks keep pouring in for Wasserman Schultz rival Canova

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@PatriciaMazzei

What is Bernie Sanders' endorsement worth?

For Florida congressional candidate Tim Canova, the answer so far is more than half a million bucks.

Sanders' campaign told the Miami Herald on Wednesday that it has helped raise more than $637,000 since May 22, when the Vermont senator and former Democratic presidential candidate began asking supporters to chip in for Canova.

Canova, a Nova Southeastern University law professor, is trying to unseat Democratic U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston, a Sanders foe. Sanders accused her of bias toward Hillary Clinton when Wasserman Schultz ran the Democratic National Committee. Leaked internal emails from the DNC showed late last month that Wasserman Schultz's staff favored Clinton, though Sanders' camp acknowledged that preference wasn't to blame for his loss to Clinton. Still, the email embarrassment cost Wasserman Schultz her high-profile role -- and forced her to step up campaigning after 24 years of running unopposed.

His endorsement of Canova was Sanders' first foray into congressional races this election cycle. Team Sanders sent supporters its latest Canova fundraising pitch Tuesday, on the same day Clinton traveled to Davie to endorse Wasserman Schultz. Since Tuesday alone, just under $300,000 has come in, according to a Sanders spokesman.

In all, the Canova contributions amount to $637,924.10 and came from 40,948 donations, each averaging $16.

Over the past few weeks, handwritten postcards from all over the country have poured into the Herald's editorial board from supporters urging for a Canova endorsement. Canova himself told the Herald he knew nothing about the postcard-writing campaign; one of Wasserman Schultz's chief criticisms of Canova is that he's an outsider whose support lies mostly outside the Broward/Miami-Dade County district.

Photo credit: Pedro Portal, el Nuevo Herald

Debbie Wasserman Schultz to hold gun meeting with Gabrielle Giffords

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U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz will hold a gun safety meeting with former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Broward Thursday night.

In 2011, Giffords was holding a Congressional event in Arizona when a gunman shot her and 18 others, killing six. Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly, who will also attend the meeting, have since become advocates for preventing gun violence. Broward Sheriff Scott Israel, who faces re-election, and former State Sen. Nan Rich, who is running for Broward County Commission, will also participate in the 7 p.m. meeting at Temple Beth Emet in Cooper City.

In a press release, Wasserman Schultz stated that "every day, 89 people die from gun violence." In 2015, PolitiFact rated a similar claim by Hillary Clinton Mostly True. Most of those deaths are a result of suicides.

Wasserman Schultz is running against Tim Canova, a Nova Southeastern University law professor, in the Aug. 30 Democratic primary for a Broward/Miami-Dade congressional seat. She has been largely sticking to friendly venues in the district such as meetings her congressional staff help organize about Zika, gun safety or other topics and has generally avoided joint appearances with Canova.

Wasserman Schultz said in a statement earlier this week that she will release details about a debate with Canova this week. Canova has attacked Wasserman Schultz in a TV ad for not debating him so far.

Canova holds a town hall meeting in North Miami Beach Thursday at 7 p.m. at Winston Towers.

Photo by the AP at the 2012 Democratic convention