September 09, 2015

Conservative group launches digital ads against Debbie Wasserman Schultz over Iran deal support


U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston knew she'd get political heat no matter where she landed on the Iran nuclear deal. Now that she has supported it, a conservative group is turning up the temperature.

American Action Network plans two days of digital ads against the Democratic National Committee chairwoman and four other members of Congress criticizing them for their plans to vote yes on the agreement later this week.

"Some in Congress, like Debbie Wasserman Schultz, are ignoring all the warnings and supporting a deal at any price," the ad concludes. "Call Debbie Wasserman Schultz and tell her to stop siding with Iran."

"I am not afraid to make this decision," Wasserman Schultz said last week before revealing her decision. "I am never afraid to stand alone when necessary to stand on principle and based on a thorough review of facts."

The ad buy is for $50,000, or $10,000 per targeted politician, according to AAN. The spots will run before web videos and on Facebook.

The other four Democrats targeted are Reps. Pete Aguilar of California, Rick Nolan of Minnesota, Scott Peters of California and Louise Slaughter of New York.


September 08, 2015

Miami-Dade School Board member may challenge Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Mar18 Board New Hmg

via @AmySherman1

Propelled by U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s support of the Iran agreement, Miami-Dade School Board Member Martin Karp says he may challenge the national Democratic leader next year.

Karp, a Democrat, said he hopes to make a decision by Oct. 1 about whether to run in the liberal Broward-to-Miami Beach district. If he runs, this would be the first time Wasserman Schultz has faced a serious primary challenge since she won the seat in 2004.

Karp started to think about running for Congress during the past couple of weeks as he drew attention for helping organize protests against the Iran agreement including outside of Aventura City Hall where Wasserman Schultz has a local office. Politico first reported Karp was mulling a bid.

“As more and more people approached me, they were very serious about their intentions,” he told the Miami Herald. “I said, ‘Well, I want to digest that and think about it.’”

Wasserman Schultz announced Sunday in a statement to the Herald that she would support the Iran agreement — a top priority for President Barack Obama. The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the agreement this week, and the Senate could debate it, but Obama has secured the votes to pass it.

More here.

Photo credit: Hector Gabino, El Nuevo Herald

September 06, 2015

Exclusive: Debbie Wasserman Schultz to vote for Iran nuclear deal


via @AmySherman1

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston, who heads the national Democratic Party, has announced she will support the controversial Iran nuclear deal that is a top priority for President Barack Obama but has faced widespread voter criticism, including in Florida.

In a five-and-a-half page statement released exclusively to the Miami Herald on Sunday morning, Wasserman Schultz wrote that after wrestling with the agreement she still has concerns but will support it.

“I have subsequently come to the conclusion that the agreement promotes the national security interests of the United States and our allies and merits my vote of support ...” she wrote. “This agreement is not perfect. But I join many in the belief that with complex, multilateral, nuclear non-proliferation negotiations with inherent geopolitical implications for the entire world, there is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ deal.”

She is scheduled to appear on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday morning to speak about her decision.

Wasserman Schultz wrote that both supporters and critics of the deal say that Iran can’t be trusted, and she worries about Iran getting “additional resources to divert to their nefarious activities.”

“Initially sharing those concerns propelled me to thoroughly explore the viability of an alternative agreement,” she wrote. However, Wasserman Schultz said that after speaking with experts, she concluded that “regardless of whether the U.S. approves the agreement, the robust sanctions regime we have in place now will erode, if not completely fall apart,” because other nations won’t continue the sanctions.

More here.

Photo credit: David Santiago, El Nuevo Herald

September 03, 2015

Joe Biden, Debbie Wasserman Schultz to meet with Jews about Iran deal at JCC in Davie

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is facing one of the toughest decisions of her career: vote for President Barack Obama’s key Iran deal and risk alienating part of her base. Or vote against the deal, and risk having her loyalty questioned as head of the Democratic National Committee.

On Thursday, one of the Iran deal’s key supporters, Vice President Joe Biden, will meet with her and Jewish leaders in South Florida to push the president’s proposal at the David Posnack Jewish Community Center in Davie.

Wasserman Schultz, whose district runs from western Broward to Miami Beach, has not said whether she supports the agreement. But the Weston Democrat arranged the meeting, which suggests she wants the White House and Jewish leaders to hear each other’s opinions about the deal — even though by this point many have already staked out their position.

Wasserman Schultz turned down a Miami Herald request for an interview about the Iran meeting with Biden. Only a portion of the meeting, likely statements by Biden and Wasserman Schultz, will be public.

More here.

September 02, 2015

Protesters expected at Joe Biden meeting about Iran at Davie JCC

Activists protesting the Iran deal are expected outside a meeting between Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, and Jewish leaders in Broward Thursday morning.

Wasserman Schultz, who is also the Democratic National Committee chair, helped arrange the meeting which will take place at the David Posnack Jewish Community Center in Davie. She is undecided about how she will vote on the Iran deal later this month.

Only a portion of the event will be open to the press -- likely statements by Biden and Wasserman Schultz and it’s unclear if they will take questions.

The protest is being led by Americans United Against the Deal, a group of activists who oppose the deal.

On Wednesday, Biden will give a speech about higher education at Miami Dade College and attend a fundraiser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee at the home of Stephen Bittel in Coconut Grove.

Hillary Clinton emails reveal how Diana Nyad got clearance to swim from Cuba

via @kaufsports

In 7,000 pages of Hillary Clinton emails released by the State Department, amid a trove of notes on Middle East policy and gefilte fish and the TV show Parks and Recreation, is an exchange involving South Florida and Cuba ties.

Endurance swimmer Diana Nyad, attempting a 103-mile Cuba-to-Key West swim at age 60 in the summer of 2010, reached out to then-Secretary of State Clinton in a “desperate plea’’ to help her get her expedition cleared by the U.S. State Department so that she could begin the swim on Cuban soil.

On July 4, 2010, Clinton received an email on Nyad’s behalf from Hilary Rosen, a political pundit and Democratic lobbyist. In the memo line: “A unique request for your help from Hilary Rosen.’’

The note went on to explain that Nyad needed help to get clearance for her swim. “I wouldn’t ask if I didn’t think taking it to your level is the only way to get it done,’’ Rosen wrote. “Thanks so much in advance for looking into this. I know it is a busy month for you. You are just the best!!!’’

Rosen attached emails that Nyad had written to her and to South Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz seeking help. They read: “It’s not that I’ve been flat turned down by the State Dept. But I have been told I won’t be approved this summer … warm water, my training, all of it…there’s no other time I can or will do it.

“…I have been told by lawyers within the Treasury that it will take either Hilary (sic) Clinton or Obama himself to clear my event. I know somebody has the power to green light in an hour’s time, if I can just get to the right person. … I just can’t let this dream slip away because I can’t get into Cuba with State Dept. approval.’’

More here.

August 26, 2015

Joe Biden to meet with Jewish leaders in Davie about Iran deal

Vice President Joe Biden will come to South Florida next week to meet with Jewish leaders about the Iran deal and for a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee event.

The meeting about the Iran deal will take place Sept. 3 at the Jewish Community Center in Davie, said a local prominent Jewish leader who had been invited. The event was organized by U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston who is also the Democratic National Committee chair.

Wasserman Schultz has not yet announced how she will vote on the Iran deal.

‎"During a meeting on a host of issues the Vice President offered to be helpful, and so as the Congresswoman continues to review the deal and talk with experts and constituents she invited him to South Florida to meet with key leaders in the community,” said her spokesman Sean Bartlett. (See previous reporting by the Wall Street Journal.)

The Sept. 2 fundraiser for the DSCC is at the home of Stephen and Sabina Bittel in Coconut Grove, said an active Democrat.

Biden’s visit to South Florida follows the summer meeting of the DNC in Minneapolis where activists are expected to push for support for Biden to run for president.

August 24, 2015

Will Debbie Wasserman Schultz support or oppose Iran deal?

With a new poll showing Florida voters are against the Iran deal, that adds to the pressure for a decision about the deal by U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston.

Wasserman Schultz, who is also the Democratic National Committee chair, hasn’t commented on her position yet.

“The Congresswoman is continuing her meetings with constituents, Administration officials and experts as she reviews the deal,” her spokesman Geoff Burgan said today. “Since those meetings are still ongoing, she has not made a decision.”

The Quinnipiac poll found that Florida respondents oppose the Iran agreement by 61-25 percent but support sending U.S. ground troops to fight the Islamic State terrorist group in Iraq and Syria.

The Iran deal is a hot topic for voters in Wasserman Schultz's Broward to Miami Beach district -- an area that includes a high proportion of Jews.

About 15 percent of the people who live in Wasserman Schultz’s Broward to Miami Beach district are Jewish, according to University of Miami demographer Ira Sheskin. (The actual number of residents in her district who vote could be higher since data from the American National Election Study in 2008 suggest that Jews vote at a higher rate than other groups.)

Continue reading "Will Debbie Wasserman Schultz support or oppose Iran deal?" »

August 07, 2015

Republican seeks rematch against Wasserman Schultz


Less than a year after Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, handily defeated Republican Joe Kaufman to win re-election, Kaufman is looking for a rematch.

Kaufman, a pro-Israel activist from Tamarac, filed papers with the Federal Election Commission last week declaring his candidacy. He is the first Republican to file to challenge Wasserman Schultz in the 23rd Congressional District, which leans heavily Democratic.

In 2014, Wasserman Schultz won 63 percent of the vote, while Kaufman won just over 37 percent.

Wasserman Schultz has been in Congress since 2005 and is also the chair of the Democratic National Committee. She officially filed her statement of candidacy in April.

July 14, 2015

Florida politicians react to Iran nuclear deal


The big news of the day in politics and the federal government is the announcement that a group of countries, led by the U.S., negotiating with Iran over its nuclear program have reached an agreement. 

Some Florida Republicans had harsh words for President Obama's administration over the deal, and at least a couple of Democrats sounded skeptical. Here are their statements:

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida

First thing is to not tear down this agreement before the ink is even dry, before we even read it. Congress has a role now, by law, and it's to thoroughly scrutinize the details of the agreement. We're not going to approve something that doesn't keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons and doesn't give us the ability to inspect and verify that Iran abides by all the terms.

U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Miami

It was announced today that a final agreement with Iran has been reached.  Unfortunately, it appears that all key aspects of Iran’s nuclear program will remain in place. Preliminary information suggests that the agreement not only fails to completely prevent Iran from gaining nuclear capabilities, but it also strengthens the regime’s ability to support terror in the region, both militarily and financially. In addition to the many troubling aspects of what looks like a weak deal that gives Iran undeserved concessions, it’s important to note that Iran still holds American hostages. 

Protecting the security interests of the United States and our allies is of the utmost importance.  While Congress will carefully review the details, the initial reports do not give me confidence that an acceptable deal has been reached.

Continue reading "Florida politicians react to Iran nuclear deal" »