January 28, 2014

Course correction? AIPAC comes to Debbie Wasserman Schultz's aid over Iran sanctions

As an Iran sanctions measure appears to die, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee is now actively working to bolster U.S. Rep. and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Behind the scenes, Wasserman Schultz was said to oppose the sanctions bill, which was backed by AIPAC and some Democrats but was strongly opposed by the White House. Wasserman Schultz refused to talk about it in detail with us recently (column here).

Huffington Post:

[I]n a Jan. 24 letter obtained Monday by the Washington Free Beacon, AIPAC’s Southeastern states director, Mark Kleinman, issued a strong defense of Wasserman Schultz. The letter also claims the HuffPost story was "inaccurate," but doesn't say why.

“Friends, I wanted to forward a statement issued by AIPAC national board member Ike Fisher after the Huffington Post released an inaccurate article regarding AIPAC and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz,” Kleinman wrote in the letter, before feeding into Fisher's comment: “Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz has a strong record of support for the U.S.-Israel relationship,” read Fisher’s statement. “She is a good friend of Israel and a close friend of AIPAC, and we look forward to our continued work together for many years to come.”

More here

January 19, 2014

Debbie Wasserman Schultz wants to talk NJ bridge scandal, not Iran issue splitting Dems

@MarcACaputo

Debbie Wasserman Schultz trashed New Jersey’s “scandal plagued” governor for hiding out from the press as he fundraised for Gov. Rick Scott in Florida.

“Chris Christie,” the Democratic National Committee chairwoman said Saturday, “doesn’t want to be answering any uncomfortable questions.”

The same, however, is true for Wasserman Schultz.

The Weston congresswoman doesn’t want to respond to any uncomfortable questions about a Democratic revolt over President Obama’s nuclear-disarmament talks with Iran.

Continue reading "Debbie Wasserman Schultz wants to talk NJ bridge scandal, not Iran issue splitting Dems" »

January 18, 2014

As Chris Christie hides in FL, Debbie Wasserman Schultz trashes him in two major media markets

@MarcACaputo

BeTIFSDIAAA3INkNew Jersey Gov. Chris Christie hasn’t had a winning media day ever since news erupted early last week that a senior staffer and an ally clearly conspired to shut down traffic on a bridge in an apparent act of political retribution.

Saturday was another public-relations loser for Christie, a 2016 GOP White House hopeful, who hid from the press when he flew into Florida for a series of closed-press hush-hush fundraisers for Florida Gov. Rick Scott, one of whose own donors called the secrecy "stupid.” (NOTE: Picture at left courtesty of WFOR/CBS4)

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz happily filled the void, holding two press conferences in Orlando and then in her congressional district in Dania Beach where she addressed at least seven broadcast TV cameras and even more reporters. 

“It’s a little bizarre that Rick Scott would bring the chair of the Republican Governors Association -- something that arguably he should be proud of in a normal situation -- and not brag about it, not show him off, not spend some time in front of the cameras, take some photo-ops and take some questions,” she said.

Continue reading "As Chris Christie hides in FL, Debbie Wasserman Schultz trashes him in two major media markets" »

January 10, 2014

Conservative Israel group to air TV ads bashing Debbie Wasserman Schultz over Iran sanctions

@MarcACaputo

The Emergency Committee for Israel, a longtime critic of DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, is targeting the Weston Representative in a TV ad that accuses her of trying to block an Iran sanctions bill.

It's not clear if she is (we're awaiting comment).

Update: Wasserman Schultz's spokeswoman, Mara Sloan, said the claim isn't true: “Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been a strong supporter of sanctions against Iran and will continue to be. She has cosponsored and voted for the additional sanctions bill that has already passed the house. Currently, there is not a resolution on sanctions offered in the House. As soon as one is filed, she will review the language, as she does with any legislation and decide whether it helps to ensure that Iran will never have a nuclear weapon.” 

The conservative Washington Free Beacon, which leveled the charge three days ago, quoted anonymous Democrats advancing the claim and reported that Wasserman Schultz's office wouldn't comment.

Regardless, starting Sunday, the committee plans to air the ad that just happens to feature a fellow Jewish Democrat as a counterpoint, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer. The size of the buy is unclear, but the committee says it'll air on all the Sunday news shows and be visible enough to cable viewers who watch sports in South Florida.

The text of the ad:

“Why is Debbie Wasserman Schultz trying to block a bipartisan Iran-sanctions bill? Pro-Israel Democrats support new sanctions.

“[Voice/image of Chuck Schumer, D-NY]: ‘Democrats and Republicans believe the best way to avoid war and get Iran to give up nuclear weapons is by ratcheting up sanctions, not by reducing them.’

“She says she’s pro-Israel. She says she’s tough on Iran. Then why is she against bipartisan Iran sanctions? Call Debbie Wasserman Schultz and tell her: ‘Stand with Israel and stop standing in the way of Iran sanctions’”

October 27, 2013

Wasserman Schultz: Obamacare's working, Rubio's delay plan is "baloney"

@MarcACaputo

ImageIt’s tough to find an Obamacare success story.

But one of them– Plantation resident Carolyn Newman – found her local congresswoman, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who's touting her case to pushback against Republican criticisms that the Affordable Care Act is a failure because of the problems plaguing its website.

“Obamacare is working,” Wasserman Schultz told reporters Saturday. “It’s working, and when we get the website kinks ironed out, we’re going to make that everybody has access to quality affordable care.”

A 50-year-old cancer survivor, Newman got a letter from insurer Florida Blue that informed her Sept. 26 that it was she cancelling her high-risk plan.

But then came the good news, she said: The plan they were offering had more benefits and a significantly lower monthly premium cost, $640.82 – 49 percent less than she pays now.

“I think I’m going to frame that letter,” Newman told The Herald in a recent interview.

Continue reading "Wasserman Schultz: Obamacare's working, Rubio's delay plan is "baloney" " »

October 08, 2013

DNC targets shutdown 'architect' Marco Rubio in robo calls

@MarcACaputo

The Democratic National Committee is robo-calling voters in Florida to remind them of Republican Sen. Marco Rubio's support of tying budget talks to defunding, degrading or delaying Obamacare, which has led to a partial government shutdown. Other Republicans are targeted in other states.

Rubio's fellow South Floridian, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, issued a press release noting that poll after poll shows Republicans, who precipitated the shutdown, are generally more vulnerable than Democrats. But Democrats have helped prolong the shutdown by refusing to negotiate with the GOP.

Who should give what (if anything) probably depends on your political persuasion, though Quinnipiac University's poll last week showed a majority of Americans want generic "compromise."

Rubio prefers the term "slowdown" to shutdown, as we noted recently when a passenger on his DC-bound plane relayed to us the concerns that some shared with the senator. Technical note: as a member of the minority in the Senate, Rubio's no vote on the Democratic senate's budget bills has less effect on the shutdown than the votes of the Republican House.

Here's the robo script:

Continue reading "DNC targets shutdown 'architect' Marco Rubio in robo calls" »

September 08, 2013

Want straight answers on Syria? That's classified

@MarcACaputo

The Obama Administration, in media-marketing parlance, is trying to “sell” a war.

But the American public and its caveat-emptor Congress aren’t buying.

The administration’s so-called product — a bombing campaign in Syria — has a series of non-disclosure clauses bound up with an implicit government promise: “trust us.”

Continue reading "Want straight answers on Syria? That's classified" »

September 02, 2013

"As a Jew," Wasserman Schultz invokes Holocaust in making case for bombing Syria

@MarcACaputo

U.S. Rep. and Democratic National Committee leader Debbie Wasserman Schultz today issued a statement that called on Congress to approve President Obama's call for war.

Tonight, she kicked it up a notch in an interview on CNN with Wolf Blitzer, where she invoked the Holocaust. Wasserman Schultz noted that her Weston-to-Miami Beach District has one of the largest Holocaust-survivor populations in the nation.

"As a Jew," she said, "the concept of 'never again' has to mean something." She also noted the "searing images" of children killed in what appears to have been a chemical-weapons strike

Indeed. But the concept of Bashar al-Assad as Hitler is something the Obama Administration and his supporters have to prove to a majority of the members of Congress.

And they haven't done it yet.

Continue reading ""As a Jew," Wasserman Schultz invokes Holocaust in making case for bombing Syria" »

August 09, 2013

Really? Wasserman Schultz channels SNL in bashing Scott's voter purge

Gov. Rick Scott’s plan to resume a purge of non-citizens from voter rolls has sparked a strongly-worded rebuke from Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Here it is, one long homage to the Seth Meyers/Amy Poehler bit on SNL:


Really? Governor Scott's renewed efforts to purge Florida voters not necessary 

By Chair Wasserman Schultz

Governor Scott is back at it.  In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down key provisions of the Voting Rights Act, Governor Scott announced he is taking another shot at purging Florida’s voter rolls of ‘noncitizens.’

Just to be clear, we’re talking about Republican purging efforts botched so badly that Governor Scott himself had to vote by provisional ballot in 2006 because the purge had determined he was dead.

Seriously.

You’d think that would have been a wake-up call that this sort of purging is deeply flawed and unnecessary.

Governor Scott and his Republican Administration claim this is simply an effort to suppress voter fraud, but Floridians know better.  This shameful attempt to shrink the electorate was highly controversial in the months leading up to the 2012 presidential election, when the Department of Justice sued the state of Florida for attempting to disqualify thousands of voters less than 90 days before an election.

The ability to cast a vote and have one’s vote counted is central to the functioning of our democracy.  But too often, Republicans have systematically turned how ballots are cast into a manufactured issue in swing states across the country.  Too often, these Republican-led so-called anti-voter fraud efforts are nothing more than thinly veiled attempts to disqualify voters that reek of politics.

Such is the case in Florida.  Of the 180,000 potential noncitizens identified for purging in 2012, less than 0.02% were actually ineligible. Nearly 60 percent of those included in the initial list were Hispanic – meanwhile, Hispanic voters make up only 13 percent of Florida’s electorate.

 Unfortunately for Governor Scott and national Republicans, Florida’s voters won’t be fooled again.   Attempts like what is now happening in Florida, and what is happening in many states across the country, go against the spirit of our democracy and are exactly why Congress must answer President Obama’s call to restore the Voting Rights Act to its full authority


July 05, 2013

Has sea level risen 9 inches in South Florida since the 1920s? PolitiFact gets answer

Not long after President Barack Obama gave a speech outlining his plan for attacking climate change, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, appeared on Fox News to discuss the future of energy and the environment.

"We’ve had nine inches of sea-level rise since the 1920s," said Wasserman Schultz in the June 28 interview with Tucker Carlson. "What that means is that communities like mine in South Florida and coastal communities all across the country are facing dangerous sea-level rise, which will ultimately cause homes to be under water in just a few short years."

In this item, we won’t analyze her projections for future sea-level rises; such estimates are based on a variety of theoretical models and come with lots of uncertainty attached. However, we did wonder whether Wasserman Schultz was correct about past changes — specifically, whether South Florida has "had nine inches of sea-level rise since the 1920s."

The ruling: Her claim essentially matches the data collected by the National Oceantic and Atmospheric Administration. While there is considerable uncertainty about the future course of sea-level rises, Wasserman Schultz’s estimate of the historical rise appears to be on target.

We rate this claim: True. More here from Louis Jacobson.