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. 

 

 

 

 

June 16, 2013

Amid governor's-race controversy, FL Dems boast they'll still whip Rick Scott

@MarcACaputo

              Florida Democrats’ best candidate for governor right now isn’t a candidate and wasn’t always one of them.

And party leaders caused a stir by snubbing a longtime candidate and party stalwart.

But when the elites of the Florida Democratic Party met Saturday for their annual fund-raising gala, they suggested none of that was really a big problem for one big reason: Rick Scott.

The unpopular Republican governor looks like an easy target for an incumbent.

“Whoever the Democratic nominee is will beat Rick Scott,” said U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. “We will win the governor’s mansion next November. There’s not any question.”

Even before the Jefferson-Jackson dinner began, Florida Democratic Party leaders said it was a success, bringing in a record $850,000.

More here

May 01, 2013

Fair Districts plotted to "scoop as many Jews" for Wasserman-Schultz, draw partisan districts

@MarcACaputo

A liberal group involved in a lawsuit to make Florida’s congressional districts less partisan engaged in its own partisan efforts by drawing Democratic-heavy Hispanic seats or trying to "scoop" Jewish voters into a district for U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic National Committee chair, emails show.

The emails between the leaders and consultants of what’s known as the Fair Districts Coalition became a central piece of evidence Wednesday in the Republican-led Legislature’s legal defense of the congressional districts it drew in 2012.

Some coalition members sued the Legislature to have the congressional maps cancelled, saying they violate a new state constitutional amendment forbidding lawmakers from drawing districts that favor or disfavor political parties or incumbents.

To show how unfair the Legislature’s maps were, the plaintiffs submitted their own plan as an alternative.

But Republicans note that the emails involving Fair Districts leader Ellen Freidin and the consultants show that the plaintiffs’ proposals were drawn to strengthen Democrats, in general, and Wasserman Schultz in particular.

“I just got off the phone with Ellen,” consultant Brad Wieneke wrote in a Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2011, email to members of the team in discussing Wasserman Schultz’s district.

“They want to scoop as many Jews out of Tamarac and Sunrise as they can,” Wienke said.

Continue reading "Fair Districts plotted to "scoop as many Jews" for Wasserman-Schultz, draw partisan districts" »

After bashing "spoiled" House Speaker Weatherford, Wasserman Schultz blocked from saying hi in person

@MarcACaputo

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz sharply criticized Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford on Wednesday in Tallahassee only to get blocked from saying hi to the Republican when he was presiding over his chamber a half hour later.

“That’s OK. I’m a big girl. I was pretty pointed in my remarks about him directly,” Wasserman Schultz said when asked about the snub.

“Spoiled little children,” she said, repeating a line from her press conference when she bashed Republicans for not expanding Medicaid.

Weatherford suggested that an aide’s blocking of Wasserman Schultz’ from ascending the speaker’s rostrum wasn’t personal.

“I was tied up at the time ;),” he wrote in a Twitter reply to the Tampa Bay Times’ Katie Sanders, when she noted that “Jeff Atwater gets to approach @willweatherford on the rostrum. @DWStweets, not so much.”

“Thanks for coming by to see us @DWStweets Always a pleasure to see you. Hope you didn't get bored by the reading of the bills,” Weatherford wrote later.

Wasserman Schultz stops by Tallahassee about once a year and was in town to raise money for her campaign and raise awareness about Weatherford's role in stopping the state from expanding Medicaid under Obamacare.

“In my experience, when we duke it out in the arena -- the arena of ideas when I was here– people were able to separate these things. Unfortunately, because we have extremists who have a stranglehold on the Republican Party, apparently that has changed quite a bit since I was last here,” she said.

“Will Weatherford should be ashamed of himself," she said. "This is a guy who, in his own family, needed the benefit of Medicaid when his brother was ill and now is denying a million Floridians the same opportunity.”

The back-and-forth between the two is probably political gold for Weatherford. He gets to tussle with Wasserman Schultz, one of the nation's most-recognizable Democrats, and that can only raise his profile.

April 16, 2013

Will do-nothing Congress kill lawmakers call to fight $5b tax-ID fraud industry?

@MarcACaputo

Tax Day is no longer just a deadline for citizens to rush and file their returns.

It’s now a day for members of Congress — Democrats and Republicans alike —to file legislation or announce ways to prevent an estimated $5 billion in tax-identification fraud, which is particularly virulent in Florida and especially South Florida.

The effort by local lawmakers is nothing new, nor is the fact that the measures have died year-after-year in a do-nothing Congress.

On Monday, Miami-area Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Joe Garcia and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen all promoted legislation to put an end to the practice. Florida Sen. Bill Nelson announced a bill last week.

“Something needs to be done,” said Jon Simpkins, a Miami-Dade businessman who appeared with his wife, a tax-ID fraud victim, at Garcia’s press conference.

It took the Internal Revenue Service until April 8 to supply the family their tax-refund money from last year — a week before this year’s tax-filing deadline.

“I’m surprised they haven’t fixed this yet,” Simpkins said, detailing the delays and difficulties of just getting the IRS to do its job.

Continue reading "Will do-nothing Congress kill lawmakers call to fight $5b tax-ID fraud industry?" »

March 22, 2013

DWS: Obama’s Israel trip puts lie to “utter fabrication of Republican Jews”

@MarcACaputo

Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Broward congresswoman, was at President Obama’s side during his trip to Israel and sounded ready to do a victory lap.

The president’s Israel trip brought enthusiastic crowds and positive coverage. And he’s the first sitting president to be awarded the nation’s top civilian honor, the Medal of Distinction.

So what happened to all the talk about tensions between Israel and Obama?

Wasserman Schultz: "Those criticisms were always nothing more than utter fabrications by Republican Jews in America who never supported Barack Obama and did everything they could to defeat him. And they were unsuccessful because the Jewish community in America overwhelmingly supports the ideals and values of the Democratic Party and strongly supports Barack Obama….”

“It would be hard for me to overemphasize the enthusiasm and warmth in which President Obama was received here – and also just in observing the interaction between him and Prime Minister Netanyahu, their back and forth, their interactions. Last night at the state dinner I sat two feet from them. They were engaged the whole evening speaking to each other – it was such a shot in the arm for our relationship and the friendship between our two countries.”

Continue reading "DWS: Obama’s Israel trip puts lie to “utter fabrication of Republican Jews”" »

Jeb returns $270k to fraudster; DNC gives back $51k, DCCC: c.$68k, DWS: c.$5k

South Florida Business Journal:

Former Gov. Jeb Bush has agreed to return $270,000 that he was paid as a consultant to convicted fraudster Claudio Osorio and Osorio’s companies...

According to the agreement, Bush was paid $468,901 between December 2007 and September 2010 for consulting “plus reasonable expenses.”

Bush and his company, Jeb Bush & Associates, are repaying the money to Soneet Kapila, a court-appointed fiduciary who is collecting funds Osorio stole from other people and used to fund business operations at InnoVida Holdings, his housing panel manufacturing business.

The Democratic National Committee also agreed to repay $51,525 that Osorio donated, according to another agreement filed Thursday.

Folks in the GOP blogo-Twittersphere were quick to point out that the story didn't list two other high-profile givebacks.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic National Committee chair and Broward congresswoman, returned $4,800 and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee returned $67,575.

February 21, 2013

Broken borders? Forget Mexico. Check out lines, CPB staff at Miami International Airport

@MarcACAputo

For a picture of the nation’s border struggles, look at the long lines and understaffed international-passenger checkpoints at Miami International Airport.

Up to 1,000 passengers in a single day have missed connecting flights at the airport — the busiest in the nation for international flights — because they’re held up at the Customs and Border Protection facility.

And the problem could get even worse next month because of looming federal budget cuts, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Wednesday after visiting the airport.

“Everything we are trying to do here — the additional staffing, overtime, technology…. will come to a screeching halt,” Napolitano said.

Continue reading "Broken borders? Forget Mexico. Check out lines, CPB staff at Miami International Airport" »