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July 25, 2016

Boos rain down on Wasserman Schultz at Florida convention breakfast

DEM 2016 Philadelphia (1)


PHILADELPHIA -- Mayhem met U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Monday morning when she made her first public appearance after being forced out as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee.

“Shame!” yelled protesters enraged at the Weston congresswoman over leaked Democratic Party emails that suggested her staff favored Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders during the presidential primary. They held signs that read, simply, “EMAILS.”

Wasserman Schultz might have expected a warm embrace at the breakfast of the Florida delegation to the Democratic National Convention. Instead, she found herself hardly able to speak over the boos.

It was exactly the scenario Democratic leaders hoped to avoid by removing her from the convention speaking program Saturday. On Sunday, she said she would resign from her chair post by the end of the convention, on Thursday.

More here.

Photo credit: Matt Slocum, Associated Press

Gov. Scott's statement on Fort Myers nightclub shootings

Gov. Rick Scott issued a statement Monday in response to a mass shooting overnight at a club in Fort Myers in which two people were reported dead and at least 16 people injured, according to multiple news reports. The shooting took place at Club Blu, which held a special "teen night" Sunday for children as young as age 12.

It was the second time in six weeks that a Florida club was the target of a mass shooting after 49 people were slaughtered at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, on June 12.

The text of Scott's statement:

"Following the horrific news of a shooting at a nightclub in Fort Myers, I spoke with Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson, Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott and Fort Myers interim police chief Dennis Eads to offer my assistance from the state. I have cancelled my events today to meet with law enforcement and local officials in Fort Myers. While we are still learning the details about what happened this morning, we know that some of the victims of this terrible incident were children. We will continue to pray for the victims and their families."

Tim Canova gets fundraising boost from Debbie Wasserman Schultz resignation

Tim Canova, who is running in a primary against U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, raised more than $100,000 since the Wikileaks email story broke as of mid-day Monday, said Canova's campaign manager Richard Bell.

"Except for the day that Bernie (Sanders) endorsed yesterday was our best day," Bell said.

The email story led Wasserman Schultz to resign.

Wasserman Schultz has raised about $3.1 million through June. Canova's campaign has raised more than $2.5 million through Monday. A Nova Southeastern University law professor from Hollywood, Canova is Wasserman Schultz's first primary opponent in the Broward/Miami-Dade district since she first won in 2004.

Wealthy Orlando trial lawyer John Morgan said Monday he is still deciding whether to invest in a PAC in an effort to defeat Wasserman Schultz. Morgan has said for months he was considering forming a PAC but was awaiting a poll to assess Canova's chances. No polls have been released in the race and Canova's campaign manager Richard Bell said the campaign hasn't polled.

"She has been severely damaged," Morgan said in an email to the Herald. "This is like 5MM of negative press. ... I think Philly has shown the world that what I have been saying everyone was thinking.

Wasserman Schultz resigned after 19,000 party emails were published on WikiLeaks. In her first public appearance at the DNC today at the Florida delegation breakfast, she encountered protests.

Vice President Joe Biden will host a fundraiser for Wasserman Schultz at the Cruz Building in Coconut Grove Aug. 5, said Fort Lauderdale lawyer Mike Moskowitz.

After DNC email leak, Tim Canova may file an FEC complaint against Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Tim Canova's campaign may file a complaint with the Federal Election Commission against U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston.

"We are exploring it quite seriously," said Canova's campaign manager Richard Bell. The campaign has a lawyer, Leonard Collins of Broad and Cassel, who is researching a potential FEC complaint which relates to information gleaned from the 19,000 party emails published by Wikileaks.

The emails were released Friday leading Wasserman Schultz to announce her resignation Sunday.

Those emails showed that party staffers favored Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders

If the emails are authentic, “what they do is indicate not only has Debbie’s team had their thumb on the scale in the presidential race but it also seems in our campaign as well,” said Canova's campaign manager Richard Bell.

The emails show that the DNC was tracking Canova's media coverage and speaking engagements including what is referred to as an "Alaska Counter Event" in the emails. Canova, as well as Sanders' wife Jane, were scheduled to speak via Skype on the same evening that Wasserman Schultz was going to speak to the Alaska Democratic Party.

"This is all the FB post has so we need the state party to do some digging," wrote Luis Miranda, DNC spokesman.

The emails show that DNC staffers were working on Wasserman Schultz's primary even though they weren't paid by her campaign, Bell said.

Canova is her first primary reelection challenger in the Broward/Miami-Dade district since she was first elected in 2004. Sanders endorsed Canova.

Earlier this year Canova battled with the Florida Democratic Party to gain access to the voter file, which he eventually received. That's one of the topics in the DNC emails in which a staffer received a questions about whether Wasserman Schultz was involved in blocking Canova's access.

"Debbie was never involved in any way, shape or form," said Scott Arceneaux,  Florida Democratic Party executive director, in an one of the leaked emails.

This post will be updated if Wasserman Schultz's campaign responds.




July 24, 2016

Dave Barry chases farts (really!) and hot air at Democratic convention

via @rayadverb

PHILADELPHIA -- The Democrats are gathering here in the City of Brotherly and Sisterly and Nonspecific-Genderly Love, and their mood is cautiously optimistic as they prepare to roll out Hillary Clinton and her inspirational new campaign slogan: “Still Not Indicted!”

This slogan represents a subtle effort to counteract the unfortunate image of Clinton as dishonest and untrustworthy, which is the result of the many phony allegations concerning so-called “scandals” cooked up by right-wing anti-Clinton extremist groups such as the so-called “Federal Bureau of Investigation.”

The most recent, of course, involves Clinton’s allegedly careless handling, while she was secretary of state, of allegedly official emails that might have allegedly contained material that allegedly might have been classified, allegedly. This drives Clinton supporters CRAZY, because she has completely refuted this allegation via the following arguments:

1. It never happened.

2. If it did happen, it was YEARS ago.

3. Many other respected American leaders such as Abraham Lincoln did exactly the same thing!

4. There is no documentary proof that Hillary Clinton was ever secretary of state.


More here.

Wasserman Schultz to step down as Democratic Party chair


PHILADELPHIA -- Engulfed by a political firestorm over damning leaked emails,, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said Sunday she will step down as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee.

Her resignation will be effective at the end of the Democratic National Convention, which starts Monday and ends Thursday in Philadelphia.

Story will be updated here

Here's her statement:

I have been privileged to serve as the DNC Chair for five and a half years helping to re-elect President Obama and Vice President Biden, strengthening our State Party Partnership in all 50 states, leading a vigorous primary election this past year while preparing for the general election and representing millions of Democrats across the country. I couldn’t be more excited that Democrats are nominating our first woman presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, a friend I have always believed in and know will be a great President.

We arrived here in Philadelphia with the most inclusive and progressive platform the party has ever proposed and a unified recommendation from the Rules Committee on our path forward as Democrats. I am proud of my role in leading these efforts.

My first priority has always been serving the people of the 23rd district of Florida and I look forward to continuing to do that as their member of Congress for years to come. As the mother of my three amazing children and the Representative of Florida’s 23rd congressional district, I know that electing Hillary Clinton as our next president is critical for America’s future. I look forward to serving as a surrogate for her campaign in Florida and across the country to ensure her victory.

Going forward, the best way for me to accomplish those goals is to step down as Party Chair at the end of this convention. As Party Chair, this week I will open and close the Convention and I will address our delegates about the stakes involved in this election not only for Democrats, but for all Americans. We have planned a great and unified Convention this week and I hope and expect that the DNC team that has worked so hard to get us to this point will have the strong support of all Democrats in making sure this is the best convention we have ever had.

I’ve been proud to serve as the first woman nominated by a sitting president as Chair of the Democratic National Committee and I am confident that the strong team in place will lead our party effectively through this election to elect Hillary Clinton as our 45th president.


Debbie Wasserman Schultz's tricky role at Democratic convention


A week before the start of the Democratic National Convention, its chairwoman, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, strolled into the arena — of the opposing party’s presidential convention.

Heads turned. What’s she doing here, mouthed incredulous Republicans at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

But Wasserman Schultz, persona non grata at the GOP, wasn’t engaging in covert political ops. She was being escorted into one of CNN’s makeshift studios to do what she does best: aggressively deliver the Democratic Party line.

“We should never let Donald Trump anywhere near the White House,” she said in another CNN appearance later in the week.

Consider it a warm-up for the Democratic convention, which begins Monday in Philadelphia and which will mark the culmination of more than a year’s work for the Weston congresswoman.

For Hillary Clinton, the presumptive presidential nominee, the convention will feel like a coronation. For Wasserman Schultz, the target of devotees of Clinton rival Bernie Sanders, it will probably feel much different. The woman tasked with holding the national party together is one of the reasons some of them feel divided.

On Friday, the WikiLeaks website published a trove of more than 19,000 Democratic National Committee emails that detail the party’s rancorous relationship with Sanders’ campaign. Last month, Wasserman Schultz acknowledged a “serious” email breach, that people knowledgeable about the incident blamed on Russian hackers.

More here.

UPDATE: CNN reports Wasserman Schultz won't deliver a convention speech -- unlike her Republican counterpart Reince Priebus last week -- "to keep the peace" among delegates in the wake of the email leak.

July 23, 2016

Trump coming to Miami on Tuesday for postponed Hispanic luncheon


Newly minted Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump will come to Miami on Tuesday to have lunch with Hispanic leaders, his campaign announced Saturday.

The roundtable luncheon was postponed earlier this month after the deadly shootings of Dallas police officers. The campaign had promised to reschedule it.

It's unclear if Tuesday's plans will mirror the ones from July 8, when Trump was supposed to sit down with pastors, politicians and other Latino community leaders at Versailles Cuban restaurant. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio had planned to attend, in what would have been his first campaign event with Trump. Trump's campaign manager, Paul Manafort, held a conference call with some of the guests when the lunch was called off.

Trump had also planned a rally that day, but his new schedule doesn't mention one. It also mentions no luncheon details.

In Miami, Kaine joins Clinton on stage for first time as VP pick


@PatriciaMazzei @AmySherman1 @alextdaugherty

Tim Kaine made his debut as Hillary Clinton’s running mate Saturday at Florida International University, taking the stage with the soon-to-be Democratic presidential nominee in bilingual Miami so that he could show off his Spanish.

Bienvenidos a todos,” he said. Turning to Clinton, he added: “We’re going to becompañeros del alma.” Soul mates.

The Democratic ticket arrived on Miami time, more than an hour late, to deafening applause and “Aint No Mountain High Enough.” They held hands, smiled and waved.

“He is a progressive who likes to get things done,” Clinton said, using the same words she’s used to describe herself. “That’s just my kind of guy, Tim!”

Kaine accepted Clinton’s offer to be her vice president Friday night, ending months of speculation that the Virginia senator and former governor — a harmonica player who describes himself as “boring” — sat atop of Clinton’s VP shortlist. The Democratic National Convention, where Clinton and Kaine will formally become their party’s ticket, begins Monday in Philadelphia.

The FIU rally was Clinton’s first public event in South Florida since the night of the March 15 Florida primary, when she celebrated her sweeping victory in West Palm Beach. She campaigned Friday in Orlando and Tampa.


More here.

Photo credit: Al Diaz, Miami Herald staff

Fact-checking Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton's running mate


Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine will join Hillary Clinton on the Democratic ticket for president.

Clinton ended weeks of speculation Friday ahead of next week’s Democratic National Convention, tweeting and texting her selection at about 8:15 p.m. Friday.

"I'm thrilled to announce my running mate, @TimKaine, a man who's devoted his life to fighting for others.," Clinton said on Twitter.

Kaine has been vocal in his support for Clinton on the campaign trail. At a rally in Annandale, Virginia, Kaine tried out for the role — drawing contrasts between Clinton and the Republican nominee Donald Trump.

"Do you want a ‘you’re fired’ president or a ‘you’re hired’ president?," he asked the July 14 crowd. "Do you want a trash-talker president or a bridge-builder president? Do you want a me-first president or a kids-and-families-first president?"

Kaine has been a figure in Virginia politics for a while. He was lieutenant governor from 2002-06, governor from 2006-10. He has been serving as a U.S. senator since 2013.

PolitiFact has looked at 27 of Kaine’s claims on the Truth-O-Meter. 78 percent have been rated True, Mostly True, or Half True.

Keep reading Neelesh Moorthy's article from PolitiFact.

Photo by the Associated Press