Saturday, January 30, 2016

Wasserman Schultz Running Scared In Her South Florida Lair


Debbie Wasserman Schultz doesn't need to appeal to hard-working Americans for her campaign funds. Her political career has been completely underwritten by the special interests she serves, like Big Sugar, Wall Street, crooked lobbyists and the private prison industry. But that doesn't stop her from sending out a barrage of e-mails weekly begging grassroots Democrats for money and lying about her ugly record. Yesterday she was whining that "I have a bigger target on my back then ever before-- and it's because I stand up for South Florida families and for the Democratic values that help them get ahead and stay safe: things like Social Security, Medicare, equal pay, and commonsense gun safety measures."

Nope, that isn't why she has a target on her back. She has a target on her back because she's one of the worst and most corrupt Democrats in Congress and because she has left Democrats in South Florida down again and again.

"With my primary and general election opponents and their outsider friends taking aim, we can’t take a single second for granted. Friends, we need to step up to the plate with twice the amount of intensity so we can be prepared for whatever they throw at us. Can you help us by putting $5 or $10 toward our January fundraising goal? Our deadline is Sunday at MIDNIGHT."

Deadline for what? Her next e-mail begging for money? This is a deceitful and self-serving politician, a member of the Wall Street-owned New Dems, who needs to be driven out of government to make way for a public servant. FL-23 is a solidly blue district and if crusading progressive Tim Canova wins the primary, there is no need to worry about a GOP takeover. A district like this deserves to have a real progressive representing it instead of a grotesquely corrupt tool of the special interests, like Wasserman Schultz.

Zach Carter is one of HuffPo's savviest writers. Friday he looked at what's really going on in the south Broward/Miami-Dade district Wasserman Schultz has been operating her scams out of for years. "Wasserman Schultz," he wrote, "is best-known for her tumultuous tenure as chair of the Democratic National Committee. But she's also a congresswoman from a solidly liberal district in Florida. This month she drew a formidable primary challenger in Tim Canova, a law professor who studies big finance with a critical eye." The challenge she has from progressive Democrat Tim Canova is the toughest of her entire sleazy political career. Democrats may actually be rid of her after this year. Canova: "On all these issues that I've been writing about for so many years-- trade, banking, money in politics-- she toes the Wall Street line... People want politicians who will represent them and not sell them out." (You can contribute to Canova's grassroots campaign here.)
The contest between Wasserman Schultz and Canova mirrors the internal conflict that has roiled the Democratic Party in the years following the crash. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has vaulted from a bankruptcy scholar to one of the most popular Democrats in Congress-- but many of her top legislative priorities have been thwarted by old party hands. At the presidential campaign level, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is marshaling the same anti-corporate momentum against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who most party insiders had picked to take the nomination in a walk.

But the Florida race could well reveal more about the Democratic Party than any other contest this cycle, including the one for president. There are no electability considerations for Democrats in Florida's 23rd District, which stretches from just south of Fort Lauderdale to Miami Beach. Whoever wins the Democratic nomination will make it to Congress. It's a question of whether a bald, male, not-quite-so-accomplished version of Warren can defeat a proven fundraiser with deep connections forged over the course of a decade in office. It's a test of whether progressive ideas or corporate money are more central to the Democratic Party's future.

...While the headlines about the DNC's management have made their way to Florida, Canova is focusing his attacks on Wasserman Schultz's voting record. The issue that convinced him to run, he said, was her vote in favor of President Barack Obama's trade agenda this summer-- particularly a provision allowing corporations to challenge domestic laws and regulations before an international court.

"I've been teaching international trade law for many years," Canova said. "I'm very concerned about the investor-state provisions in the [Trans-Pacific Partnership]."

The TPP became a major progressive cause, bolstered by Warren's very public opposition to the same provision Canova criticizes. But Canova himself is all but unknown in electoral politics. His only tenure in Washington came as an aide to Sen. Paul Tsongas (D-Mass.) in the mid-1980s. The two men got along well, but it wasn't a good ideological fit. Tsongas was one of the pioneers in the Democratic Party's turn toward GOP economic ideas during the Reagan era. Canova, by contrast, was already sharpening his knives against big banks. Two of his letters to the editor on financial policy were published in the New York Times, and he even wrote a feature for the Washington City Paper on the collapse of Continental Illinois-- at the time the largest bank failure in American history and the birth of the phrase "too big to fail." Canova argued (correctly) that deregulation had destabilized American finance, and predicted a rash of upcoming bank failures that are today known as the Savings and Loan Crisis.

...Since her earliest days in Congress, Wasserman Schultz has identified as a member of the New Democrat coalition-- a group of lawmakers who take progressive stands on social issues, but are sympathetic to GOP economic policies.

Signing up with the New Democrats was once seen as a savvy move for ambitious young politicians, allowing them to woo liberal voters on abortion, gay rights and other issues while consolidating a power base among corporate elites.

Sometimes Wasserman Schultz's corporate favoritism is subtle. She voted in favor of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform bill-- but has also voted [like corrupt Schumercrat Patrick Murphy] to repeal key aspects of the law and hamstring regulators from implementing it.

There's nothing subtle about her fundraising success. Wasserman Schultz raised $2.2 million for her leadership PAC in 2014-- almost double what Nancy Pelosi brought in, and just behind the haul generated by Steny Hoyer, the second-ranking House Democrat. So far in the 2016 cycle, she has received contributions from Goldman Sachs, Comcast, Google, Lockheed Martin, the Major League Baseball Commissioner's Office, the Transport Workers Union and lobby groups representing all kinds of different industries.

This is on top of the money she raises for the DNC itself. She even deploys her own personal campaign fund on behalf of other Democrats, giving $270,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2014-- money that the DCCC in turn spent on House races.

This money doesn't just help put Democrats in office -- it generates loyalty. Everybody who gets a check from a Wasserman Schultz fund knows that he or she owes her something. And there are a lot of debtors. In the last cycle, 96 Democrats got money from Wasserman Schultz's PAC. Twenty-eight Democrats have already received money from her PAC for the 2016 elections.

So not many Democrats highlight the breaches Wasserman Schultz makes with her party. She waffled on the Iran deal when Obama was looking for support. She opposes not only legalizing marijuana for recreational use, but also medical marijuana (Canova highlights her fundraising from the alcohol lobby and private prisons-- two groups that have a financial interest in blocking medical marijuana). She also voted to hamstring the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's new rules against shady payday lenders, and to help auto dealers charge more to customers of color. When Warren and Pelosi led a revolt against a government funding bill over federal subsidies for risky Wall Street trades, Wasserman Schultz supported the package.

..."She's not progressive," said Howie Klein, a former record company president who now runs Blue America PAC, a fundraising group that supports liberal candidates and is backing Canova. "Tim is who he says he is. He's terrific."

Blue America is currently backing only one other challenger to a sitting Democrat in Congress. But a chance to take down the DNC chair was worth the gamble. Klein has been eyeing Wasserman Schultz since 2008-- before she was tapped to head the DNC-- when she refused to support three Democratic candidates over Republican incumbents.

...The primary election for the Florida House doesn't take place until August, months after the presidential primary. Canova will not benefit from any Sanders supporters looking to turn the tide at the top of the ticket. But even a close race would demonstrate that Democratic voters want to see a different policy course than what their leaders are offering.

"I think there need to be progressive challenges to incumbents around the country, even in primaries," Canova said. "Most of these members of Congress have safe seats for the general election, so if they're not challenged in the primary, what does that say about our democracy? There's no contested election in the primary, there's no real contested election in the fall. They get a free pass the entire time. And of course they're going to keep voting the interests of the big corporations that are funding their campaign."
Please consider beating back corrupt conservatives in Congress-- like Wasserman Schultz, Donald Norcross, and Gene Green-- by supporting progressives like Canova, Alex Law and Adrian Garcia. And you can find them all on this page.

Labels: , , , , ,


At 7:48 AM, Blogger U.S. Citizen said...

Hillary light?


Post a Comment

<< Home