Monday, August 01, 2016

Where Did YOU First Hear About Debbie Wasserman Schultz?


I first met Democratic activist Bob Lord in 2008 when he ran for Congress in Arizona. He didn't win that race in a deep red district but he gave entrenched incumbent John Shadegg, a far right extremist, a hard enough time that Shadegg announced he wouldn't seek reelection. Bob and I stayed in contact-- he even wrote some guest posts for us-- and he's proven to be an astute observer of Arizona politics, primarily on the popular Blog for Arizona. Yesterday he had some comments on every progressive's least favorite nemesis, Debbie Wasserman Schultz: On Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Down With Tyranny Readers Were the Least Surprised.
I love it when a blogger is the first to figure something out. Especially if the blogger is someone I know.

So, hats off to Down With Tyranny, which had Debbie Wasserman-Schultz figured out EIGHT YEARS ahead of the rest of us. I knew Down With Tyranny had been posting about DWS for some time before this election cycle. So, out of curiosity, I looked into it to see just how far back it went. Here are posts from the 2008 election cycle, when Lil’ Debbie was helping head up the DCCC’s then vaunted “red-to-blue” program.

The bone I have to pick with [Wasserman-Schultz] involves mostly her behavior as the co-chair of the Red to Blue program and her decision not to support Joe Garcia against her extreme right wing pal Mario Diaz-Balart (as well as the Democrats running against Mario’s almost equally extremist brother, Lincoln, and the clueless Bush Regime rubber stamp Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

Wasserman Schultz caused an uproar in the usually complacent Florida Democratic Party when she announced she would be sitting out these three races because of her great relations with the 3 wingnuts who have voted against virtually every single Democratic priority since Lil’ Debbie was first elected to Congress. To try to tamp down the outrage, DCCC Executive Director Brian Wolff, who refuses to remove her from her Red to Blue position, hastily penned a meaningless endorsement of Joe Garcia and the 2 other Democrats running against Wasserman Shultz’ friends, Annette Taddeo and Raul Martinez. The endorsement doesn’t come with the cash Red to Blue status Wasserman Shultz is withholding.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz– Corrupt, Bitter, Increasingly Alone And Filled With Venom (August 26, 2008):
This morning DavidNYC at Swing State Project revisited Debbie Wasserman Schultz’ determined campaign to undermine and sabotage the efforts of Miami-Dade Democrats to replace reactionary Republican extremist– and Wasserman Schultz crony-- Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, with one of the most outstanding Democratic challengers running in this election cycle, Annette Taddeo, someone the corrupt Wasserman Schultz fears could stand in her way when she seeks higher office.
Is Debbie Wasserman Schultz Even Worse Than A Corporate-Leaning “New Democrat?” (December 3, 2008):
Short answer: you have to fish pretty deep down into the barrel to find anyone as bad as Wasserman Schultz. Even though she mostly rubber stamps what the Democratic leadership wants– unless it comes into direct conflict with her financial backers, like Florida’s loathsome sugar interests– DWS is a self-serving ruthlessly ambitious gut-fighter. Few people outside of Florida had ever even heard of her until she sabotaged three Democratic congressional nominees– Joe Garcia, Raul Martinez and Annette Taddeo– who were running against 3 of her far right Republican allies, the notorious Diaz-Balart brothers and Ileana Ros-Letinen. Although she was entrusted by the Democratic caucus with a chairmanship of the Red to Blue program– the body that is charged with defeating Republicans and electing Democratic challengers– she dealt fatal body blows to the 3 South Florida Democrats and gratuitously insulted another Florida challenger, Doug Tudor, who might have won his race against Adam Putnam if the DCCC had backed him instead of following her negative and vindictive decision to ignore his race.
Is there a lesson to be learned here? I think so, but it’s a lesson anyone reading a post on this site likely has learned: Cast a wide net in your quest for information. The traditional sources leave a ton of stuff out.

I was in the middle of my own campaign when Down With Tyranny first started reporting on DWS, so I missed the early posts, but I picked up on them soon afterwards. So I knew what to expect with DWS at the helm of the DNC.

I did have my own experience with DWS during my campaign, though. At the time, I wrote it off as an absurdity, but in hindsight perhaps it says a lot about the sort of person she is. DWS was a close friend of my now deceased step-sister, who lived in South Florida. She connected me to DWS, who was generally supportive of my campaign and likely supported the DCCC placing me on the red-to-blue list. But she pulled a strange power play connected to her own PAC contribution to me, a total of $7,000 ($5,000 from her PAC and $2,000 from her campaign committee). To nail that down, I had to travel to South Florida for a fundraiser held by my step-sister and her husband. Worse, the event had to be held at a specified hotel, at kind of an exorbitant cost. Still, it made sense to do it, and I wanted to see my step-sister anyhow. Turned out to be my last chance to see her, so it actually was a really good thing.

In hindsight, that little power play I experienced was a window into Lil’ Debbie’s megalomania. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but now I can see how neatly it fits the persona we’ve all come to know.

It would be nice if we somehow collectively could identify the Lil’ Debbies of the world and remove them from positions of power earlier on. Maybe the place to start is following Down With Tyranny.
Wasserman Schultz has asked a parade of congressmembers and congressional candidates to help her to shut me up and stop writing about her. It used to make me laugh and encourage me to keep going. About a year ago, the nature of her character started to go viral and it happened just as she was about to face the first and only serious political opponent who ever ran against her. Clinton finally kicked her out of her DNC chair last week but it's up to the voters in Broward and Miami-Dade counties to kick her out of Congress August 30 and replace her with Tim Canova. As of the June 30 FEC filing deadline she had raised $3,072,629 to Tim's $2,262,482. According to her sleaziest political operative, Steve Paikowsky, a SuperPAC controlled by the sugar barons who have financed her political rise-- the notorious Trump-like Fanjul brothers-- are promising to run a million dollar smear campaign against Tim on her behalf. The job of driving Wasserman Schultz out of politics is half done but if the job isn't completed-- if the head of the serpent isn't cut off-- she'll be back spreading more of her venom, the same way she did after she was fired by the DCCC, only to be hired as DNC chair by Obama and Rahm Emanuel, where she did even more damage, very predictably so. Please, if you can, consider contributing to Tim Canova's campaign here:
Goal Thermometer

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At 3:48 PM, Blogger VG said...

I first heard of DWS right here at DWT, of course. But then I've been reading since DWT started.

At 10:44 AM, Anonymous Jacqrat said...

HEEEY, VG! Nice to see you!


At 9:36 AM, Anonymous Bil said...

Me Too VG. Good job Howie, too bad it took 8 years, thx for your flag waving, whatever.

I'm in Howie, Canova and Grayson. When are YOU going to run?

At 8:43 PM, Blogger Dan Kloke said...

Just want to point out that DWS is not alone. State level Party officials (any party) routinely interfere with rational strategy to favor their own friends/associates, at the cost of the Party's strategic interests, not to mention the interests of their voters and the citizenry in general. So DWS was (still is) insulated from criticism from her peers in the Party, and conduct by other State officers is not discussed.


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