Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Luis Garcia Withdraws From Congressional Race In Florida-- Blames Debbie Wasserman Schultz And Steve Israel


Last year DWT short-circuited for a few minutes when the DCCC, after identifying career criminal and woman beater David Rivera as the most vulnerable Republican incumbent in the country, practically handed him reelection on a platter by recruiting Luis Garcia. At the time, I wrote, "It's as though Israel said, find me the worst garbage in the state and bring him to me. Voila-- Luis Garcia, a former member of the Democrats For Jeb Bush steering committee, who recently threatened to switch parties and join the Republicans."

Luis Garcia is a Steve Israel kind of Democrat, except for one thing-- he can't raise any money and he's as lazy as a log. Last month Israel started pressuring him to get out of the race, by recruiting another (equally lame) candidate. Monday night Luis Garcia stomped his feet, withdrew from the congressional race and threatened-- once again-- to leave the Democratic Party. I wish he'd take Steve Israel with him. He's running for County Commissioner against Bruno Barreiro and his sugar daddy, wealthy Republican auto magnate Norman Braman, to finance that race. (Braman and his wife have poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into the careers of right wing politicians, Republican front groups and a few super-corrupt Democrats like Debbie Wasserman Schultz.)
"As I'm looking around, I think I can affect more issues here, at the local level," said Garcia, a former Miami Beach fire chief and later city commissioner, who in his six years in the Florida Legislature has represented many of the same constituents as Barreiro. "The way the county is managed right now, you have different kingdoms. A commissioner is basically a king ... They are not responsive to their constituents."

Garcia also said he will likely leave the Democratic Party and have no party affiliation because he is so disappointed with how national Democrats treated him in the Congressional campaign.

The question now for Democrats is whether they will be able to find a viable candidate able to raise enough money and enough of a profile to challenge Rivera.

Democrats have said they want to target Rivera's swing seat, which they see as winnable because Rivera has been under a cloud of investigations into his personal and campaign finances since before taking office.

However, the state investigation against Rivera has stalled, and the candidates Democrats have tried to recruit appear reluctant to run. Former Miami-Dade Commissioner Jimmy Morales said he is not running, and former Miami-Dade Mayor Alex Penelas told The Miami Herald on Friday that he was not sure he would jump in the race even if Garcia, as was rumored, dropped out.

...Predicted Garcia: "They're going to revive a couple of political cadavers that have lost other elections ... They missed a big opportunity to take that seat back."

Looks like ex-Democrat Luis Garcia was taking a potshot at solid Democrat Joe Garcia, the best possible candidate for the seat. (And it looks like he's considering jumping in. In fact he said, “I’m more than thinking about it, because clearly there are very few people who have the name recognition and the team and the possibility to put a campaign together for a United States congressional seat in a few weeks.”) Luis isn't right about much, but if it's left up to Israel and Wasserman Schultz, he isn't far from the mark. These two clowns can't do anything right.

And speaking of how lame and incompetent-- and thoroughly corrupt-- Steve Israel is, one of his mentors was in the Rolling Stone this week. No, not Vanilla Ice; Rick Perlstein took a shot at explaining how exactly Rahm Emanuel has a problem with democracy.
Rahm Emanuel is no friend of democracy.

You may have heard about the unprecedented restrictions on protest for the G8 that Emanuel rushed through the City Council-- the "sit down and shut up ordinances," Occupy Chicago calls them-- granting the mayor the power to deploy surveillance cameras across the city without approval or oversight, and quadrupling, to $200, the fine for rallying without a permit (and making said permit almost impossible to obtain). But did you hear about the nearly $200,000 contract for new full-face police shields-- Emanuel’s first deployment of his new power to purchase goods and services for the summit without City Council approval or competitive bidding? How about the solicitation of bids for medieval joust-style riot armor for police horses, or the provisions to deputize to the Chicago police "other law enforcement agencies as determined by the superintendent of police necessary for the fulfillment of law enforcement functions"-- a possible wedge for the introduction of private security firms like Xi, the former Blackwater.

The cops sure do love their new masks. Which has long-memoried Chicago lefties freaking out. "People have been known to throw bags of urine, human feces, and also inflammatories at officers," claims Mike Shields, the aptly named president of the Chicago police union, and the old shields "allow for fluids to drip through." In 1968, the city justified the beating of peaceful protesters at the Democratic National Convention with just such piss-and-shit claims, which were almost certainly urban legends, according to Chicago investigative journalist Lewis Z. Koch, who produced all the street footage at the convention for NBC news in 1968. Koch also finds contemporary parallels in the games the city played then with protesters' requests for permits to march near the action. People who want to protest will protest anyway, permits or not-- that's what happened in 1968-- but by complicating the permitting process the city ensures that the protesters who show up will be mainly the most committed extremists, raising the likelihood of violent confrontations. Perhaps that’s why Obama pulled the plug: He grasped that Mayor Emanuel's macho bullshit made an apocalyptic smackdown during "Occupy Spring" almost inevitable.

...What Rahm seems to be doing is building a new machine for our age of union busting and austerity. His budget, which the City Council passed 50 to 0 like it was some Soviet Party Congress (maybe it had something to do with the hundreds of thousands Goldner's PAC had to spend), killed six community mental health clinics, saving $2.3 million dollars, and proposed to carve $10 million and 110 union jobs from Chicago’s libraries; in the face of protest, he restored $5.3 million and 55 workers to the system, which Alter claims shows how flexible and magnanimous he is. As the progressive Chicago journalist Curtis Black points out, it’s instructive to compare that $7 million in precious, precious budget savings to some of the free public money he’s handed out to corporations. An animal testing company that serves Big Pharma, Experimur LLC, got $3.7 in "tax increment financing"-- basically a loan given with little public accountability that’s supposed to be paid back by the tax revenue future growth creates-- to save their 26 jobs: "It does appear that, job-wise, libraries get you a bigger bang for your buck," he told the Community Media Workshop’s publication Newstips. And he offered his second biggest campaign contributor, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange already a very profitable corporation, a TIF grant of $15 million for office renovations, including a luxury bathroom. (The CME turned the grant down.)

Welcome to the new machine: cuts to schools, libraries, and mental health; cash to corporations. And should you have the insolence to protest it– well, you’d better be able to afford a damned good lawyer.

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