On Thursday, Florida law professor and progressive activist Tim Canova announced he is running for Congress in FL-23, currently occupied by Debbie Wasserman Schultz. There have been petitions circulating-- one from Roots Action and one from CREDO-- to remove her as DNC chair because of her blatant bias towards the Clinton campaign. I signed them both but the roots of why Wasserman Schultz shouldn't be in Congress go much further back than this election cycle.
She's a member of the Wall Street-funded New Dem coalition but she often refers to herself as a "progressive." Last week Jodi Jacobson explained at RH Reality Check that the claim is more "a part of an effort to ally herself notionally with a growing political movement than a reflection of her actual politics, positions, or actions… You don’t get to call yourself a 'progressive' unless you walk the walk. And if anything, progressives, especially younger activists and voters, want change and accountability, not government leaders they perceive as engaged in favoritism, cronyism, and yes, complacency when it comes to corporate control of our democratic system. Wasserman Schultz’s own actions and statements seem to lay blame outside the nexus of power that she controls, rather than looking inward to how she may be contributing to the very problems," she laments.
Let's go back to a post Charles Pierce did for Esquire last summer, in which he wondered aloud why Wasserman Schultz was still at the DNC. Better question would be why was she ever put there to begin with after her catastrophic stint as head of the DCCC's "Red to Blue" program-- which she ran so badly that she was fired after favoring 3 Republican incumbents over Democrats. She so sullied the program’s reputation that the DCCC was forced to change the name.
Pierce wrote that
“[d]espite her constant presence in the nation's Green Rooms, I'm damned if I can see what she's accomplished as a national chairperson. She's presided over a catastrophic midterm election cycle that produced the worst Congress in the recent history of the Republic. And now, on at least two occasions in the past year, DWS has gone out of her way to break with the president on important foreign policy initiatives. First, she took a dive on the opening the president made with Cuba, because she is from Florida and very frightened. And now, it appears she has decided to play shenanigans with the Iran nuclear deal, both as a congresscritter and, worse, as DNC chairperson... And this is not to mention the long history that DWS has with the Fanjul family, the premier sugar dynasty in Florida, or her longtime support from the private prison industry. I mean, seriously, what has this person done to benefit the Democratic party since she took the job in 2011?”
Wassermann Schultz was co-chair of the Florida 2008 Hillary for President campaign and she has blatantly used her position at the DNC to favor Hillary and disadvantage Bernie in ways both small and big. Obama should have fired her long ago-- or should never have hired her-- and now I fear that the two petition drives launched last week by Roots Action and by CREDO won't result in her departure from the DNC. (Last I looked the two petitions had over 80,000 signatures.)
Last week, two of her closest cronies in corruption, Steve Israel and Rahm Emanuel, both looked like spent forces. Israel announced that he would not run for reelection and Emanuel appears to be on the verge of being driven out of office in Chicago. All good, but Wasserman Schultz still insists she's on track to be Speaker of the House. I'm not kidding. Gingrich, Boehner and Ryan haven't been bad enough? She could single-handedly do more to tarnish the Democratic Party brand than any Republican could ever hope to do. And that's another important reason to support Canova's campaign for the Florida seat.
It's not going to be easy, but it's not an impossible task either. The district isn't the same one she drew for herself when she was a state senator; it's much more diverse and far less likely to just go along with the powers-that-be. Canova is going to take her on over her voting record. Wassermann Schultz will, of course, be supported by the Wall Street banksters, by the Fanjul sugar empire, the alcoholic beverage industry and the private prison industry, etc. Since 2004 she's sucked up $12,419,505 for her campaigns, although she's never had a competitive race and twice didn't even have an opponent. And on top of that, she's raised another $2,650,428 for her leadership committee, money she uses exclusively to buy allies in Congress.
Canova is running a grassroots campaign and his ability to challenge Wasserman Schultz effectively is going to depend on individual donors. If you'd like to contribute to his campaign, you can do it on this Blue America ActBlue page. And... we've got our first matching donation offer of the new year: of the next $2,500 in contributions to Canova's race on this page. Our matcher explains:
Matching donations expresses only a small part of my excitement about Prof. Canova’s candidacy. On policy, besides understanding and teaching a variety of public policy issues, Prof. Canova’s understanding of U.S. monetary policy and how it suffers from the structure and culture of the Federal Reserve, is very broad and deep. This once-arcane issue has, since 2008, hurt every American other than executives and shareholders of big banks, as Prof. Canova has explained clearly in his article here, which provides troubling answers to:
Why help Wall Street creditors and not Main Street debtors? Why purchase trillions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities from banks, but not help the actual homeowners who are upside down on their mortgages?
On politics, Prof. Canova’s candidacy will:
- Educate, register and turn out more voters in the biggest electoral college swing state, which has the greatest influence over who wins the Presidential general election-- and over which Presidential candidates are perceived as more "electable"
- Teach insiders that there is a cost for actions like Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s, in serving as the establishment’s most blatant killer of what remained of Howard Dean’s (successful!) 50 state strategy.
- Help us replace DWS with a new DNC chair, who might steer its policies away from protecting Hillary (and others) from Progressive primary challengers.