Bernie hasn't endorsed many down-ballot candidates, a disappointment. Until yesterday he had only officially backed Washington state Sen. Pramila Jayapal, Zephyr Teachout (NY) and Lucy Flores (NV). Yesterday, in response to a question from CNN's Jake Tapper, he endorsed Tim Canova, the intrepid, hard-fighting reformer and the opponent of Debbie Wasserman Schultz in South Florida.
Bernie expressed his preference for Canova based on policy considerations, although he did mention that if he were elected President, Wasserman Schultz would be immediately fired as DNC chair. Bill Moyers was even more definitive about Wasserman Schultz. He said that the Democratic Party won't be able to unify in time for the November elections if she stays in place and called on her to step down or be fired immediately. That would be up to President Obama and he's shown that although he wishes she'd disappear, he doesn't have the stomach to get into a fight with her.
"She embodies," wrote Moyers, "the tactics that have eroded the ability of Democrats to once again be the party of the working class. As Democratic National Committee chair she has opened the floodgates for Big Money, brought lobbyists into the inner circle and oiled all the moving parts of the revolving door that twirls between government service and cushy jobs in the world of corporate influence. And that ain’t all. As a member of Congress, particularly egregious has been her support of the payday loan business, defying new regulations from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that would rein in an industry that soaks desperate borrowers. As President Obama said, 'While payday loans might seem like easy money, folks often end up trapped in a cycle of debt.'"
Rep. Wasserman Schultz is facing a primary challenge for the first time this year, her opponent a law professor, activist and progressive Sanders supporter named Tim Canova. But the primary’s not until late August, long after the Democratic National Convention. Unless she steps down now or Hillary Clinton has her removed, Philadelphia will be dominated by someone who represents everything that has gone wrong with the Democratic Party and Washington. At the convention’s opening session, Debbie Wasserman Schultz will be bringing the gavel down squarely on progressive hopes of returning the party to its legacy as champion of working people and the dispossessed.
But she won't go. It will take Broward and Miami-Dade primary voters on August 30 to decide to replace her with Tim Canova. Tim is running a spectacular campaign, has taken in over a million dollars, all from small grassroots donors. Like Bernie, he won't accept money from SuperPACs or corporate special interests. He's been endorsed by the Nurses Union, the Transport Workers Union and the Communications Workers of America. DFA, PDA and, of course, Blue America have also weighed in on his behalf.
Wasserman Schultz whined and whined until Obama endorsed her but the White House has signaled to allies that they hope she loses her seat. Too many Bernie voters haven't been attentive to down-ballot races. Last week, Bernie had a massive landslide in Oregon and won every single county in OR-05, where a dedicated and well-qualified Berniecrat, Dave McTeague, received less than 30% of the vote against Kurt Schrader, the head of the Blue Dogs who actually introduced an amendment calling for Social Security benefits to be cut!
We all need it redouble our efforts on behalf of Tim. If you know anyone in FL-23-- south Broward County (Hollywood, Weston, Davie, Dania Beach) and part of coastal Miami-Dade (from Sunny Isles Beach to Miami Beach)-- please call them and talk with them about Wasserman Schultz and about Tim Canova. And if you can, please chip in to boost Tim's campaign at the Blue America ActBlue page.