By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: August 31, 2016
Democratic primary voters in South Florida’s 23rd Congressional District ignored the Democratic National Committee scandal that has engulfed Debbie Wasserman Schultz and gave the incumbent a 56.46 percent win over her Democratic challenger, Tim Canova, who claimed 43.54 percent of the vote. Unfortunately for Canova, who had the backing of Senator Bernie Sanders and his supporters, Independents were not allowed to vote in this closed primary.
Wasserman Schultz will still have to compete against a Republican rival, Joe Kaufman, in the November 8 general election. Her District is heavily Democratic, however, and she is expected to achieve an easy win – unless new scandals arrive between now and election day.
Canova is a law professor at Nova Southeastern University. This was his first endeavor in running for public office. His strong showing in this race and his ability to raise $3.3 million from predominantly small donors around the country suggests that voters have not heard the last from Tim Canova.
Fundraising data at the Center for Responsive Politics shows that Wasserman Schultz’s main campaign committee raised a similar $3,373,950 but her Leadership PAC spent an additional $1,193,571. According to Politico, the “super PAC Patriot Majority PAC also spent $640,000 to back her.”
Unlike Canova, whose small donors constituted 75 percent of his fundraising total, only 23 percent of Wasserman Schultz’s main campaign committee donors were small.
During the primary campaign, Canova had repeatedly challenged Wasserman Schultz on her ability to fairly represent the interests of her constituents when in her role as Chair of the DNC she has allowed the Wall Street takeover of the Democratic party. Campaign records for her primary campaign committee and/or her Leadership PAC show she was receiving large checks from many of the same Wall Street billionaire hedge fund or private equity titans as Hillary Clinton’s committees and PACs: S. Donald Sussman of Paloma Partners, Paul Tudor Jones of Tudor Investments, and Haim Saban of Saban Capital to name just a few. (See related articles below.)
Hedge funds and private equity firms are desperate to hold on to their tax perversion known as “carried interest,” which allows their winnings to be taxed at rates lower than those paid by some plumbers and nurses. In no small part, it’s how hedge fund operators ended up as billionaires, effectively subsidized by the U.S. wage earner.
Given the amount of outside money that has sluiced into the Wasserman Schultz campaign, her statement to the Palm Beach Post after winning the primary yesterday was almost comedic. Wasserman Schultz told the newspaper:
“It really fills my heart to know the people I have represented said with this margin and this vote that ‘We know her and we have been able to count on her for all these years and we want her to keep fighting for us.’ They aren’t going to let millions of dollars from people outside the state decide who is going to represent our community in Washington.”
After Wasserman Schultz came under withering criticism for a joint fundraising committee between Hillary Clinton and the DNC, which effectively ignored the existence of the primary challenger, Senator Bernie Sanders, in late July Wikileaks leaked emails from key officials of the DNC which showed they were plotting to derail the Sanders’ campaign. One email suggested a strategy of calling Sanders an atheist (which Sanders says he is not) while another suggested portraying his campaign as “a mess.” Wasserman Schultz was caught in various emails referring to Sanders’ campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, as “an ass,” “particularly scummy” and a “damn liar.” On the very eve of the Democratic National Convention, Wasserman Schultz was forced to announce her resignation as Chair of the DNC and stripped of her ceremonial duties during the Convention.
Article 5, Section 4 of the DNC Charter mandates the following:
“The Chairperson shall be responsible for ensuring that the national officers and staff of the Democratic National Committee maintain impartiality and evenhandedness during the Democratic Party Presidential nominating process.”
In a televised debate between Wasserman Schultz and Canova, the Congresswoman said that no laws were broken at the DNC. A Federal Court has been asked to make that determination. A Federal class action lawsuit has been filed against the DNC and Wasserman Schultz alleging fraud, negligent misrepresentation, deceptive conduct, unjust enrichment, breach of fiduciary duty, and negligence. The suit,Wilding et al v DNC Services Corporation and Deborah ‘Debbie’ Wasserman Schultz (Case Number 16-cv-61511-WJZ) was filed on June 28, 2016.