Our digest of, and commentary on today's Florida political news and punditry.
Wasserman Schultz, Sanders fight heating up
Update: Nancy Smith: "Democratic National Committee Chairwoman DWS tries to block voters' access to Sanders by limiting primary presidential debates; Sanders lends his formula for fundraising success and campaign charisma to Tim Canova, DWS' CD 23 challenger." "For Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Payback's a Witch."
Update 2: "Support for Tim Canova's congressional campaign is coming from the same frothing section of the populace that's pulling for Bernie Sanders. In March, two major unions — the Communication Workers of America and National Nurses United — both endorsed Canova after also throwing their support behind Sanders. (Nurses United has even been driving 'Bernie Buses' around, canvassing on foot for the frozen warlock of a presidential candidate.) Veterans for Bernie Sanders too has thrown its support behind Canova ... Today, Canova picked up yet another big endorsement, this time from the Transportation Workers United 538, which represents the 2,500 Miami International Airport employees." "Miami Airport Workers' Union Endorses Tim Canova."
"If the Bernie Sanders movement is trying to take down the Democratic political establishment, there’s probably no better place to start than Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee."
Even before Wasserman Schultz was accused of trying to rig the primary process for Hillary Clinton, her perch atop the party apparatus and failure to meet some liberal purity tests made her a target of some on the left."Now, Wasserman Schultz is facing her first real primary fight since she was elected to Congress from Florida in 2004. Her challenger is Tim Canova, a progressive law professor fueled by the Sanders movement."
"It’s a longshot, but Canova has some key actors from the Sanders coalition behind him."
Wasserman Schultz has found herself on the wrong side the left on a range of fronts, from her alleged softness on the payday lending industry, to her opposition of medical marijuana, to her perceived reluctance to back President Obama’s Iran deal, to her support for so-called fast-track trade authority opposed by critics of the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal."The Bernie Sanders proxy war in Florida."
"Actress Rosario Dawson spoke out against Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz Tuesday before introducing Bernie Sanders at a campaign rally in San Diego, California." "Rosario Dawson Bashes DNC's Wasserman Schultz at Sanders' Rally."
DWS strikes back, claiming that "that Bernie Sanders’ supporters tactics of getting the attention of superdelegates 'border on harassment and feel like stalking.'" "Wasserman Schultz: Sanders Supporters’ Tactics ‘Border On Harassment’"
"What's hot, crazy or shady about politics in the Sunshine State"
Marc Caputo: "Patrick Murphy’s SEVEN political committees – Tim Tebow for Congress? – Wasserman Schultz and Bernie Bros’ ‘borderline harassment." "Florida Playbook."
Just ask Marco
Democratic Rep. Reggie Fullwood "from Jacksonville has been indicted on charges he used more than $65,000 in campaign contributions on personal expenses like liquor, jewelry, flowers and groceries, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Jacksonville announced Friday." "Florida lawmaker faces fraud charges over campaign cash."
Little Marco skated on similar behavior: "New questions raised about Marco Rubio’s GOP credit card expenses" ("Rubio made the most of the ample leeway and little oversight party leaders gave employees and lawmakers to spend the party’s cash.")
Republicans court Tebow, liken' that homeschoolin'
"Tim Tebow has a likable, wholesome image and hasn’t ruled out running for political office one day. Now Republicans (who have courted him in the past) are hoping to have the home-schooler-turned-Heisman-winner run for Crenshaw’s seat. Don’t be surprised if Tebow doesn’t do it. He’s smart enough to know Congress isn’t a place to accomplish much these days except be a politician, take bad votes, spend most of your time fundraising for your next election or plan to run for another seat. But if he’s bitten by the political bug, watch out." "Tebow for Congress."
More: "Tim Tebow eyed for open Florida House seat, 'a shoo-in'."
Orlando retread wants to go back to Congress
"Former U.S. Rep. Ric Keller announced Thursday that he is seeking a return to Congress after 8 years. Keller, an Orlando attorney, told Fox 35 that he would be running in the 6th District for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Ponte Vedra Beach. DeSantis is running for U.S. Senate. . . . Keller also said he was "for the wall before it was cool" when asked about Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's call for a border wall with Mexico." "Former U.S. Rep. Ric Keller announces another run for Congress."
Garcia posts impressive fundraising numbers
"Former Congressman Joe Garcia, challenging Annette Taddeo in the CD 26 Democratic primary, has posted impressive fundraising numbers, bringing his total more than $325,000 in just weeks." "Joe Garcia, Fighting for CD 26, Has His Foot on the Fundraising Gas."
"Murphy Replenishes Daddy’s Cash Stash"
"They are called joint fundraising agreements, and they allow committees and members of Congress to join forces to raise campaign cash. [Democratic U.S. Rep. Patrick] Murphy’s campaign committee has agreements with seven different committees, two of which have transferred a total of $57,741 to his campaign, according to campaign finance records."
The biggest transfer to Murphy’s official campaign from a joint fundraising committee has come from Justice 2016, which has given $51,490."Murphy’s Senate bid boosted by network of fundraising agreements."
That committee is affiliated with a handful of Democrats, including Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado, Jason Kader of Missouri, Ted Strickland of Ohio, and Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, each of whom is running for Senate, and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland and Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, both of whom are members of the House running for Senate seats.
Another joint fundraising committee Murphy has with Bennet, called Peaks and Palms Senate Victory, has transferred $6,250 to his campaign. The committee has raised $40,000 from six Illinois donors who work predominantly in the finance industry.
Several other joint fundraising committees tied to Murphy’s campaign have not yet been active, while some have raised money but not transferred it directly to his campaign.
One of those joint fundraising committees, the Murphy Victory Fund, has its own fundraising agreement with the Democratic Executive Committee of Florida, which is the federal arm of the Florida Democratic Party.
The Murphy Victory Fund has raised $76,600 and transferred $56,800 to the Democratic Executive Committee of Florida.
"Joint fundraising committees are a long-standing way for campaigns to pool resources with other groups to ensure progressive candidates across Florida and the country are in the best possible position to win,” said Joshua Karp, Murphy’s communications director.
"Privileged Patrick Murphy Replenishes Daddy’s Cash Stash." See "Patrick Murphy Raises $2 Million in First Quarter."
Amelia Chassé asks: "How does Murphy explain his professed 'disgust' with money in politics with his scramble for outside cash? Apparently by lashing out at reporters, as the Tampa Bay Times’ Adam Smith found out in March."
Rubio fading into irrelevance
"When he suspended his campaign, Marco Rubio said he wasn’t running for president but urged local GOP officials to let him keep his delegates. ... The Florida senator’s strategy is hitting some turbulence, NBC News has learned, because several state parties have determined Rubio does not get to hold onto all his delegates." "Lapsed Rubio Delegates Are Up for Grabs on Convention’s First Ballot."