The DNC is “Feeling the Bern” – Debbie Wasserman Schultz Faces Serious Primary Challenge

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Debbie Wasserman Schultz has not had a great last couple of months. The Florida Congress member and embattled Democratic National Committee Chair has been repeatedly criticized for leading the committee both ineffectively and with a heavy hand, and for an alleged bias toward Hillary Clinton that has made the party’s presidential debates few and far between—one reason why the Republican candidates have dominated the political discussion. The progressive wing of the party base is volubly getting fed up with her.

Now, if the increased calls for her to step down from her post as party head weren’t enough, Wasserman Schultz is also facing the prospect of a tough primary challenge from the left. Liberal economist and longtime Wall Street–reform advocate Tim Canova announced last week that he will challenge Wasserman Schultz in the August 30 primary in Florida’s 23rd Congressional District. Touting a platform that closely mirrors Bernie Sanders’s, Canova hopes that the energy Sanders has roused nationally could work to his advantage in the South Florida district. Given Wasserman Schultz’s prominence, the primary could turn into a referendum pitting the progressive wing of the Democratic Party against its establishment wing, in much the way the (successful) primary challenge by another economist, Dave Brat, against then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was a test of strength between the Republicans’ factions.

Over the years, says Canova, Wasserman Schultz has become less accountable to her district and more responsive to Wall Street. “She’s become such a corporate Democrat; she takes so much corporate money,” Canova says. “The way she talks the talk isn’t the way she walks the walk. That kind of unaccountable power needs to be challenged.”

– From the American Prospect article: Can a Sanders ‘Proxy’ Oust Debbie Wasserman Schultz?

The times they are a-changin’. It’s not often that that most interesting Congressional race in an election year proves to be a primary challenge, but that’s exactly how its beginning to look in 2016.

On August 30th, the head of the Democratic National Committee, and sleazy corporate politician extraordinaire, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, will face a serious primary challenge courtesy of Tim Canova in Florida’s 23rd Congressional District. Haven’t heard of Mr. Canova yet? You will soon.

From The Hill:

For Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), the problems with the left just keep coming.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) chief has infuriated many Democrats with her handling of the party’s presidential primary debates. She drew further howls from liberals for deeming a whole generation of young women “complacent” about their abortion freedoms.

And now she’s facing a primary challenge from a liberal Wall Street reformer who says she’s a corporate shill detached from her district.

The challenge highlights the difficulty facing Wasserman Schultz as she juggles her dual roles as Florida representative and head of the DNC — duties that sometimes come into conflict.

Timothy Canova, a professor at the Shepard Broad College of Law in Florida’s Nova Southeastern University, says Wasserman Schultz’s positions on trade, criminal justice, consumer protection and drug policy reform — among others — are evidence that she’s sold out to corporate interests at the expense of her constituents.

It marks the first primary challenge to Wasserman Schultz since her arrival on Capitol Hill in 2005.

Canova launched his bid last week on a platform that pulls more than a few pages from that of populist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the Democratic presidential hopeful who’s waged a surprisingly strong challenge to front-runner Hillary Clinton by attacking from the left.

In that mold, Canova is vowing to fight President Obama’s trade agenda, reform the criminal justice system, rein in big banks and curtail the influence of money in politics — all issues where he sees Wasserman Schultz as vulnerable.

“She takes a lot of corporate money, and she votes for corporate interests contrary to the interest of her own constituents.”

He says she fought against new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau guidelines governing car loans and pay-day lenders.

He’s quick to note that she opposed a 2014 Florida referendum to legalize medical marijuana, calling her “a drug warrior” in the pockets of a private prison industry that promotes incarcerations.

And he’s highlighting the fact that she was one of just 28 House Democrats to support the fast-track trade bill that’s greased the skids for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a huge international accord that’s a top priority of Obama but remains anathema to liberals in his own party.

Indeed, her TPP vote was completely shameless. As the American Prospect pointed out, “in recent years Wasserman Schultz has received $300,000 in from interest groups backing the trade deal.”

She’s also been at the center of the ongoing controversy over the Democrats’ presidential debate schedule. The DNC stirred a hornet’s nest last year in announcing six debates through the primary season –– roughly a quarter of the number of debates in 2008 and half the number available to the Republican candidates this cycle.

Democratic leaders have rushed to Wasserman Schultz’s defense. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) this month said she has full confidence in the DNC head to lead the party to success at the polls in November.

“She has all the stamina and enthusiasm for the job that she has, and I believe that she has the confidence of the president and will the nominee of our party,” Pelosi said. “And that’s where these decisions are made.”

Nice to see Pelosi come in and tell the plebs how things works. Notice “the people” don’t make the decisions, and that’s the way she likes it.

The civil war in the Democratic party is real and refreshing. The only question is whether or not the corrupt corporate shills in charge will finally get the boot. Stay tuned.

For related articles, see:

Peak Desperation – Clinton Campaign Deploys Strategist for Wall Street Mega Banks to Attack Bernie Sanders

Hillary “Feels the Bern” – Record Numbers of Members Vote to Endorse Sanders by Massive Margin

Who’s the Real Progressive? A Side by Side Comparison of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton’s Lifetime Donors

Video of the Day – Bernie Sanders Says “I Think the Business Model of Wall Street is Fraud”

Former Aide to Bill Clinton Speaks – “My Party Has Lost its Soul”

In Liberty,
Michael Krieger

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  1. You’ve come across a number of times now like you support Sanders and other socialists of his ilk as if they would take the fight to Wall Street. Do you not understand that Wall Street is as it is precisely the way it is because of the political system and that no amount of action by politicians will change that? Do you honestly believe that a socialist will actually make things better?

    • Michael Krieger

      Chris, I never said that I support Sanders, but I without a doubt want him to blow Hillary Clinton out of the water in the Democratic primaries. Should Sanders win the Democratic nomination, I will further refine my thoughts on the man and provide details at that time. For now, there’s really no point.

      What I can tell you is that I disagree with you about the potential Bernie Sanders impact on Wall Street. The single most important reason Wall Street is bigger and more out of control than ever right now is because of the incentive structure in place. Namely, that executives and higher ups never go to jail or face accountability. Even worse, it’s profitable to break the law because you just pay a fine and keep the rest.

      One of the main reasons Wall Street hasn’t faced accountability is Barack Obama. His appointment of Wall Street lawyer Attorney General Eric Holder, ensured that no bankers would ever face justice. In fact, Holder is the guy who popularized the idea of DPAs (deferred prosecution agreements) which have let these criminals off the hook time and time again. It seems clear to me Bernie Sanders is the only candidate running who will not surround himself with Wall Street advisors and will appoint an AG who will go after white collar crooks in finance. Do I think this could make a material difference? Absolutely.

      On the other hand, I think Sanders’ economic polices are an abomination. He clearly believes in Federal central planning for economies and I am absolutely fundamentally against this in every way. I don’t make any excuses for him there. That said, there are many issues to me of grave importance that I agree with Sanders on.

      1) Ending Federal Reserve secrecy
      2) Ending militarization of police and move toward community policing
      3) Anti-militariasm and interventionism abroad (He voted against the Iraq War).
      4) A defense of the 4th Amendment and civil liberties generally (He voted against the Patriot Act)
      5) Against the drug war.

      Are these issues important enough to make up for his central planning economic views? Everyone needs to decide for themselves, and I’m not even sure on a personal level. What I can say is that Sanders is right on many issues that rank high on the totem pole for me, and I’m not going to pretend that’s not the case.

    • I guess central planning for the few works best?

      For the Sake of Capitalism, Pepper Spray Davos

      Please, PEPPER SPRAY ALL THE ATTENDEES OF DAVOS in order to halt the rape of taxpayers and consumers across the globe.

      This annual conclave is responsible for more wealth destruction and the widening disparity in GINI coefficients than any public policy.

      I believe that the cost of attending Davos is priced at such an extravagant rate because it is a giant insider scam.

      Hobnob with politicians and policy makers in an effort to be part of the “smart money” crowd.

      It was the great moral philosopher and economist Adam Smith who so presciently noted: “People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for the merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.”

      The conspiracy against the public has been the financial repression of the global middle class in an effort to bail out those who are attached themselves to the public treasury to maintain the “animal spirits” of crony capitalism.

      The cost of an entrance pass to this private/public congress of mover and shakers should sound an alarm to all those who desire transparency in financial markets. In contemporizing the words of Adam Smith, Samuel Huntington was credited in the online research cite, Acton Commentary, as creating the phrase DAVOS MAN:
      “A soulless man, technocratic, nationless and cultureless, severed from reality. The modern economics that undergirded Davos capitalism is equally soulless, a managerial capitalism that reduces economics to mathematics and separates it from human action and human creativity.”

  2. The fact that she’s a racist supremacist Zionist is enough reason for me. She’s been leading the charge for Jews not to intermarry with other religions. Anyone who is a duel citizen with a hatred for Christians shouldn’t be allow to hold office.

  3. not that i support hillary or object to you pandering to the crowd of visitors that want articles on election related issues, but this really is just more elections drama and maybe more ‘forest’ and less trees.

    lately the primaries have been a juicy story and god knows drudge and others are really milking the interest of the crowd , but i just don’t find any of this really about liberty issues.

    it’s ‘noise’ in a sense.

    far more worthy of treatment in a liberty related blog is a response to this zerohedge article:

    i think it’s not only interesting, but accurate in its portrayals. and i think it’s really worthy of a lengthy treatment by you michael. because i know you can write something not only compelling but actually meaningful in response to it. and as always, you’d probably be posted on ZH.

    this remindes of some of the great ‘series’ articles by ‘cognitive dissonance’. he wrote some very good stuff, but in my opinion his pieces were too much echos without enough ‘counterpoint’. somewhat like endless philosophizing. i think you could do a great job responding to contrast and compare , some ideas with that article above.

    if you’d like my help editing or writing the piece , i’d be game.

    than again, ff to ignore my reccomendation, and keep the good articles coming. debbie wasserman is certainly a caricature of a typical party boss politician. and we’ve seen many many many of those…………just another corrupt party member seeking their own ambitions above the greater good of the republic and the people who comprise it……….

  4. Her political twin-brother-from-another-mother, Eric Cantor, beat her to the punch and retired to his promised Wall Street ‘golden parachute’.

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