U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been marred in controversy since the 2016 presidential election. Now, embroiled in a criminal investigation, the congresswoman has a 2018 primary challenger: Progressive Democrat Tim Canova.
First, she resigned her post as DNC chair after thousands of emails leaked implicating her and other DNC officials in rigging the 2016 presidential primary for Hillary Clinton. Wasserman Schultz is being sued, along with the DNC, by a group of Bernie Sanders supporters.
Members of her office are also under investigation for a cybersecurity breach that involved internal data on members of Congress. Pakistani staffer Imran Awan is accused of stealing data on members of Congress, carrying it off-site, and even blackmailing lawmakers.
Wasserman Schultz didn't fire Awan. Instead, she threatened the Capitol Police chief for not returning equipment that was part of the investigation.
Florida law professor and Progress for All founder Tim Canova, says her behavior is nothing new. In fact, he says she was not only "doing damage as a member of Congress," but will likely go down as "the worst chair of the [Democratic Party] in history."
Canova was interviewed by IVN correspondent T.J. O'Hara in the latest edition of his podcast, A Civil Assessment. Canova spoke about the ongoing DNC lawsuit, his 2016 and upcoming 2018 run against Debbie Wasserman Schultz, riding the Bernie wave, and Wasserman Schultz's "sordid record" that drove him to run against the congresswoman.Canova said it started when he tried to contact Wasserman Schultz and her staff about his opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership. However, he said he got "nowhere with office."
"We were very frustrated with her lack of accessibility," says Canova. "The more I heard, the less I liked. It seemed apparent that if you had a $5,000 check from a Political Action Committee, then maybe you’d actually get somewhere with her office, but otherwise she didn’t have much use for her own constituents."
In his interview, Canova asserts that Wasserman Schultz continues to show contempt for her constituents "and for democracy itself" -- from her campaign against him to the DNC email scandal, lawsuit, and more.
"I think she has become the personification of what’s wrong with the Democratic Party, with not just its failure at the polls, but also the disgrace of these scandals," says Canova.
Canova is set to announce his 2018 congressional candidacy Thursday. He is well known among Bernie Sanders supporters, and rode the Bernie wave in 2016. Though he lost in the primary, Canova’s biggest success was fundraising.
“From the very beginning I pledged that I wouldn’t take a penny from any corporate interests, from any Political Action Committees, or super PACs that were funded by corporations. And that’s really the complete polar opposite of the way [Wasserman Schultz] raises money,” he says.
“It freed me up to really take stances on the issues based on what I thought was best for ordinary people, and to not be talking to pollsters or talking to lobbyists to figure out how I should stand on any issues. It was a real people’s campaign against the corporate machine.” - Tim Canova
Be sure to listen to the entire interview (above). Canova elaborates on these points and more, including how he thinks Russia has become a way for the Democratic establishment "to distract the discussion away from their...own law breaking, their own fixing of their nominations, their own freezing out of progressive candidates and grassroots Democrats."
You will not be disappointed.
Photo Source: AP