Tim Canova turning tables on Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Tim Canova (YouTube)

TimCanova

When Tim Canova, a law school professor and political activist, pressed his south Florida congresswoman to vote against fast-track trade legislation last summer, he said he got the brush off from her staff.

Angered over the experience and a lawmaker he viewed as having a less than progressive voting record, the constituent turned the political tables on one of the Democratic Party’s most powerful leaders, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. He decided to run against her.

Until this week, Canova’s long-shot campaign to unseat the Democratic National Committee chairwoman and six-term lawmaker had gone largely unnoticed. More than $557,000 in first-quarter campaign contributions changed the conversation about the primary in the Democratic-leaning congressional district.

Canova’s campaign mirrors that of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. The New York transplant is declining corporate or PAC donations and wants to go to Washington to “save our democracy” by getting money out of politics. More than 18,000 donors, mostly from outside Florida, gave his campaign an average of $20.

Now the story of a ticked-off constituent challenging his congresswoman seems less improbable and more intriguing in an election year that has confounded conventional political wisdom.

Some suggest Canova, 55, could follow the footsteps of another university professor, Dave Brat, a Republican newcomer who in 2014 toppled then House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a primary in Virginia, stunning the GOP and the political establishment.

Wasserman Schultz, through a campaign spokesman, declined to comment for this story.

Despite the big fundraising haul, Canova faces a daunting task to defeat a strong a Jewish Democratic incumbent in a district dominated by Jewish and Hispanic voters, where U.S. relations with Israel and Cuba are debated as often as jobs and the economy.

He’s also up against a politician who is a fundraising powerhouse, has President Barack Obama’s endorsement — he called her a “strong, progressive leader in Congress” — and has two decades of public service in south Florida.

Undeterred, Canova, a former congressional aide to the late Sen. Paul Tsongas, D-Mass., and a law professor at Nova Southeastern University, sees his opponent as beholden to corporate special interests and having a voting record that’s out of touch with the south Florida people she represents.

“She’s a corporate Democrat,” Canova told The Associated Press in an interview at an outdoor cafe near his modest storefront campaign office in Hollywood, Florida. “She’s been taking millions of dollars from the largest corporations and voting in their interests and not in the interests of her own constituents.”

In campaigning against Wasserman Schultz, Canova is borrowing plenty from Sanders’ playbook. He’s a longtime supporter of the Vermont senator and once advised him on reforming the Federal Reserve.

District voters here, however, didn’t “feel the Bern.” They overwhelmingly went for Clinton by a whopping 37 percentage points in the March 15 presidential primary. Statewide, Clinton trounced Sanders, 64-33 percent.

Asked Sunday about Canova on a Miami public affairs TV show, Wasserman Schultz, 49, would not directly talk about him. Instead, she spoke about her long record in Congress and as a state lawmaker in Tallahassee. She was 26 when first elected to the legislature.

“I’m running today for re-election for the same reason that I ran then, and that is to be a voice for people who don’t have a voice,” she told CBS-4’s “Facing Sunday with Jim DeFede.” ‘’I have pretty much grown up my whole adult life in front of my constituents and I think they know and trust that I have had their back.”

Canova supports ending the U.S. embargo on Cuba but believes it must be done “in stages.” He said “trade liberalization needs political liberalization.” He thinks the landmark Iran nuclear agreement was filled with “holes” and that it was wrong to give Iran access to $100 billion in frozen assets.

Canova calls himself a “progressive Democrat,” repeating his campaign slogan: “It’s not progressive if it’s not progress for all.”

He criticizes Wasserman Schultz for voting to give the president trade promotion authority, a move Canova said will destroy U.S. jobs by sending them overseas; supporting a bill that would block tougher regulations of short-term, high-interest-rate “payday” loans, which he said prey on the poor; and opposing Florida’s 2014 medical marijuana ballot initiative, a measure that nearly won the required 60 percent approval to become law.

Wasserman Schultz’s campaign, however, has reported raising more money than Canova in the first quarter. They collected $614,000 from nearly 7,000 donors. Like Canova, most came from outside Florida. The average donation: $89.

Among his supporters are district voters like Jennifer Perelman, 44, of Davie. She’s voted for Wasserman Schultz since she was first elected in 2004. Over the years, however, she has felt “forced to vote for her” because there was no alternative.

A self-described “bleeding heart” liberal Democrat, Perelman even considered voting for a Republican in 2014 and 2012 because she believes Wasserman Schultz “is bought and paid for by corporate special interests” and “no longer listens to her predominantly liberal constituents.”

The primary is Aug. 30.

Sergio Bustos


8 comments

  • Kathleen M. Lake, M.A.

    April 14, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    No one is surprised why we Democrats want rid of Wasserman Shultz except for her.

    She has done more to destroy my party than any Republican and for the first time in forty ears I am actually embarrassed to be a Democrat. Her surreal, jaded, rove-esque management of the DNC has lost us an entire generation of American voters. She is widely known as an autocrat and a bully and no politician in the Democratic party truly is at ease with her distorted world view.

    If we lose this election it is her fault and that of the DNC’s unbelieveable hubris and Hillary Clinton’s mad rants in which she says one thing, then the opposite and then denies saying either(all on video no less). However, Hillary’s sketchy fundraising and duplicity are just the same as most politicians at the national level. Sadly, she is reaping the whirlwind because of it. Her bad decisions have not helped. The Wasserman-led DNC and Clinton don’t understand that the American public is sick to death of Wall Street blood money being used to buy our government. We have now swung fartheraway from the most productive midline because of this single factor. The party is splitting in two and I suspect I know which side is now bigger. It’s a political blood bath between old school political methods and a younger generation who will not tolerate it anymore (I might add that their grandparents like me are also fed up.).
    I
    If the DNC does not alter it’s despicable behavior right now we will end up
    with three parties and I can guarantee you that more people from right, left
    and center will be voting AGAINST Trump and Clinton than are even voting for Sanders. The Dems will be out, but so will the Republicans.

    Then what will happen is that the residue from these parties will obstruct, interfere and gut any decent (and they are decent) policy changes the Sanders presidency will attempt to make. If politicians (and their corporate buddies) don’t wake up there won’t be any country to fight over. Old School politics are dead and they reek and they are in need of burial. Today’s voters will not tolerate insider, elite, politicos and their rich friends any more. What ever they have they will be lucky to hang onto in the subsequent purge and be grateful this is not a violent movement.

    The Sanders campaign has officially told my group of researchers to back off of contacting Superdelegates. So the wacko conspiracy theory of Wasserman’s does not hold ANY weight for me and I am one of the very people fighting the Superdelegate system and attempting to expose lobbyists and corporate interests hiding there while retaining those Superdelegates who can balance party demands with the will of the voters they have presumed to nullify. So DWS you are full of it. People are very angry but that has not got one single thing to do with Sanders. It’s all you and your pathetic old school politics of blackmail, coercion, threats and payoffs. You are behind the wave…. swim.

    In other words, pray to god Tim Canova gets elected and send him every cent you can spare (don’t contribute to the DCCC or DNC until they clean up their act. Give your money directly to the campaign of the candidate of your choice. No more $$ lunches for Wasserman on my dime).

    So my fellow Dems… it is too late for Hillary and it’s a darn shame because she doesn’t deserve all this rage. But, quit being stupid, pull your head out of that hole you’ve dug and understand that “politics as usual” are now over. Don’t underestimate these detractors. They are more than willing to tear it all down rather than leave the strangle hold of corporate lobbyists and other government payoffs in control.

    On a final note …We DO NOT WANT elected officials spending their time fundraising for hours a day at some dank call center a block away from Congress making whiney calls to keep Wasserman and her ilk in power. They need to get back to their offices and work to save our nation, not buy a candidate’s office for them. Lead, follow or get off the dance floor!

    • Corey Gillingham

      June 6, 2016 at 10:28 am

      if Bernie hadnt have told you to start bad mouthing Wasserman Schultz you wouldnt even have a clue who she is…typical

  • Kathleen Lake

    April 14, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    No one is surprised why we Democrats want rid of Wasserman Shultz except for her.

    She has done more to destroy my party than any Republican and for the first time in forty ears I am actually embarrassed to be a Democrat. Her surreal, jaded, rove-esque management of the DNC has lost us an entire generation of American voters. She is widely known as an autocrat and a bully and no politician in the Democratic party truly is at ease with her distorted world view.

    If we lose this election it is her fault and that of the DNC’s unbelieveable hubris and Hillary Clinton’s mad rants in which she says one thing, then the opposite and then denies saying either(all on video no less). However, Hillary’s sketchy fundraising and duplicity are just the same as most politicians at the national level. Sadly, she is reaping the whirlwind because of it. Her bad decisions have not helped. The Wasserman-led DNC and Clinton don’t understand that the American public is sick to death of Wall Street blood money being used to buy our government. We have now swung fartheraway from the most productive midline because of this single factor. The party is splitting in two and I suspect I know which side is now bigger. It’s a political blood bath between old school political methods and a younger generation who will not tolerate it anymore (I might add that their grandparents like me are also fed up.).
    I
    If the DNC does not alter it’s despicable behavior right now we will end up
    with three parties and I can guarantee you that more people from right, left
    and center will be voting AGAINST Trump and Clinton than are even voting for Sanders. The Dems will be out, but so will the Republicans.

    Then what will happen is that the residue from these parties will obstruct, interfere and gut any decent (and they are decent) policy changes the Sanders presidency will attempt to make. If politicians (and their corporate buddies) don’t wake up there won’t be any country to fight over. Old School politics are dead and they reek and they are in need of burial. Today’s voters will not tolerate insider, elite, politicos and their rich friends any more. What ever they have they will be lucky to hang onto in the subsequent purge and be grateful this is not a violent movement.

    The Sanders campaign has officially told my group of researchers to back off of contacting Superdelegates. So the wacko conspiracy theory of Wasserman’s does not hold ANY weight for me and I am one of the very people fighting the Superdelegate system and attempting to expose lobbyists and corporate interests hiding there while retaining those Superdelegates who can balance party demands with the will of the voters they have presumed to nullify. So DWS you are full of it. People are very angry but that has not got one single thing to do with Sanders. It’s all you and your pathetic old school politics of blackmail, coercion, threats and payoffs. You are behind the wave…. swim.

    In other words, pray to god Tim Canova gets elected and send him every cent you can spare (don’t contribute to the DCCC or DNC until they clean up their act. Give your money directly to the campaign of the candidate of your choice. No more $$ lunches for Wasserman on my dime).

    So my fellow Dems… it is too late for Hillary and it’s a darn shame because she doesn’t deserve all this rage. But, quit being stupid, pull your head out of that hole you’ve dug and understand that “politics as usual” are now over. Don’t underestimate these detractors. They are more than willing to tear it all down rather than leave the strangle hold of corporate lobbyists and other government payoffs in control.

    On a final note …We DO NOT WANT elected officials spending their time fundraising for hours a day at some dank call center a block away from Congress making whiney calls to keep Wasserman and her ilk in power. They need to get back to their offices and work to save our nation, not buy a candidate’s office for them. Lead, follow or get off the dance floor!

    • Ivan Zimmerman

      May 21, 2016 at 6:38 pm

      I’ve sent Tim Canova $10.00. If everyone who want revenge on Debbie, send this guy some money. She no longer serves her district, she serves her corporate benefactors.

  • Larry Mohr

    May 30, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    Where can I send a check to donate? I don’t use online systems.

    • diedebbiedie

      June 7, 2016 at 12:11 pm

      haha. ur old.
      nah just kidding. well done sport.

  • Kathleen Lake

    June 10, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    I find it shocking that my fellow WADems are not hotly discussing the Racketeering lawsuit which was filed this week against our party and “media” (as co-conspirators in covering up voter fraud). This case is HUGELY inportant and effectively calls all our election results into question across the country. The Wasserman (mis) led DNC. Whether you are for Clinton or Sanders this case has identified huge discrepancies nationwide between exit polls and final results (beyond statistical error for mathy people like me who know what this means and nust how BAD this is for democrats).

    There is going to be a crushing trickledown effect on all dem office holders and any democrat who supports Clinton. I cannot in good conscience vote for anyone who does not step clear of this Hindenburg disaster, the Clinton campaign. Most seem to feel that she was used by dem elites but how could she and the hundreds of faithful dems serving to help her not have clocked this and stopped it. If they had … we would be celebrating our first woman president. As it stands she has been run over and crushed by the corruption we have allowed to fester.

    Very disappointed and betrayed. Why did our own party not have enough faith in Clinton to allow her to run a clean campaign? I am voting for Bernie but, she would have been fine. Now she is a pariah. And…it’s OUR fault!

    Here is the link to verify.

    http://trustvote.org and videos on youtube
    These are the legal experts who had the FBI in the Ohio Attorney General’s office last election and saved Obama’s presidency. They say they have the evidence and have filed (Ohio on the 6th) a racketeering law suit and stop this fraudulent election in its tracks. They have identified precinct by precinct where the fraud has occurred and wii digitize all ballots so that we can see for ourselves just how fraudulent it has been. These are the big dogs, not fringers or conspiracy theorists. They have the evidence and are moving forward. Gee wonder why you haven’t been hearing about this on Politico, Washington Post, NYT, CNN or MSNBC? They are in deep caca.

    http://trustvote.org/

  • Kathleen Lake

    June 10, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    This case is HUGELY inportant and effectively calls all our election results into question across the country. The Wasserman (mis) led DNC. Whether you are for Clinton or Sanders this case has identified huge discrepancies nationwide between exit polls and final results (beyond statistical error for mathy people like me who know what this means and nust how BAD this is for democrats).

    There is going to be a crushing trickledown effect on all dem office holders and any democrat who supports Clinton. I cannot in good conscience vote for anyone who does not step clear of this Hindenburg disaster, the Clinton campaign. Most seem to feel that she was used by dem elites but how could she and the hundreds of faithful dems serving to help her not have clocked this and stopped it. If they had … we would be celebrating our first woman president. As it stands she has been run over and crushed by the corruption we have allowed to fester.

    Very disappointed and betrayed. Why did our own party not have enough faith in Clinton to allow her to run a clean campaign? I am voting for Bernie but, she would have been fine. Now she is a pariah. And…it’s OUR fault!

    Here is the link to verify.

    http://trustvote.org and videos on youtube
    These are the legal experts who had the FBI in the Ohio Attorney General’s office last election and saved Obama’s presidency. They say they have the evidence and have filed (Ohio on the 6th) a racketeering law suit and stop this fraudulent election in its tracks. They have identified precinct by precinct where the fraud has occurred and wii digitize all ballots so that we can see for ourselves just how fraudulent it has been. These are the big dogs, not fringers or conspiracy theorists. They have the evidence and are moving forward. Gee wonder why you haven’t been hearing about this on Politico, Washington Post, NYT, CNN or MSNBC? They are in deep caca.

    http://trustvote.org/

Comments are closed.


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