When my friend Jane saw what Florida congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair of the DCCC's Red to Blue program, which is charged with defeating Republicans and replacing them with Democrats, saw how shabbily Wasserman Schultz had treated progressive Navy veteran Doug Tudor, her astonishment was palpable. "Wow," she wrote, "We really are the New Republicans!"
Ask yourself why Debbie Wasserman Schultz is a Democrat -- not a politician, a Democrat. I know why she's a politician: a nice cushy career and a real lust for power and self-importance. But why is someone like her a Democrat instead of a Republican? "Oh, Howie, stop being so mean," you might be thinking now. Let me share the note I got from Democratic candidate Doug Tudor with you, the one that got me going on DWS today. I begged him to let me publish it and he said ok. I've written about him before, back when he said that members of Congress who voted for Bush's warrantless wiretap FISA legislation had violated their oaths of office. He's a twenty-year Navy vet who's selflessly challenging rubber stamp Republican Adam "Howdy Doody Nimrod" Putnam in a district that mostly corresponds with Polk County east of Tampa, Florida. Unlike DWS' district (PVI is D+18), FL-15 is a tough, tough district for Democrats. In fact it was designed to give a Republican a safe seat (PVI is R+5). But Doug is putting up a strong and valiant fight-- which is why he is the only candidate on the DWT ActBlue page. He went to the Democratic Convention last week.
One of the most satisfying aspects of my time in Denver was being able to see Democrats uniting together to help other Democrats. I received financial support from Congressman John Salazar (D-CO), Congressman Phil Hare (D-IL), future Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO), as well as from convention attendees from Washington, Montana, North Carolina, and Florida. What I have not been able to do is to get Democrats from Florida's congressional caucus to risk offending their good friend, Adam Putnam, by contributing from their personal wealth or campaign accounts, or by endorsing me.
I, of course, was most anxious to meet and speak with Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (DINO-FL), who is chairing the DCCC's Red-to-Blue program. I just knew that she would welcome the chance to defeat Adam Putnam, as that would allow her lay sole claim to the title of "Wonder Kid" in Florida's politics. Adam, after all, isn't her next door neighbor. Once she comes onboard, I assumed, the other members of the caucus would lose their timidity and also support me. I was dead wrong, and I should have known better.
It is well known that Wasserman-Schultz supports Republicans Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Mario Diaz-Balart, and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen over their Democratic opponents, although lately she has been pressured into giving belated and grudging support to Joe Garcia and Raul Martinez who are opposing the Diaz-Balarts. I always figured that she was just afraid of the Hispanic backlash in her own district. What I hadn't considered is that she is just afraid of all incumbent Republicans in Florida. When I met her in Denver, she immediately told me that she couldn't support me, saying I hadn't raised enough money. I told her that I had raised $100K, that I was a military retiree, that my family is living on my wife's Air Force E6 pay, and that I wasn't able like other "viable" candidates to drop a quarter of a million dollars into my own campaign. I then told her, "Congresswoman, I am one of those working-class guys that our party claims to represent." Her response was "Don't pull that populist stuff with me." I thanked her for her time.
As a person who made his career in the profession of arms, I know that when you're in a fight, you have to fight on all fronts. Adam Putnam is easily becoming the most-hated Republican in America. He can be beat. Even Adam knows it's a bad year for Republicans. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz needs to lead, follow, or get the Hell out of the way.
Anyone who has been following our little series on how Wasserman Schultz has been sabotaging Annette Taddeo's campaign to win the Miami-Dade seat currently occupied by DWS crony Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (here, here, here, here, and here, for starters) knows we came to the conclusion long ago that she should get the Hell out of the way.
It was very brave of Doug to say what many progressive incumbents were thinking after the FISA vote-- that caucus leaders Rahm Emanuel and Steny Hoyer had let them down by crossing the aisle and voting with Bush-- but only Doug was brave enough to say it on the record. DSW is well known as a mad-dog, vindictive power-monger. By confronting her directly he has raised her ire. Any chance he ever had to get into the DCCC's very suspect Red to Blue program that she controls like a personal fiefdom has been shattered. Please consider joining me in giving Doug some support in his lonely and courageous grassroots battle against Adam Putnam, the #3 villain in the GOP House hierarchy (their Rahm Emanuel).