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Debbie Wasserman Schultz Used DNC To ‘Crush’ Anti-Hillary Opposition

Debbie Wasserman Schultz caught using DNC resources to 'crush' anti-Hillary opponents

Former chairman of the DNC Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been exposed as using resources available to her at the DNC to ‘crush’ anti-Hillary opposition within the party. 

According to an interview with Mimi Rosenberg and Ken Nash of WBAI’s “Building Bridges” radio show, Tim Canova, a law professor, explains why he filed a formal complaint with the Federal Election Commission against Wasserman Schultz over information found in DNC emails made public by WikiLeaks and says Depression-era types of public investment would bring general prosperity to Americans.

“We’ve had this complaint going on for many months,” Canova said. “The campaign had been growing pretty rapidly. In the first four months we raised about a million dollars. Very unprecedented here. And the way we’re raising money is very much the way that the Bernie Sanders campaign did, in small contributions from many thousands of ordinary folks.

“As the campaign started growing we clearly got the attention of Wasserman Schultz and the Democratic Party establishment. We knew that from a number of things that she was doing on the ground that she was trying to impede us. Whenever I would go to a local union hall, for instance, or a local Democratic Party club to speak, quite often they would receive a call from the Wasserman Schultz camp trying to pressure them to not let me even speak. … [T]he state party had cut off our access to the [inaudible] voter database much like the DNC had done to Bernie Sanders.

“When the WikiLeaks emails were disclosed—WikiLeaks has a website devoted to the DNC emails—my staff went on it and plugged in my name to see if it would pop up, and it came up dozens and dozens of times. As we looked at the emails, there was a pattern that Wasserman Schultz was using party resources repeatedly to monitor our campaign and to strategize on how to crush it. That seemed to be a violation of federal law. We got some elections lawyers to take a look. They filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission for me. It’ll take time for that to play out. It’ll be after the election.”

About fixing the American economy and restoring dignified standards of living, Canova said: “We need public sector jobs modeled in the New Deal, I believe. Things like the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration.

“This generation’s overdue for a New Deal and it should be a green New Deal, and it should offer hope and opportunity for young folks in particular who are facing a very terrible job market. You take a look at what happened to this economy in 2008 when it fell of the cliff and it was really the greatest downturn since the Great Depression. We were shedding about 700,000 [or] 800,000 jobs a month for a lot of straight months, and that jobs depression, we’ve really never recovered from that. A lot of folks have dropped out of the labor market. The labor participation rate has plummeted to the point where the official unemployment rate is really a fiction. I see this as a teacher at the university level. A lot of folks are graduating deeply in debt, paying very high interest rates on their student loans, and they’re graduating into a lousy job market, an unforgiving job market. …

“I think what’s needed to finance a robust public sector approach would be a reorientation of the Federal Reserve from [Wall Street to Main Street] support like we had with the Federal Reserve in the 1930s and ’40s, and also a federal infrastructure bank like we had [in] the Reconstruction Finance Corp. from the ’30s well into the ’50s. And we’re one of the only advanced countries in the world that doesn’t have an infrastructure bank at the federal level.

“And it’s been promised. It was promised in 1992 by candidate Bill Clinton, in 2008 by candidate Barack Obama. It’s not being proposed by candidate Hillary Clinton. So these are the things that I would be fighting for in Congress.”

Read a full, rushed transcript of Canova’s remarks below:

Mimi Rosenberg: When WikiLeaks published a trove of hacked Democratic National Committee emails in July, it forced Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz to resign her post as chair of the Democratic National Committee. Now the leaks have also triggered a formal Federal Election Commission complaint, which could lead to sanctions against the embattled Florida congresswoman. Tim Canova, the law professor mounting a grass-roots campaign to oust Wasserman Schultz from her seat in Florida’s 23rd Congressional District, announced he had filed the complaint. He claims the email dump proves Wasserman Schultz illegally used DNC staffers to help with her re-election campaign.

Ken Nash: Welcome Tim Canova, professor of law and public finance and Occupy Wall Street activist, who has written extensively on the need for full employment and redirecting Federal Reserve Bank assistance from Wall Street to Main Street. Welcome to the show.

Tim Canova: Thank you, Ken and Mimi. I appreciate it.

Rosenberg: Let’s begin by capping the issue of your complaint, relevant to your campaign and relevant to the email dump, and what it proves, and why you felt that it is strategic to file a complaint against Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Canova: We’ve had this complaint going on for many months. I jumped in in early January. The campaign had been growing pretty rapidly; in the first four months we raised about a million dollars. Very unprecedented here. And the way we’re raising money is very much the way that the Bernie Sanders campaign did, in small contributions from many thousands of ordinary folks. And as the campaign started growing, we clearly got the attention of Wasserman Schultz and the Democratic Party establishment.

We knew that from a number of things that she was doing on the ground that she was trying to impede us. Whenever I would go to a local union hall, for instance, or a local Democratic Party club to speak, quite often they would receive a call from the Wasserman Schultz camp trying to pressure them to not let me even speak. The way she practices politics at the national level, not surprisingly, we see it play out here at the local level.

They had even, the state party had cut off our access to the [inaudible] voter database, much like the DNC had done to Bernie Sanders. When the WikiLeaks emails were disclosed—Wikileaks has a website devoted to the DNC emails—my staff went on it and plugged in my name to see if it would pop up, and it came up dozens and dozens of times. As we looked at the emails, there was a pattern that Wasserman Schultz was using party resources repeatedly to monitor our campaign and to strategize on how to crush it. That seemed to be a violation of federal law.

We got some elections lawyers to take a look. They filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission for me. It’ll take time for that to play out. It’ll be after the election, our primary date is Aug. 30; today was the first day for early voting in Miami-Dade County. My district spans two counties—Miami-Dade and Broward County. Early voting starts in Broward on Saturday; vote-by-mail has already been out for the past couple of weeks.

So there are lots of issues that are on the table. And it’s interesting—take a look at how badly she handled the DNC and one of the main criticism is the way the DNC scheduled very few debates between the presidential candidates and hid those debates at inopportune times so that there would be small audiences, and much the same has played out here.

I challenged Wasserman Schultz to a series of debates four months ago, and she completely dodged the question of whether she would have a single debate with me. As the heat rose on her, it became apparent that she couldn’t run away forever, and our campaign just kept on growing—we raised over $3 million now and we had an endorsement from Bernie Sanders in May—she finally agreed to a single debate.

And when we got the details we saw that it was a half-an-hour show on a Sunday morning, and after commercial interruptions and introductions it would probably be all of a 15-minute debate. And we objected to it. We said 15 minutes is really a slap in the face to constituents. We shamed them into agreeing to an hour-long debate.

At that debate, a lot focused on her performance at the DNC, but we never really managed to get to some of the major issues that voters here are concerned about, and she just tried to run up the clock during the debate.

The moderator let her do that. I did mention at the end of the debate that we had received invitations from America [inaudible], which is the leading Hispanic TV station in south Florida, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, both have put out invitations for debates.

And Wasserman Schultz just said she was too busy campaigning. So she just shows who she is. She’s the enemy of transparency. She had a failed leadership at the DNC. She resigned in disgrace and she doesn’t want to talk about the issues.

But the issues are resonating here. We’ve raised a lot of money in small contributions and we’ve been putting together a great campaign with a wonderful field operation. It might be the largest field operation of any congressional campaign in the country right now.

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