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Tim Canova, a law professor at Nova Southeastern University who once advised Bernie Sanders on Wall Street reform, is now running a grassroots campaign to take Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz's seat in Congress. (Photo: YouTube)

Can This Man Unseat Corporate-Cozy DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz?

Tim Canova, running a primary challenge in South Florida, scored two big labor endorsements this month

Deirdre Fulton

With Democratic National Committee chair and Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz under fire for attempting to "sabotage" payday lending reform and supporting the party establishment, her primary challenger Tim Canova is gaining steam in his attempt to unseat the six-term congresswoman. 

"We are proud to endorse Tim Canova today because he shares nurses' values of caring, compassion, and community," said National Nurses United (NNU) co-president Deborah Burger, RN, at a press conference Thursday announcing the union's endorsement of the activist and attorney, who is himself backing presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

"Unfortunately, Rep. Wasserman Schultz has put too much of her focus on running the Democratic National Committee and cozying up to the big-money lobbyists and corporate interest—and the concerns of her constituents in South Florida have suffered as a result."
—Rose Campbell, Palmetto General Hospital, Florida

Noting his support for a Medicare-for-All healthcare system, his opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership, and his commitment to fighting big money in politics, Burger said that "on issue after issue, Tim Canova lines up with the concerns of nurses and our patients while Debbie Wasserman Schultz has turned her back on these concerns."

Added Rose Campbell, RN and chief nurse representative at Palmetto General Hospital in Hialeah, Florida: "When elected we know Tim Canova will fight for guaranteed healthcare for all, real action on climate change, and he will fight to get dirty money out of politics...Unfortunately, Rep. Wasserman Schultz has put too much of her focus on running the Democratic National Committee and cozying up to the big-money lobbyists and corporate interest—and the concerns of her constituents in South Florida have suffered as a result."

"My agenda aligns with nurses from top to bottom," Canova said in a statement accepting the NNU endorsement. "We insist that healthcare for all is a right and not a privilege, and that the richest country on earth can afford to provide healthcare and a decent retirement for all its citizens. We call for single-payer, Medicare-for-all universal healthcare and for protecting and expanding Social Security. We reject proposals that would privatize these most successful programs."

Earlier this month, Canova also scored the backing of Communication Workers of America, the nation's largest communications and media union, which represents 700,000 workers.

In an op-ed published last week, Canova blasted Wasserman Schultz for pushing a bill in Congress that would "gut" pending rules to crack down on abusive payday lending.

Why, he asked, is his opponent "introducing legislation in Congress to deregulate an industry that is already profiting from ripping off millions of Americans? Why is she fighting against Elizabeth Warren and the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, who are attempting to protect our neighbors from the worst abuses by payday lenders?"

"The answer is simple," Canova wrote. "Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been taking millions of dollars from the same corporate interests that profit from payday loans. She recently reversed President Obama's long-standing ban on corporate lobbyist donations to the Democratic National Committee (DNC), opening the door to influence peddling by the payday loan industry."

In January, in a piece "introducing" Canova, The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald wrote:

In general, Wasserman Schultz is the living, breathing embodiment of everything rotted and corrupt about the Democratic Party: a corporatist who overwhelmingly relies on corporate money to keep her job, a hawk who supports the most bellicose aspects of U.S. foreign policy, a key member of the “centrist” and “moderate” pro-growth New Democrat coalition, a co-sponsor of the failed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which was “heavily backed by D.C. favorites including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the music and motion picture industries” and which, if enacted, would have allowed extreme government and corporate control over the internet.

Below, watch Canova speaking at a Bernie Sanders rally this week:

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