Wasserman Schultz Faces FEC Complaint from Progressive Challenger
Tim Canova alleges WikiLeaks email dump shows Debbie Wasserman Schultz used DNC resources to strategize against his congressional campaign
With less than a month before the Florida congressional primary on August 30, incumbent Debbie Wasserman Schultz is facing a potential Federal Elections Committee (FEC) complaint from progressive challenger and law professor Tim Canova.
Canova alleges that evidence in WikiLeaks' release of internal emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) show Wasserman Schultz using DNC resources to strategize against his congressional campaign. Wasserman Shultz resigned as party chair last month after the emails showed the DNC favoring Hillary Clinton's campaign over Bernie Sanders'. The congresswoman now works for Clinton's campaign.
"It's very clear that Wasserman Schultz was using the DNC resources to monitor my campaign and to strategize on how to crush the campaign," Canova said on MSNBC's "Meet the Press Daily" Monday.
"That's a violation of federal law," Canova added. He said he plans to file the FEC complaint soon.
Indeed, a quick search of the leaked emails show DNC staffers warning each other about the activities of Canova campaign staffers and surrogates, such as Zack Exley and Warren Gunnels, as well as deeply involved in coordinating and seeking positive media coverage for a May speech Wasserman Schultz gave in Alaska, during which Canova Skyped in to a separate venue to provide an alternate talk for progressive Democrats.
The emails also show DNC staffers advising Wasserman Schultz on her response to Sanders' endorsement of Canova in May. "It begins," one staffer wrote, forwarding Sanders' email to supporters about the endorsement to other DNC insiders.
DNC communications director Luis Miranda later sent Wasserman Schultz a draft of a proposed statement for her to issue in response to Sanders' endorsement. "Debbie ...please approve...team thinks this is the right approach...'High Road,'" Miranda wrote.
The statement Miranda's internal team drafted, which asserted that Wasserman Schultz would "remain neutral" in the race between Sanders and Hillary Clinton "despite" Sanders' endorsement of Canova, was the one Wasserman Schultz eventually issued to the press.
"That's just the tip of the iceberg about what she was doing at the DNC," Canova said. "A lot of folks are unhappy with her[...] she'll be a drag on the ticket at this point."
While Wasserman Schultz initially had a formidable lead over Canova in polls, the latest surveys show Canova swiftly closing in on the incumbent, as Common Dreams reported.