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Conflict-of-Interest Debbie

by: DavidNYC

Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 9:00 AM EDT

A key leader of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, by her own admission, has a serious conflict-of-interest:

The national party, enthusiastic about the three Democratic challengers, has not yet selected Red to Blue participants. But Wasserman Schultz has already told the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee that if any of the three make the cut, another Democrat should be assigned to the race.

Let's leave aside for a moment that the first part of this statement is incorrect - the first round of Red to Blue challengers has already been announced. It's the second sentence that troubles me.

Debbie Dubya co-chairs the Red to Blue program. She has a major say in who gets tapped for it. Yet here she is saying she couldn't help three awesome candidates - Joe Garcia, Raul Martinez, and Annette Taddeo - if they get picked for that program. But if she's already so hostile to the idea of them running, don't you think she might steer the D-Trip away from choosing any of these three for R-to-B status in the first place?

This is a major conflict of interest, one which threatens to hurt not just our South Florida trio, but the fortunes of the Democratic Party as well. I also think it undermines the DCCC, too - what other decisions might start to look suspect? Who else harbors a conflict like this? And which other potential recruits might shy away from running if they thought that the scales were tipped against them?

As James Hell said, there are no recusals in politics. Debbie Dubya has to buck up, heartily endorse all three candidates and throw fundraisers for each of them. If she can't do that, then she is hopelessly unqualified to perform her job at the DCCC.

An enraged Rahm Emanuel once thundered: "[W]e've got a [Republican] target and you're out there kissing his ass in the press?" Rahm didn't accept this kind of bullshit from Alcee Hastings, and Chris van Hollen shouldn't accept it from Debbie Wasserman Schultz. She needs to change her tune, or take a seat on the bench.

DavidNYC :: Conflict-of-Interest Debbie
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DWS did campaign against Clay Shaw in 2006, and when he called her out on it in the name of Florida bipartisanship, she pointed out that Republicans had campaigned for Ginny Brown-Waite in her successful gerrymander-driven run against Rep. Karen Thurman in 2002 and so obviously the rules weren't solid.

I remember that quite vividly. I don't know what happened between then and now.

Most likely, she's decided that the Democratic majority is so safe in 2008 given open seats and weak incumbents that she thinks she can get away with letting a few of her friends off the hook. Maybe she's been closer to these three than to Shaw.

Another notable point is that her district has gotten more and more Hispanic as people move north from Miami-Dade. I've heard Weston referred to as Westonzuela--perhaps she's really concerned about Cuban-American reps fighting back on her turf in the future, not now, but after 2012 when her district may be less of a gerrymander.  

I agree about the attitude
but some of it is understandable pragmatism.  The two Diaz-Balart seats are probably still simply too Republican to flip this year, frankly- and putting either one in a do-or-die situation will likely lead to some very ugly behaviors and outrages.  Which might not be a good situation to generate in Presidential election year in which Florida on trend looks to be a 51% state for the Democratic nominee.  Better to just run a softening up campaign this year, registering new voters and prying soft ones loose.  In '10 less of the hardcore Cuban exile Republicans and activist machinery remain.  And the machine will be overtaxed with ginning up maximal votes for Mel Martinez- who keeps dragging along at statewide approval ratings around 43%, and will be high on the Senate hitlist for Democrats.

Ros-Lehtinen's district is going to be something like 48-49% Democratic leaning, with a lot of non-Cuban suburbs and small towns (it contains Key West and the Everglades), and that's the best shot one.  But she's also the one of the threesome who can flip from radical wingnut to moderate to nearly liberal almost on a dime at times.  Taddeo might succeed, but I'd guess a second effort in '10 may be necessary.

I don't know the Florida situation in great detail, but it seems to me that the Sarasota district (13, Jennings/Buchanan rematch), the likely Young retirement (on which everybody's playing the cards close to the chest), and maybe Keller's district in Orlando or Foley's to the east is where the gains in seats and electorate are this year.

err, make that Feeney, not 'Foley' *ugh*

[ Parent ]
The math
FL-21: R+6.2
IL-14: R+4.8
FL-25: R+4.4
FL-18: R+4.3

I'm not willing to cede the GOP an inch.  Raul Martinez is going to give Lincoln D-B a barnburner of a race, while Garcia and Taddeo have loads of potential.

[ Parent ]
Completely agree.  All three districts will be tough hills to climb, but are well within reach on a good night.  No reason not to push hard to win and to win now, especially since we have good candidates and what looks to be a great environment.  Another pportunity might not come again any time soon, if ever.

[ Parent ]
Which is why all the excuse-making - by DWS and by her putative supporters - sickens me.

[ Parent ]

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