Released: March 24, 2008
DFA Calls on Rep. Wasserman Schultz to Support Democrats in Florida
BURLINGTON, VT -- Democracy for America, our nation's largest progressive political action organization, is calling on Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz to be removed as the Chair of the Red to Blue program. Rep. Wasserman Schultz is refusing to campaign on behalf of Democrats running against incumbent Republicans in south Florida. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's Red to Blue program works to defeat incumbent Republicans throughout the country and is an essential component in the effort to expand the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives.
Joe Garcia a Democracy for America endorsed candidate running in Florida's 25th Congressional District against Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, Annette Taddeo running in the 18th CD against Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, and Raul Martinez running in the 21st CD against Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart are being denied crucial support from Rep. Wasserman Schultz. All three candidates have been endorsed by such Democrats as Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Majority Whip James Clyburn, Democratic Caucus Chair Rahm Emanuel, and DCCC Chair Chris Van Hollen.
"How can Debbie Wasserman Schultz be the head of the Red to Blue program and not be willing to fight Republicans in her own backyard?," said Daniel I. Medress, Communications Director for Democracy for America. "She has to step down as chair of the Red to Blue program or be removed from that position by the DCCC."
Rep. Wasserman Schultz's attempt to remain neutral in these Congressional races is perplexing in light of comments she made in 2005. At that time, she backed Ron Klein's successful challenge of Republican incumbent Clay Shaw in Florida. Rep. Wasserman Schultz said, "It's not good for my relationship with Clay Shaw, but Democrats can't afford to leave a seat like that uncontested."
"There is important work to be done like ending the War in Iraq, providing health care to all Americans, and combating the effects of global warming. Either Rep. Wasserman Schultz wants to be part of the culture of activism that is changing the political dynamic of this country or she wants to be part of the tired culture of incumbency that has brought us war, debt, and 50 million uninsured Americans," said Jim Dean, Chair of Democracy for America.