I wrote a letter to the establishment
On Saturday our campaign attended the Broward County Democratic Party Victory dinner at the plush Hyatt Regency Pier 66 in Fort Lauderdale. At the head table, Debbie Wasserman Schultz was sitting right next to Allison Tant, the chair of the Florida Democratic Party, who days earlier had denied our request for access to the party’s voter database — and the explanation was to was to protect incumbent officials like Schultz!
Now here was Schultz sitting next to Tant, perhaps even thanking Tant for denying us access to the voter database and volunteer tools that are routinely provided to Democratic candidates. Or perhaps they spoke about the party’s superdelegates, who Schultz as head of the Democratic National Committee has said are needed to protect the party establishment from its own grassroots!
On Friday, I express mailed a letter to Tant to formally request access to the voter database. Tant is probably receiving that letter just now as you are receiving this email. We have also asked for a copy of the state party bylaws they are using to justify this denial.
You can find a copy of our letter to Chairwoman Tant below this message.
We will keep you posted about our next steps in this battle to acquire access to the voter file database. The more the establishment tries to rig the system, the more people are realizing the importance and the urgency of our campaign to unseat Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
For us, the Broward County Democratic Party dinner was a great victory. Our table was filled with wonderful campaign staff and supporters. Throughout the evening we met so many new friends and allies expressing their fervent support for progressive change in South Florida and in our country.
Together, we will not allow the establishment to rig this election just because we’re running a truly progressive campaign against an entrenched incumbent looking out for big corporate interests.
We are the grassroots and I am grateful for your support.
— LETTER TO THE FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTY —
For more than thirty years, I have been a registered Democrat, and I am now a candidate in the Democratic primary in Florida’s 23rd Congressional District. I am a Professor of Law and Public Finance at Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law in Fort Lauderdale. Prior to teaching, I practiced law and served as a legislative aide to the late U.S. Senator Paul Tsongas (Democrat-Massachusetts).
Last week, I called your office and left messages for your executive director, Scott Arceneaux, to request access to our party’s VAN voter database and software that is routinely used by Democratic candidates across the country. Eventually, I spoke with Phillip Thompson, your deputy executive director, who informed me that, as a matter of “policy,” the Florida Democratic Party will not allow me access to our party’s database and software because I am running against an incumbent Democrat, Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
I now write directly to you to more formally repeat my request for access to our VAN voter database and software. It is my understanding that the agreement between the Democratic National Committee and state Democratic parties allows state parties to provide access to the VAN voter database and software to Democratic candidates on a reasonable basis. As a longtime, loyal registered Democrat, and now an electoral candidate for our party, I am interested in allowing constituents to hear my views so that they may make a more informed decision at the ballot box. It cannot seriously be disputed that this plainly qualifies as a reasonable basis for providing my campaign access to our party’s database and software.
If the Florida Democratic Party continues to deny my request, please promptly provide us with a copy of the exact provision in the state party’s by-laws or rules upon which the denial is based, and all other provisions and agreements relating to this issue.