Last week, I called the Florida Democratic Party to request access to the voter file database and software known as VAN that is routinely used by Democratic candidates across the country.
I was told that our campaign would be denied access to this database because I am running against an incumbent Democrat, Debbie Wasserman Schultz. I was also told that any Democratic candidate running against an incumbent Democrat would be denied access — even a lifelong progressive challenging an out-of-touch incumbent.
This is unfair and undemocratic. My opponent already has untold advantages against an insurgent progressive campaign like ours. We are refusing to take corporate money, while she has taken millions of dollars from Wall Street bankers, payday lenders, private prison companies, and other corporate special interests. How much more of an advantage does Wasserman Schultz need to silence the voices of grassroots voters in our district?
This is nothing less than an entrenched establishment throwing up roadblocks against our political revolution. We’ve seen my opponent do this against Bernie’s presidential campaign and other progressive challengers. As head of the DNC, Wasserman Schultz has pushed strategies that suppress voter turnout, all to protect incumbents and establishment politicians. She has routinely defended the party’s use of Superdelegates to block the will of Democratic voters in state after state.
All of this has made our party weaker and more vulnerable against Republicans in general elections, which is so painfully obvious with the Democratic Party’s losses in the midterm elections in the past six years — 13 Senate seats and 69 House seats, the biggest loss of congressional Democrats in modern political history.
Bernie Sanders had to go so far as to sue Wasserman Schultz’s DNC in December to regain access to his own party’s voter database. As we continue to compile alternative voter databases from other sources, rest assured that we will not allow the establishment to weaken our campaign. We will overcome any obstacles and we will fight back.