When it rains it can really, really pour. This thought must have gone through the mind of Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz in the last 24 hours as her involvement in another media firestorm just on the heels of her recent Grammys excursion has exploded into a much larger scandal.
Late on Thursday evening Politico published a report that Rep. Wasserman Schultz had offered John Morgan, a very large South Florida Democratic Donor and activist who had backed a narrowly defeated Medical Marijuana initiative in 2014, to rescind her “against” stance if he was to retract criticism he had made of her and her staff.
It would seem that Morgan was the wrong guy for Wasserman Schultz to attempt to bully. As Morgan said to a staff member in response to the emailed proposal: “No. She is a bully. I beat bullies up for a living.”
Bad news for the erstwhile Congresswoman, who has been trying to take heat off of her own recent issues by trying to divert attention onto House Speaker John Boehner and former NYC Mayor Rudy Guiliani, while simultaneously avoiding acknowledging any wrongdoing for her recent donor funded trip to the 2014 Grammys.
Text messages and emails obtained by POLITICO indicate her top political adviser was aware of some type of offer to donor John Morgan, who is accusing the South Florida congresswoman of after-the-fact spin.
The dispute between donor John Morgan and Wasserman Schultz, which began last year when she opposed his medical-marijuana initiative, flared anew this week amid reports that she might seek a U.S. Senate seat.
Morgan and other medical-marijuana advocates then told POLITICO that they would oppose her candidacy and criticized her votes and positions on the issue.
That’s when the proposal was made by Wasserman Schultz’s staff, Morgan said: If he stopped the criticisms, she would be willing to back his new medical-marijuana proposal.
Wasserman Schultz told her hometown newspaper Friday morning that the allegation was “outrageous” and the story was “false.”
“Why she would go out and lie or cover up when there’s a chain of records is beyond me,” Morgan said today. Wasserman Schultz, for her part, is stating that her “evolution” of opinion related to the newest language in the proposal, not any attempt at quid pro quo. Morgan has refuted this claim, stating that Wasserman Schultz’s suggestion of a quid pro quo was “crystal clear.”
Blood in the water tends to attract sharks, and it has been no secret that Wasserman Schultz has been the object of a great deal of opposition within her own party going back for a number of years. It is widely believed that Hillary Clinton, should she choose to run for President later this year, will request a replacement as the DNC Chair due to longstanding animosity going back to the 2008 race.
Randy T. Latham, the Executive Chairman of the recently founded Issues USA SuperPAC, has announced that the group will oppose any efforts for election that Wasserman Schultz may entertain, including running for the Senate seat currently filled by Marco Rubio should he run for President. “She is one of the worst examples of elected officials I can imagine right now,” Latham says on the group page for the issue initiative.