Major Democratic Donor Bashes Wasserman Schultz
June 6, 2014 by McClatchy-Tribune
MIAMI (MCT) — Major Democratic donor John Morgan blasted the national party’s chairwoman, Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, as an “irritant” who is becoming “irrelevant” after she voiced concerns about a medical marijuana proposal he helped put on Florida’s ballot this November.
“I know personally the most powerful players in Washington, D.C., and I can tell you that Debbie Wasserman Schultz isn’t just disliked, she’s despised. She’s an irritant,” Morgan, an outspoken Orlando trial attorney, told the Miami Herald.
“Why she’s trying to undermine this amendment, I don’t know,” he said. “But I’ll tell you I will never give a penny or raise a penny for the national party while she’s in leadership. And I have given and helped raise millions.”
Tensions flared Friday morning after Wasserman Schultz’s office issued a statement saying she has “concerns” that the proposed constitutional amendment Morgan backs “is written too broadly and stops short of ensuring strong regulatory oversight from state officials.”
“Other states have shown that lax oversight and ease of access to prescriptions can lead to abuse, fraud, and accidents,” her statement, first reported by the Tampa Bay Times, said. “Also, given Florida’s recent history in combating the epidemic of ‘pill mills’ and dubious distinction as having among the highest incidents of fraud, I do not believe we should make it easier for those seeking to abuse the drug to have easy access to it.”
Morgan, who has plowed $4 million of his own money into Florida’s Amendment 2 campaign, countered by pointing out that the proposed amendment and a State Supreme Court ruling would limit medical marijuana only to those with “debilitating” ailments.
“Does she not respect our Supreme Court? Does she not know what ‘debilitating’ means? I do,” said Morgan, also a top donor to President Barack Obama and Senator Bill Nelson of Florida. “What word would she prefer?”
Wasserman Schultz’s office wouldn’t comment further than her written statement.
In an email, the Democratic National Committee said that the Congresswoman “was speaking as a mom and a member of Congress on her personal concerns on a local issue. The DNC has not taken an official position on this ballot initiative. We leave it to the good people of Florida to make that decision.”
She issued her comments after a national medical marijuana advocacy group, Americans for Safe Access, targeted her Thursday in a South Florida TV ad for being one of 18 “out of touch” Democrats to vote in Congress against bipartisan legislation designed to stop the Drug Enforcement Administration from enforcing Federal cannabis laws in States that have legalized it for medical or other reasons.
Wasserman Schultz said she didn’t like the Congressional amendment because it “tied” the hands of law enforcement.
The Miami Herald
(c)2014 The Miami Herald
Visit The Miami Herald at www.miamiherald.com.
Distributed by MCT Information Services.