U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, says she won’t get involved in the flap over gubernatorial candidate Nan Rich’s desire to get a five-minute speaking slot at the state party’s big annual dinner Saturday night in Hollywood.
The former senator is the only announced Democratic candidate for governor. She wanted a speaking spot at Saturday night’s Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, but state party Chairwoman Allison Tant said no. Party leaders said big donors had complained the dinner had become too long, so it’s being streamlined this year.
Rich talked to Wasserman Schultz and asked her to intervene with Tant – who Wasserman Schultz strongly pushed for the state party post. Wasserman Schultz said she wouldn’t get involved.
“I’m the chair of the Democratic National Committee. I do not micromanage any state party’s program for their Jefferson-Jackson dinner, whether it’s my own state or any other. So I haven’t had any conversations with Allison Tant about what her program should include this weekend. She’s made that decision on her own. And that’s as it should be.
Wasserman Schultz said “she [Rich] has talked to me about it, yes. But I told her the same thing: I mean it’s not appropriate for me to go in and tell a state party chair. I wouldn’t tell the state party chair in Wisconsin who should speak at his dinner. I’m certainly not going to tell Allison Tant who should speak at hers.”
Democratic activists, especially from the party’s liberal wing and from Broward County, have complained mightily about the state party’s decision.
And Republicans have had a field day professing great concern for Rich’s plight.
On Wednesday, in a conference call with reporters, Republican state Chairman Lenny Curry continued shedding crocodile tears. He said he’d even consider booking a room nearby the Democrats’ event Saturday night, set up a podium and microphone, and invite Rich to speak.