Dem challenger files FEC complaint against Wasserman Schultz

The candidate challenging ousted Democratic National Committee boss Debbie Wasserman Schultz for her Florida House seat in this month’s party primary is filing a federal complaint claiming the congresswoman “illegally utilized DNC resources to undermine his campaign.”

Democrat Tim Canova’s campaign says it is basing its claim largely on the leaked DNC emails that showed group staffers attempted to undermine Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential run. Those emails resulted in Wasserman Schultz resigning as DNC chairwoman before the party’s convention last month.

The complaint to the Federal Election Commission appears to reference other emails concerning Canova.

“The emails establish that on numerous occasions the DNC, under Wasserman Schultz's direction and control, used its resources to track my campaign, interfere with my campaign events and to assist the Wasserman Schultz campaign in her personal communications strategy,” Canova said in the complaint.

The complaint in part states that Wasserman Schultz had a legal obligation to institute a firewall between her campaign and the DNC but instead “used her position with the DNC and the resources of the DNC to improperly benefit her congressional campaign,” according to the campaign.

Sanders, who long accused Wasserman Schultz of rigging the election for front-runner Hillary Clinton in part through the debate schedule, in May endorsed Canova.

The primary, in which Canova will try to keep Wasserman Schultz from winning a seventh term in Florida’s 23 congressional District, is Aug. 30.

The Canova campaign did not respond Monday to a request for specific emails to substantiate its complaint.

However, a review of the roughly 19,000 emails shows Canova’s name appeared in 80 of them.

The name of Ryan Banfill -- whose LinkedIn page shows he works for Debbie Wasserman Schultz for Congress and Democratic National Committee -- appeared in roughly 1,050 of them.

Neither the DNC nor the Wasserman Schultz campaign returned a request Monday for comment.

Many of the emails related to Canova are found in the DNC’s daily gathering of news stories. However, at least 15 relate to his request for access to Democratic state party voter files under the subject line “Urgent Question.”

Canova apparently was granted access and alleged Wasserman Schultz attempted to block his effort.

Other emails address how Wasserman Schultz should handle Sanders’ endorsement of Canova.

In another, Alaska Democratic Party Executive Director Kay Brown discussed a Canova speech being delayed.

When contacted Monday by about the exchange, Brown said, “I’ll call you back,” then hung up the phone.

A May 22 email flags Sanders’ effort to share fundraising money with Canova.

“Not cool,” wrote, identified as DNC National Finance Director Jordan Kaplan.

“For months, Debbie Wasserman Schultz pretended to be unaware and unconcerned about my campaign,” Canova wrote. “But as we grew, the emails show she was quite concerned. … She should have spent less time attacking my campaign with DNC resources and more time representing the actual people of my district.”