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Schumer Found Another Loser, In A Long Line Of Losers, To Run For A Winnable Florida Senate Seat

Identity Politics At It's Worst

Another lucky day for the GOP?

A few weeks ago, we floated the rumor that former Congress Member and mediocre New Dem, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, was toying with the idea of being the Democratic nominee to get slaughtered by Republican Rick Scott. She’s done toying and announced her candidacy— with a push from Chuck Schumer, the brilliant recruiter who brought Kyrsten Sinema to the Senate.

Let me bring you up-to-date: Mucarsel-Powell announced her plan Tuesday to lose very badly to Skeletor in the Florida Senate race. The foundation of her candidacy appears to be that Mucarsel-Powell’s mother and three older sisters dragged 14-year-old Debbie along with them, when they moved from Ecuador to the US. Yes, wow, she’s an immigrant, along with 45 million other Americans, most of whom (unlike Debbie) actually made that decision for themselves. Powell definitely would rather talk about where she was born than what she has done since then. Like “Chief” Val Demings before her, Powell especially doesn’t want to talk about what she accomplished in Congress, which was nothing— and she promises to do even less in the Senate.

Back in 2018, when she was first running for the House seat she won, we noted that “Mucarsel-Powell is exactly what the DCCC wants, a New Dem from the Republican wing of the party. But if the wave sweeps her in this cycle, she'll lose in 2022.” And that’s how it turned out. She out-spent the incumbent Republican-- the DCCC spent more on her than any other candidate ($7,284,383)-- and she rode the blue wave into a single do-nothing term. She earned a “D” rating from ProgressivePunch, disappointed her constituents and she lost 2 years later— and this was a far bluer district (D+6) than the state of Florida as a whole is (R+3).

On Tuesday Powell sent out emails asking for contributions from Katie Porter’s mailing list and Jon Tester’s mailing list, two candidates in their own tough Senate races this cycle. The inevitable question for Powell, of course, is what she could have possibly done in Congress to justify being a Senator. This is what she put out in her e-mail— it reminded me of how candidates used to run claiming to have grown up in a log cabin:

“thanks to my mother’s relentless belief in a brighter future for her children, I went on to graduate from college, become the first South American immigrant to serve in Congress, and write the bill to expand Medicare Advantage coverage.”

Medicare Advantage is a one big ole ripoff and her bill, which garnered just 11 co-sponsors, never even came to a vote in a subcommittee, much less a committee or the Floor. If she had actually known what she was doing, she could have used both her “story” and her vulnerability to at least try to get some sort of immigration reform bill passed, for instance.

She did manage to pass two bills. One of them authorizes the president to provide humanitarian aid to Venezuela (which he already was authorized to do) and the other criminalizes certain immigration fraud, which already is/was criminalized. This is almost some kind of joke— legislating with crayons.

FloridaPolitics welcomed her to the race with a horrible exposé about her husband’s dealing with a shady Ukrainian oligarch, Ihor Kolomoisky. One of the other candidates in the race, Phil Ehr, doesn't think Powell can win despite DC insiders pushing her. "I look forward to the former congresswoman accepting my invitation to debate," he told me yesterday. "I sure hope she doesn’t think a bunch of Washington bureaucrats will know how to win this race. We both have to prove that to the people of Florida. I outperformed Biden by almost 3 points. The congresswoman lost a Biden district. She’ll have to explain to Democrats what makes her the right fit to take on Scott. Washington DC support will not be a sufficient answer."

The other candidate in this race, the progressive one, is Alan Grayson, a former Congressman from Orlando. Blue America has endorsed him. "I have listened to what Ehr and Mucarsel-Powell are saying," he told me this morning. "I don’t hear a plausible victory plan from either one of them. ‘I’m a veteran’ or ‘I’m an immigrant’ is just not going to be enough to beat Rick Scott. There is only one way to do that, and that is to register 1,000,000 Florida Democrats. Between the two of them, Ehr and Mucarsel-Powell had four chances to run such a ‘ground game’ campaign, and neither one ever has.”

Grayson, on the other hand, defeated Ric Keller, a Republican incumbent in Orlando, with exactly that kind of strategy, winning by 4 points and becoming the first Democrat to represent the area in over 3 decades. He passed 121 bills through the House in his last four years in the House. He once told me that he though "the most important one was the Pay for Performance Act (passed nine days after I introduced it, and the first bill that any 'freshman' passed in the 111th. That prevented Wall Street from pocketing bailout money, and after it passed, they simply stopped taking it, and they paid back what they had already taken."

Since he passed so much legislation-- more than any other member-- I asked him which were the ones he was most proud of aside from the Pay for Performance Act. He said that off the top of his head were this half dozen:

  • The Paul-Grayson amendment to audit the Federal Reserve, which uncovered $23 trillion of unreported bailouts (including a very large one to New Zealand).

  • Moving $83 million from the military weapons budget to the health research budget, in several very late-night amendments.

  • Establishing a nationwide program to give “first-responders” an antidote for overdoses that they carry in their pockets.

  • Prohibiting the military from providing free weaponized drones to the police (which actually was happening). I also tried to prevent free tanks, machine guns and missiles, and I actually lost that vote, but President Obama instituted it by executive order.

  • Passing five amendments increasing veterans benefits on my last day in office, including one providing for automatic mental health screenings and benefits coverage. (This was based on a medical research estimate that 250,000 American soldiers came back from Iraq and Afghanistan with brain injuries, but no one knew for sure, because no one was checking.)

  • Preventing Elon Musk from taking permanent legal title to the entire Asteroid Belt by doing one sample retrieval from any asteroid. (Musk “thanked me” for this by running ads against me in the next election, claiming that I was “anti-space.”)

When I asked him if I thought Trump is going to give Scott one of the "Official Team Trump" seals of approval, he said, "If 'Official Team Trump' is people who buy public office with lots of dirty money; smirky, self-satisfied people who con their way into great wealth/power and then use it to keep everyone else poor, sick and ignorant; and people who confuse fame with notoriety, then yes, Rick Scott is part of Official Team Trump."


Of course Alan Grayson would be terrific and he has the smarts and know how to run a strong campaign. Schumer has not learned anything from Sinema. Fingers crossed!


what he WON'T have, as always, is any $ort of democrap party $upport.

But y'all still don't get a clue.

when the reich commences, it'll be as much your doing as anyone in a redhate.


I swear, Schumer must be working from the DCCC playbook. They are both so horrible. And Powell wanting to expand any part of Medicare Advantage (and it still makes me angry that they are allowed to use the word Medicare in their name) should disqualify her from ever being allowed to run for office again.



and which one will the MONEY... I mean the PARTY (they're interchangeable) support?

the name "grayson" continues to mean the same thing as it has for several cycles.


Powell also emailed me from John Fetterman's email address yesterday. They're all on board with recruiting more

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