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I'm sure you haven't forgotten Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. She's the co-chair of the DCCC's Red to Blue initiative who, a few months back, infamously tried to recuse herself from helping fellow Democrats in three top-tier races:

But as three Miami Democrats look to unseat three of her South Florida Republican colleagues, Wasserman Schultz is staying on the sidelines. So is Rep. Kendrick Meek, a Miami Democrat and loyal ally to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.


This time around, Wasserman Schultz and Meek say their relationships with the Republican incumbents, Reps. Lincoln Diaz-Balart and his brother Mario, and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, leave them little choice but to sit out the three races.

Of course, just like there's no crying in baseball, there are no recusals in politics - especially not if you're in charge of the very program tasked with electing more Democrats to Congress. Rahm Emanuel understood this perfectly, and he raised holy hell trying to get this message through his thicker colleagues' skulls.

It clearly didn't take with Debbie, though, a softie who moaned "it's just too sensitive for me" when pressed on her refusal to help Joe Garcia, Raul Martinez, and Annette Taddeo. But after the blogosphere cranked into action - and after she heard it from local Democrats, too - DWS started having second thoughts and decided to lift a pinky or two on behalf of our South Florida trio at the end of March.

Months later (at the end of June), Debbie finally put some of her money where her mouth wasn't: On the very same day, she gave $2,500 apiece to Martinez and Garcia. But not Taddeo. While this might not seem like a huge amount in the scheme of things, this particular $2,500 matters a lot. DWS is a very high-profile member of Congress, and she's the front-runner - if not heir-apparent - to head the DCCC next cycle. When she helps a candidate, that sends a signal to other members, PACs, labor unions, and wealthy donors: this is a candidate you should get behind.

Which is why it's up to us to stand up for a strong progressive like Annette Taddeo and send that message if Debbie won't. Taking on an incumbent Republican in a red district is always an uphill battle, and this race is no different. But if the progressive movement stands for anything, it's the principle that Democrats must never leave a worthy fellow Democrat behind.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz says, "I can't say enough good things about Ileana Ros-Lehtinen; she has been my friend since I was first elected to office." The netroots say, "Progressives will be lucky to have a friend like Annette Taddeo in Congress."

Remember, we're aiming for 200 contributions before Wednesday night's pre-primary filing deadline, so let's make it happen.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 08:55 AM PDT.

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