Former Chair of the Democratic National Committee and current Representative from Florida Debbie Wasserman Schultz has tried to avoid the allegations against her, and has so far been successful. Democrats rarely have to answer for their crimes, as they are protected by the media, which never asks them tough questions.
According to the allegations, which were buried almost immediately after they came out, are that Debbie Wasserman Schultz physically assaulted a volunteer pollster of one of her primary opponents.
Martina Velasquez is a 16 year old campaign volunteer for Jen Perelman, a progressive who challenged Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz in this year’s Democrat primary.
Velasquez, a high school student involved in climate activism, says that Wasserman Schultz shoved her multiple times while she was attempting to talk with voters outside a Broward County polling place in August.
On three separate occasions, Velasquez says she was trying to speak with voters and hand out “palm cards,” when Wasserman Schultz moved her body between Velasquez and the voters.
— Jen Perelman (@JENFL23) August 16, 2020
“She, every time, would come and shove me out of the way into a group of other poll workers, moving my arms so I couldn’t give out a palm card. She was saying, ‘That’s my opponent, that’s my opponent, you can’t vote for her,'” Velasquez says.
Velasquez filed an informational report with the Pembroke Pines Police Department. She said that she wanted to create a record of the incident, but she did not press charges.
“I want her to publicly apologize to me, Jen’s campaign team, and Jen,” Velasquez said.
According to the Miami New Times: “Amanda Conwell, a spokesperson for the Pembroke Pines Police Department, confirmed that an informational report had been filed against Wasserman Schultz but said that it could not be released because it was not yet finalized.”
“The complainant wished it documented that the second party (Ms. Wasserman Schultz) allegedly bumped into/made physical contact with her as they were both handing out flyers. The complainant believed that this contact was intentional,” Conwell wrote in an email.
Velasquez posted images of the police report she filed on Twitter.
“I come from a vulnerable family. We are first gen immigrants with no money to fight a legal case….BUT @DWStweets you will NOT intimidate or bully,” she wrote.
Another Perelman campaign volunteer corroborated Martina Velasquez’s story, though he wished to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation from Wasserman Schultz or her supporters.
The volunteer said that he witnessed one interaction between the congresswoman and Velasquez that appeared to be aggressive. The volunteer stated that Wasserman Schultz “went around behind Martina’s back and shoved in front of her physically to get the attention of the people she was talking to.”
Velasquez says the first time she showed up to campaign was without incident. The next day, there was tension between Wasserman Schultz and the Perelman volunteers. She says that as soon as Perelman left, “the tension became a lot thicker.”
The first incident occurred when Velasquez was giving a last-minute pitch to apparently undecided voters, and Wasserman Schultz used her body to block her from the voters, making physical contact hard enough to cause her to lose her balance.
“The first time, I completely shrugged it off. The second time, I was like OK, I guess she just likes dirty politics,” Velasquez says.
According to the Miami New Times: “The third and final time, Velasquez says, a group of three men was getting ready to enter the library to vote. Two of them seemed to be supporters of Wasserman Schultz and began speaking with the congresswoman. Velasquez says she had a conversation with the third man.”
“He had an LGBT T-shirt on…and I was like, ‘Oh, I love your shirt, I’m LGBT myself. He really liked the fact that Jen was so LGBT-friendly and really cared for LGBT [people],” Velasquez recalls.
As soon as Velasquez captured the voter’s attention, Wasserman Schultz stepped in.
“I think he was gonna vote for Jen, and that’s when Debbie came in through the left side again. She went actually around me, kind of sneaked around me, around my back, and entered through my left side, pushing me, shoving me so hard that I didn’t fall but went back a couple feet,” Velasquez recounts.
According to Velasquez, the Wasserman Schultz and the two men laughed. The two voters began bombarding Velasquez with questions about climate change, and Velasquez says she “called out Debbie.”
“This is when Debbie snapped. She started calling me a liar and humiliating me and screaming names in front of everybody. It was just really humiliating, degrading, and awkward,” Velasquez says.
Velasquez says that the next day, after telling her the story, Perelman made it clear that what happened to her was not OK.
Perelman posted a picture of herself and Velasquez on Twitter, addressing Wasserman Schultz by her Twitter handle, @DWStweets: “Don’t you EVER touch my volunteers.”
For those who want context: Debbie physically shoved one of my volunteers handing out palm cards & then verbally accosted her for calling out her record on the environment.
This will NOT be tolerated.
— Jen Perelman (@JENFL23) August 16, 2020