Debbie Wasserman Schultz still scheduled to address Florida Democratic delegates to DNC

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At least some of the delegates to this week’s Democratic National Convention will get to hear Debbie Wasserman Schultz address a crowd. At least that was the word we had before she announced she is resigning at the end of this week.

The Democratic National Committee Chairwoman was under fire on the eve of the convention following the release of thousands of DNC emails by Wikileaks that showed the party favoring Hilary Clinton over Bernie Sanders during the primary process. Party officials decided Saturday that Wasserman Schultz will not have a major speaking role or preside over daily convention proceedings this week – but she will speak at a previously scheduled Florida delegation breakfast Monday morning, FDP spokesman Max Steele said Sunday afternoon.

Pressure built on Sunday for the DNC Chair to step down from her position, in the wake of the embarrassing revelations exposed in the Wikileaks document dump.

One email showed DNC staffers asking how they can reference Sanders’ faith to weaken him in the eyes of Southern voters. Another shows DNC staffer Mark Paustenbach, the organization’s national press secretary, writing to DNC communications director Luis Miranda about pitching an anti-Sanders story about how Bernie “never got his act together, that his campaign was a mess.”

David Axelrod, Barack Obama’s presidential campaign advisor in 2008 and 2012, told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday that she should resign, saying, “I would ask her to step aside. I would ask her to step aside because she’s a distraction in a week that is Hillary Clinton’s week.”

That was certainly the sentiment expressed at a pro-Sanders rally in the middle of Sunday afternoon at JFK Plaza in downtown Philadelphia, where there were signs hoisted by protesters calling for Wasserman Schultz’s ouster. “That’s messed up, man,” said Juan Spearman from Columbia, Maryland. “This is supposed to be a democracy, and America is supposed to be a democracy around the world.”

Wasserman Schultz was one of a series of Democrats who spoke at Saturday’s rally at Florida International University in Miami where Clinton introduced hernia running mate, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine. Sanders supporters were unhappy about that, one protester shouted “DNC leaks” soon after Clinton thanked Wasserman Schultz for her leadership at the DNC.

Tim Canova, Wasserman Schultz’ opponent in the Democratic Primary for Congressional District 23 next month, seized on the email controversy in a fundraising email of his own to supporters. Canova has become increasingly frustrated about the fact that she has refused to participate in a debate with him, with just over five weeks left before the primary.

“If Wasserman Schultz is unwilling to defend her record, she should drop out of our House race,” Canova wrote to his his supporters on Saturday. “Voters deserve better than an insider politician who shows such open disdain for democracy.”

 Again, shortly after this story was posted, Wasserman Schultz submitted her resignation as party chair.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.