Currently, six candidates have filed to run in the congressional race against Debbie Wasserman-Schultz seat, and one of them is going to provide a lot of entertainment for the media, that is, if he can afford to stay in the race.
Congressional candidate Joe Kaufman is the Chairman of Americans Against Hate, a civil rights organization and terrorism watchdog group, whose goal is to be an active voice against those who spread bigotry and violence. The darling of Fox news and fodder for the The Daily Show, he has the endorsements of comedian Jackie Mason and conservative radio show host Joyce Kaufman.
Kaufman’s recent mailers to voters in the 20th Congressional District will confuse them.
For instance, while standing in line waiting for an autograph from Sarah Palin, he told her he was running for congress. Palin, trying to be kind to a fan, told him she was happy and hoped he won. He used this on his campaign material as an official endorsement from her:
He even dressed up his campaign mailers to look like they were coming from the desk of a congressman including a seal of an eagle, similar to the one that is used on the official congressional seal. This would confuse someone into believing he was already a congressman!
In what may be the ultimate embarrassment for Kaufman and quite possibly for some members of the Broward County Republicans is a video that appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart that featured Nezar Hamze, the Florida Director of CAIR, who is also a Muslim that wanted to become a Broward County Republican, possibly creating his own Muslim Republican club.
Broward GOP Chairman Richard DeNapoli avoided answering Hamze request directly and scurried to tell Joe Kaufman about Hamze’s intentions. Soon after, Kaufman attended the Fort Lauderdale Tea Party meeting and announced Hamze’s intentions to the group, denounced his actions, and asked everyone to stand against Hamze’s application.
It was the Javier Manjarres’ reporting of Hamze’s intentions to join the local GOP in his website Shark Tank that prompted national media outlets to pick up this breaking story.
Jon Stewart picked up the story and satirize the incident with one of his typical “reports” that makes all of those involved look like fools to his “enlightened” audience.
Stewart sent his correspondent down to Florida to interview both Hamze and Kaufman. Kaufman saw this as an opportunity to gain a little ‘earned media’ for his fledgling congressional campaign, but his acceptance clearly shows that he lacks the judgement and the common sense to consider the possibility that he would ultimately serve as the butt of the Stewart’s joke, and he clearly was.
What type of congressional candidate would put themselves in such a compromising position on a TV show like The Daily Show and put their candidacy at risk? One that’s looking for some easy PR but doesn’t consider the consequences, which is exactly what Joe Kaufman did. What’s worse, Kaufman could not even define what the word “against” means, and Stewart’s producers were quick to cue the laugh track.
Kaufman will provide some fodder for the media throughout the summer until he will come face to face in August with Republican challenger Karen Harrington for the primaries. The winner of the August primary will face off against Democrat Debbie Wasserman-Schultz in November.