Born and raised on Long Island in Merrick, New York, Tim had strong family ties to South Florida before moving to the Sunshine State in the mid-1990s. He is from an immigrant half Italian Catholic, half Jewish family, which taught him the traditional values of honesty and hard work. Tim ran cross-country and track in high school and college, including on his high school varsity state championship cross-country team. As a teenager and young man, he worked in a wide variety of manual labor jobs, from delivering newspapers and cutting lawns to pumping gas, painting houses, loading trucks in a plastics factory, and picking avocados on a kibbutz in northern Israel.
Tim attended public schools K-12, completed his undergraduate studies in government and economics at Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania, earned a law degree, with honors, at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., and was a Swedish Institute Visiting Scholar at the University of Stockholm.
As a legislative aide to the late U.S. Senator Paul Tsongas (Democrat, Massachusetts), Tim worked on a range of regulatory and human rights issues. While working on Capitol Hill, Tim began warning about the rise of Wall Street special interests and the assault on working families. In the early 1980s, he wrote critically about the deregulation of interest rates and lending standards and the rise of subprime and predatory lending. These practices would eventually have a devastating effect on the people of Florida when real estate markets crashed in 2008. To this day, Florida still has the highest rate of foreclosure in the country, with over 300,000 open foreclosure cases in state courts.
In the 1990s, while an associate attorney at a prominent law firm and then as a visiting professor at the University of Miami, Tim opposed efforts to weaken the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act firewalls that had separated commercial banking from the risky securities markets. He also cautioned about the rise of complex derivative financial instruments that were turning the United States into a “casino” economy. In the early 2000s, Tim warned about the growing bubble in housing prices and called for increased supervision of Wall Street banks and financial markets. He was one of the few law professors in the country who consistently opposed Alan Greenspan as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, including a 1996 op-ed in the New York Times opposing Greenspan’s reappointment.
“But the Florida race [Tim Canova versus Debbie Wasserman Schultz] could well reveal more about the Democratic Party than any other contest this cycle, including the one for president . . . It’s a test of whether progressive ideas or corporate money are more central to the Democratic Party’s future.”
Tim left Miami for a tenure-track teaching position at the University of New Mexico School of Law, where he was granted early tenure in 2003. While in Albuquerque, Tim spearheaded a successful grassroots lobbying campaign to abolish the state’s felony disenfranchisement law that had barred about 6 percent of the state’s voting age population from voting for life, often for non-violent drug offenses. He argued the hypocrisy of locking people up – disproportionately minority and poor, and depriving them of their voting rights — for using the same recreational drugs that were used at some point by successive U.S. presidents and about half of all Americans. Ever since, he has opposed the misguided “war on drugs” and the privatization of prisons that has resulted in the perverse incentive of warehousing people for profit.
After New Mexico, Tim taught at Chapman University in Southern California, became an endowed professor in International Economic Law, and served as the academic associate dean, helping Chapman move up significantly in the national rankings. In his teaching and scholarly work, he emerged as a leading critic of the cozy relations between Washington and Wall Street that have corrupted our politics and distorted our economy. He opposed granting China permanent normal trade status and its entry into the World Trade Organization, was critical of the North American Free Trade Agreement and other corporate giveaways, and today is a fierce opponent of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
In 2011, Tim took part in the Occupy Wall Street movement, teaching a workshop on the Federal Reserve at the Occupy Los Angeles encampment. At that time, he was also selected by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders to serve on an advisory committee on Federal Reserve reform along with such leading economists as James Galbraith, Robert Reich, Jeffrey Sachs, and Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz.
During his time in New Mexico and California, Tim returned often to South Florida to visit with his many relatives, old friends and colleagues. On South Beach, he became known as “The Hurdler” for hurdling every garbage can – 572 in all – on the 8 mile Raven Run, and earned Run of the Year award two years in a row. He also visited Israel many times during this period, returning to his former kibbutz as a volunteer time and again, and participating in workshops on citizenship, war, and counter-terrorism at Tel Aviv University.
Tim moved back to South Florida in 2012 for a teaching position at the Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law where he is a professor of law and public finance. He lives in Hollywood, and in his spare time he enjoys cooking, movies, Pilates and yoga, as well as running and bicycling on the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk.
Tim remains a leading critic of the Federal Reserve and Wall Street, opposes the corrupting influence of corporate money in politics, and is a strong advocate for programs to help students, working families, and lower- and middle-income folks. He will bring formidable energy, focus, experience, and integrity to Washington on your behalf, providing representation in the true sense of the word for the needs of the local constituents in South Florida’s 23rd Congressional District. Rather than doing the bidding of giant corporations like too many professional politicians these days, Tim asks you to join him to work for the interests of the actual, real people who reside here.
“And he has vowed to run a campaign based on small-donor support, calling Wasserman Schultz ‘the quintessential corporate machine politician.'”
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